Like most charitable organizations providing services last year during the pandemic, leaders of the Barrington Area Community Foundation (BACF) found themselves adapting to the needs of the local charities they fund.
Last year, in an effort to address immediate needs in Barrington, BACF initially partnered with the Barrington Area United Way to create the Barrington Area COVID Response Fund. From May through September 2020, BACF funded over $100,000 to 23 charities that were providing essential services like food, shelter, counseling, and other human needs. The fund also served to support financially strained charities for operational expenses due to the inability to conduct traditional fundraising events.
BACF’s regular 2020-21 grant cycle began with a virtual grants workshop in November, which historically is held in person at Barrington’s White House. After concluding the grant application process at the end of January, BACF conducted its rigorous interview process using a hybrid of in-person and virtual meetings with applicants.
For the first time in BACF’s 22-year history, the organization not only funded charities fulfilling the unmet needs of the Barrington area, but also added a hardship component to its grant application. The hardship grants were focused on: charities serving individuals directly impacted by the pandemic in ways such as job loss, school closures, and psychological ramifications of COVID; and charities that were unable to conduct adequate fundraising in 2020, negatively impacting their operating budget.
BACF was pleased to have granted $325,000 this year to 40 local charities. BACF is also anticipating conducting another round of funding from remaining restricted COVID response monies later this year, realizing that the effects of the pandemic are far from over.
Below are some of the many 2021 BACF grant recipients providing impactful services in our community to share the impact of their work and grants.
Robin Kelleher and Noreen Gallagher are the co-chairs of the Barrington Area Community Foundation’s Grants Committee. Learn more at
Director, Barrington Campus Life Center
Our goal is to provide every student with a safe community space and life-changing opportunities through engaging and creative programs, academic and educational resources, social and emotional development, intentional and powerful faith-based experiences, and healthy, impactful relationships with peers and caring adult volunteers.
This grant has allowed us to begin developing our Campus Life Young Leaders Institute that will engage, equip, and empower youth to grow personal leadership and impact their local and global community. The funding will allow us to develop an intuitive and powerful class experience, hands-on service, and internships alongside other Barrington area nonprofits, and provide a college scholarship for each student to utilize as they continue their leadership development at the next educational level.
I remember, as if it were just yesterday, when I was a high school student myself, lost and unsure about whom I was and where I was headed in life. I was blessed with the opportunity to connect with a loving, caring adult who sacrificed much to do life with me, care about me, and provide incredible mentorship, personal investment, and ultimately…life-changing hope that both saved my life and paved the way for a life of purpose ahead. I love Campus Life because it has given us an amazing opportunity to connect today’s youth with the same intentional and powerful relationships with adult mentors that changed my life many years ago.
We are so very thankful for the Barrington Area Community Foundation for helping us begin this new opportunity to continue to elevate the impact on students in our community.
Founding Team Members, Barrington Area Volunteer Connection
BAVC is a collaboration of the Barrington Area Development Council and the Barrington Area Library. The BAVC’s goals are to strengthen Barrington area nonprofits and connect them to local volunteers who care about their work. We believe this is a win-win-win: for the individuals, for the organizations, and for the greater community. We are the meta-nonprofit!
The Barrington Area Community Foundation grant is vital to us. At the heart of the BAVC is our GetConnected platform—
volunteer.thebavc.org. The BACF grant covers our license fee for the platform, which allows us to offer this as a free service to local nonprofits.
We’ve also earmarked funds to bolster our communications. The more organizations and individuals using the platform, the better it will work for everyone. So, we have a robust plan to reach out to new nonprofits; to people who are already looking for a way to give back, and to community members who aren’t volunteering yet, but will love it once they start.
Bob Lee: I love being involved with BAVC since we can help almost all of our community nonprofits better fulfill their mission by helping them find volunteers. I also love the opportunity to make it easier for each of us to find an area of interest where we can make a difference. Our lives are enriched when we serve others.
Sam Adams-Lanham: Bringing BAVC to life reminded me, all over again, of the value of collaboration. There is no single person who could have brought BAVC this far alone. It took the vision, leadership, skills, and networking of our founding team members, our partners, our advisory board, and, especially, our ambassadors to make it happen. It feels great to be part of such an amazing team.
Go to thebavc.org to learn more; click on “Get Connected Today” to see the platform.
CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township
For the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township, our goals are nourishing character and inspiring potential for our kids who need us the most.
The pandemic has created significant loss of socialization, isolation, and learning loss in our children. This grant will be pivotal in providing exciting and engaging outdoor activities for children who have been parked behind a screen all year, as well as an effective remedial academic program to help mitigate the pandemic’s impact.
We are meeting a need all children have, which is to have someone to really care, believe in them, and help them achieve their goals. I grew up without a father, with a hardworking and therefore mostly absent mother, and know firsthand how critical this support is. It inspires and moves me deeply to see how much the Barrington community cares, and how so many want to be involved in providing fun, positive experiences, and help support their growth. We are so moved and grateful to the Barrington Area Community Foundation, and everyone in the Barrington community, for caring so much about the future of our kids who need us the most. It is such an amazing, generous, and supportive community.
The Community Meal Founder Mary Sandner, and Coordinator, Sandy Hasse
Our goal is to serve 10,000 or more “To-Go” meals to the Barrington area and surrounding communities. Part of our mission is to help make our community feel loved and encouraged by our work. We are also expanding into communities that are experiencing food insufficiency.
This grant funding is important to us because the pandemic has adversely affected families, individuals, and seniors in our community. A hot meal and a friendly face can impact our community in a positive way. We can make a difference in the lives of those we serve…one meal at a time. We get to teach younger volunteers the value of serving. Now that’s a legacy. Thank you BACF. The BACF Grant has filled our hearts with joy!
Management Committee, Flint Creek/Spring Creek Watersheds Partnership
Everyone lives in a watershed! It’s the land area that channels rain and snowmelt to creeks, lakes, rivers, and eventually to outflow points like the Fox River. The Watershed Partnership’s purpose is to improve the capabilities of our watersheds to support life—fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, insects, and people. The Partnership is responsible for working with villages and helping residents to take care of our water resources, and to monitor our progress.
This funding will help finance the update of the Spring Creek Watershed Plan, specifically some of the technical aspects that are critically important. Watershed Plans provide the basis for organizations to win funding for major restoration projects, such as the Flint Creek Dreamway.
Water quality and groundwater supply are such an important part of our ecosystem, health, and property values. Water—we take for granted—but its quality is threatened by contaminants such as chloride, pharmaceuticals, and more. We are constantly learning about our natural systems and how our groundwater not only supplies our wells, but also the base flow for our rivers and natural lakes that enhance our property values. Working with the FC /SCWP, especially in conjunction with my role as the Village of Lake Barrington Administrator, goes hand-in-hand with the Partnership’s mission to provide education to our residents while building partnerships for projects to improve water quality, maintain water supply, preserve ecosystems and restore wetlands, prairies, and our other natural features for current and future generations.
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