Grant Program - Annual


In 2012, the Grove Foundation established an annual grant program and has been awarding funding to local organizations and programs every year since. The goal of the grant program is to support local efforts that enhance the quality of life in Downers Grove. In order to be considered, projects must benefit Downers Grove residents.

To be considered for a Grove Foundation grant, the organization must submit an annual request via email before the October 31st deadline. Click here for more information and for the Grant Application.

Below are the recipients (in alphabetical order) of the Annual Grant Program:

Alex’s Mission

Alex’s Mission is a group of Downers Grove community members who came together during the pandemic with the mission of feeding neighbors experiencing homelessness. They took the name Alex’s Mission as a tribute to one of their first guests. As the number of unsheltered neighbors grew, Alex’s Mission reached out to several community churches. They have grown to provide 800 meals a month to unhoused and food-insecure neighbors. In the fall of 2020, they started using one of The First Congregational United Church of Christ (FCUCC) buildings to better serve their guests and named it the Community Kitchen. 

Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack is a non-profit organization currently feeding over 83,000 children in 900 schools in 46 U.S. States and the District of Columbia. The program is a hybrid of private sector funding and public partnership carried out in schools. Downers Grove is not exempt from national hunger statistics. It is estimated there are 557 students in its elementary schools that go hungry every weekend. The consequences of hunger are much more than a growling stomach. Poor nutrition can result in a weaker immune system, increased hospitalization, lower IQ, shorter attention spans, and lower academic achievement.

Community Adult Day Center


Community Adult Day Center is a non-profit organization that offers families a quality, affordable care option, complementary support to in-home care or assisted living which may help adults stay in their homes longer.  Since 1986, they have provided an interactive, safe, compassionate environment for adults who cannot safely be left alone, with a focus on their mental, physical, and emotional well-being.  More importantly, they offer respite to family caregivers, therefore lessening the stress of full-time caregiving and allowing many caregivers to remain in the workforce.

Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination's vision is to teach students the creative process and empower them with the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world. They hope to develop opportunities that inspire the global community of learners to utilize diverse approaches in applying 21st-century skills and creativity. The program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students' creativity, courage, and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning.

Downers Grove North (DGN) Courtyard Expansion Project

Downers Grove North (DGN) Courtyard Expansion Project's mission is to create an accessible environment with a paver pathway, wheelchair-accessible outdoor table and swing for all students especially those with mobility impairments and cognitive delays. Students for vocational instruction and sensory integration use the Courtyard Garden. 

DGN and DGS Memorial Peace Garden

DGN and DGS Memorial Peace Garden were created to commemorate the sacrifices that nearly 70 Downers Grove alumni have made and promote the idea of peace around the community. The gardens honor those who lost their lives and serve as a permanent reminder to students of the ultimate sacrifices that were made. The gardens were built to both remember people but also to teach the importance of peace in our society and that war should be a last option.

Downers Grove Area FISH Pantry

Downers Grove Area FISH Pantry is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization of Christian laypeople and friends who are ministering to the material needs of the community. FISH renders social services to all persons in the communities it serves regardless of race creed or economic status.

DuPage Pads

Founded in 1985, DuPage PADS is the largest provider of interim and permanent housing. DuPage PADS’ first priority is addressing the basic need for food and shelter. They provide comprehensive support services and customized career solutions to address each individual’s barriers to housing. Since 1985, DuPage PADS has assisted 32,018 people, providing 807.576 nights of shelter and 2,558,507 meals. In addition to overnight housing they provide comprehensive support services through the Client Service Center, Career Employment Solutions and Supportive Housing apartments. Last year the agency assisted 330 individuals in obtaining permanent housing. Their mission is to end homelessness in DuPage County, Illinois.

Family Shelter Service

Family Shelter Service was founded in 1976 by a group of caring and concerned individuals who wanted to help the growing numbers of homeless people in DuPage County. These volunteers were members of an activist group, the Religious Education Community (REC), which studied social challenges in DuPage County. Family Shelter's vision is to create a community that is free of domestic violence and safe for all.

Garden Works Project

Garden Works Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing food insecurity in Chicago's west suburbs by providing families in need of food assistance with home vegetable gardens and many educational resources. They help families who would otherwise be unable to grow their own food because of financial need, disability, or advanced age. The Project works with area food pantries to identify families who are both in need of food assistance and want to be involved and grow their own food.

