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Foxboro, Partners in Patriotism

Foxboro, Partners in Patriotism / www.foxborofitclub.net

Foxboro, Partners in Patriotism / foxborofitclub.net

Foxboro, Partners in Patriotism

The Partners in Patriotism (PIP) Fund is a registered nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Foxborough-based philanthropic and community efforts through monetary donations. The PIP Fund will assist residents of Foxborough through the support of charitable endeavors, as well as through personal financial assistance.

Foxborough Feeling the Benefit of Partners in Patriotism Grants

The committee created by the Kraft Group has started awarding grants to organizations and individuals around Foxborough.

The generosity of the Kraft Group around Foxborough is nothing new for the town. From the expansion of the YMCA, the new playground at the Igo School, Berns Community Field at the high school, and the new audio equipment for the Foxborough High School Choir, the signs of the group’s involvement in the community are there. But for the first time, a committee of local residents has been formed to help identify locals efforts to assist.

Formed in January by the Kraft Group, the Partners in Patriotism fund in the latest way that the Kraft Group is looking to assist the community.

The committee, made up of 13 Foxborough residents from a pool of 70 applicants, is tasked with vetting applications and deciding how to distribute funds. Due to the late start, the group will be awarding only $25,000 in grants this year to Foxborough individuals and group and $100,000 for the full calendar year starting in 2015.

“The thing we got really excited about was the 13 residents that will sit on this committee. These people live here every day and they know what the needs are. It’s nice to get all these ideas and perspectives that make Foxboro and get them together in a room,” Patriots Corporate Communication Coordinator Jeremie Smith said.

The residents on the committee make up a cross section of Foxborough residents. Some are young while others are older. They reside not only near Gillette Stadium and Route 1 but on the other side as well. It is a mix that can provide an understanding with who needs help in town.

“One of our roles is to make sure we are out in the community and we have a good feel of what is needed and where we can assist. We really did realize that the community and residents knew where the needs are. Streamlining the process, it made sense to create this fund in the 13-person board,” Patriots Director of Business Development and External Affairs Jess Stevenson said.

For the members of the community, it was a chance to give back. Vice-chair Mark Powers applied after seeing the application in the Partners in Patriotism quarterly newsletter. He cites the story of the late Sam Berns as his inspiration to join the group.

“My daughter played in the high school band with Sam and was a friend of his. Seeing Mr. Kraft’s involvement, I thought it was a great story of somebody reaching out and assisting a brave individual. When this came out, I saw it as an opportunity to help my local community,” Powers said.

Like Powers, chair James McGowan, a long time resident in town, also wanted to help groups in need.

“Foxborough has been great to me. I see a lot of great people and it was a chance to give back,” McGowan said. “The charitable part of it, I think there are more people out there that need help than we realize. From the individuals to the Eagle Scout projects to the PTO, those are the groups we are going to see and try to help out as best as we can.”

The open ended approach to the application process means that almost anyone in Foxborough is eligible for a grant. In addition to helping groups, the committee also hopes to assist individual in needs such as the person whose house caught on fire and the victim that needs to escape an abusive situation. There are no limits to how much a money can be given to the application beyond the total yearly limit.

“Something we keep hearing is that there is no bad application. There are certainly guidelines but they have a lot of flexibility,” Smith said.

In addition, how the money is awarded is decided exclusively by 13 members that make up the committee. Kraft Group employees are not involved in the process.

As the distribution of the grants begin, some organizations have already benefited from the group. The Eagle Scouts recently received funds as part of their effort to install new shelving at the Doolittle Home, some veterans around town were assisted with financial issues, and a local special needs student received a little more than expected for a laptop.

“We didn’t think the mother asked for enough so I called her said, ‘we approved your application but we didn’t think you were nice enough to yourself so we want to get you a real robust computer that will carry him through high school and maybe into college,’” McGowan said.

The recent grants distributed are just the beginning. The committee is expected to review a large amount of new applications during their next meeting later in November.

Those interested in applying for a grant from the Partners in Patriotism fund can download the application here or can find one in the latest edition of the Partners in Patriotism newsletter.

We are a year into this organization and have gifted over 60,000 dollars to Foxboro organizations and residents. If you’d like to apply, please fill out the grant application for resident or the application for organization and sent to us. You can also email me with questions.

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