For the third consecutive year and amid an enhanced need, the Memphis Branch of the NAACP, the Kroger Stores-Delta Division and The New Tri-State Defender are teaming up to provide Uplift Our Community grants for local nonprofits.
“We are so appreciative to once again be giving grants out to the community,” said attorney Van Turner Jr., president of the Memphis Branch-NAACP, during a press announcement last Thursday (April 8). “This is an effort that really has been a joy for us partnering with Kroger and partnering with The New Tri-State Defender.
“We’re trying to assist the community in whichever we can. We know this has been a tough year. These grants are really, I think, going to help great organizations in our community.”
Vickie Terry, Memphis Branch-NAACP executive director, said almost $100,000 has been distributed through the Uplift Our Community grants.
“We want to continue to be the umbrella here in the community where we are covering our citizens, our organizations. We want to work with them. We want to be here to help them do some of the things that they want to do for the community,” Terry said.
The grants are designed to help Memphis communities be strengthened and improved by the efforts of nonprofit organizations. They are concentrated on three particular areas: improving the community, decreasing blight and decreasing crime.
Terry said applicants must have 501 c3 status. Applications are available online at www.naacpmemphis.org. Completed applications can be dropped off at NAACP headquarters at 588 Vance Ave. (38126) or mailed
Applications are due by May 7, with recipients announced on May 28. The maximum grant amount is $10,000.
“If you have a 501 c3, please don’t hesitate to apply,” said Terry. “Some have applied two years in row and you still can apply three years in a row.”
The Kroger representative was not available for the grant announcement. Teresa Dickerson, community affairs manager for Kroger Delta Division, has said partnering with the NAACP and The New Tri-State Defender is an ongoing effort to always be a good corporate citizen.
“We feed the human spirit,” she said as grants were awarded last year. “We want to see our community, our associates and our customers thrive, and we feel that these grant dollars will be well spent.”
Karanja A. Ajanaku, associate publisher/executive editor of The New Tri-State Defender, said the community grants are about caring.
“When I think about community grants I think about stimulus, I think about caring, I think of continuity and growth,” Ajanaku said.
“The grants help stimulate activity that already is going on. It’s a reflection that these groups are already caring and that the NAACP is interested in helping them go forth and The New Tri-State Defender also.”
As for continuity, it’s important to keep things going, Ajanaku said.
“During the pandemic it is easy to let go of things that you should be doing. Those groups that have kept it going, these grants will help them keep going. Each group touches so many others. It’s an exponential thing going on here.”
Growth, he said, is possible “even in these difficult times. It’s possible to get better. These grants will go a long way in helping with growth.”