Grit2 (Growing Resilience in Teens Together)

Grit2 is a local grassroots organization with hopes to foster collaboration between schools, the community, parents, and teens to provide a solid network of support between students, administrators, teachers, counselors, social workers, and school psychologists. Their goals are to decrease teenage anxiety, depression, and truancy rates for mental health reasons, and to increase a sense of community and acceptance around mental health.

Grove Players

Grove Players was founded in 1936 and is part of the strong and vibrant community theater movement in the western suburbs of Chicago. Their mission is simple: to provide an audience the opportunity to experience and enjoy the wonders of theater, and to provide an opportunity for those who wish to participate in the challenges and rewards of this art form.  As one of the oldest community theater groups in Illinois, longevity speaks to their success. 

Hope's Front Door

Hope's Front Door provides an entry point to social services for members of our community who need immediate assistance and help in finding continuing assistance. The guiding theme of our organization is to assess, in a caring and compassionate manner, the immediate needs of each client and to meet those immediate needs using our limited funds and resources. We then offer specific guidance toward other helping organizations in our community that can provide continuing care and assistance on the path to self-sufficiency.

J. Kyle Braid Experiential Education Foundation

J. Kyle Braid Experiential Education Foundation is designed to empower high school students to improve lives and foster social harmony. The Foundation accomplishes this purpose through hands-on experiential training and incorporation of real-life situations to help young adults develop the skill sets needed to cope with and apply acceptable solutions, implement positive actions to prevent undesirable behaviors, foster relationships and create support groups, intervene positively and effectively with trouble peers and become a role model in the community. JKB EEF provides an interactive environment outside of the bricks and mortar of high schools and is designed to promote successful experiences in learning and the transfer of knowledge and good judgment into the lives of students and the lives around them.

Literacy DuPage

Literacy DuPage is a nonprofit, community-based organization that serves over 30 communities in DuPage County, Illinois. Literacy DuPage's mission is to help adults achieve their goals through accessible and customized tutoring in English.

Metropolitan Family Services

Since 1857, Metropolitan Family Services has empowered families to learn, earn, heal and thrive. Founded as the Chicago Relief and Aid Society, they have helped families get through the devastating hardships of poverty, world wars, epidemics, and natural disasters. Today Metropolitan Family Services assists more than 136,600 families and individuals annually through seven community centers in Chicago, Evanston/Skokie, the southwest suburbs, and DuPage County. Those served are as diverse as the communities in which they live, with 81% being part of the working poor or lower-middle class. 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. In 1979, what started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table has blossomed into the nation's leading voice on mental health. They are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in communities to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.

Samara Care: Counseling and Consulting

Samara Care is an organized 501 ©(3) non-profit organization including representation from supporting congregations, business people and community volunteers. Samara Care provides professional mental health counseling and psychological assessments and testing for adults, children, adolescents and families from diverse backgrounds and varied financial means. The benefit Downers Grove and surrounding communities by helping prevent the break-up of family through divorce, the death of an adolescent through suicide or abused becoming the abuser. Mental Health Counseling provides a path to healing and recovery develops self- sufficiency and resiliency, improves relationships, reduces absenteeism and increases productivity in the workplace, and ultimately reduces reliance upon publicly funded social services.

Senior Home Sharing

Senior Home Sharing's mission is to provide seniors the opportunity to live independently in an affordable family style home with others. It is a place for seniors to connect with each other, the community and to maintain independence. The organization serves all of DuPage County with four homes located in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Lombard and Naperville with plans for expansion. 

Senior Suburban Orchestra (SSO)

Senior Suburban Orchestra (SSO) launched in 2000, provides an opportunity for older musicians to continue playing their instruments on a regular basis as members of an active and challenging performance organization. Musicians have 3 to 70+ years of experience playing their instrument and range in age from 40's to 90's. As a community service organization, the SSO provides educational and entertaining orchestral performances to persons lacking the physical mobility or financial resources to attend traditional public programs. They also provide innovative side-by-side concerts/workshops for elementary school children in their own schools. Concert venues include retirement/healthcare facilities, senior groups, elementary schools and libraries.

Sharing Connections

Sharing Connections exists to bring together community members by enabling families and businesses to share gently used furniture and household items with families needing assistance. This is a unique opportunity for the community to directly make an impact by passing on something they no longer need to make a difference in the life of another family. Sharing Connection's vision is each day to help everyone eat at a table and sleep in a bed. Their mission is to share good things with good people.