Nazareth Association
Nazareth Association

Special Needs Community Grants

In keeping with our mission of community service, the Nazareth Association established a grant-funding program entitled the “Special Needs Community Grant.” The program is in recognition of over a century of dedication and work so generously given to communities throughout Michigan, and the world, by the Sisters of St. Joseph (now, the Congregation of St. Joseph).

Grants totaling $10,000, or more, are awarded to qualified applicants once a year. They are designed to provide financial assistance for special needs of various ministries and facilities sponsored or endorsed by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth, Michigan. Grants will be awarded on a “needs” basis for partial or full coverage of projects not fully funded by other sources in the following areas:

  • For special needs such as transportation, equipment, and materials.
  • For professional development, training, credit, or certification.

Grants totaling $149,697 have been awarded since 1994 through 2021. Some examples of the assistance our grants have provided are: sewing machines, after-school programs, pre and post-natal care, reading materials, spiritual outreach, computers, assistance to families struggling with AIDS and substance abuse, hospice care, massage therapy equipment, audio books, training in non-violence, prison ministry, human trafficking and programs for children with special needs.

Special Needs Community Grant Committee for 2021:

  • Karen Tavernier Yellich (Chair & Board Member)
  • Mary Redmond
  • Priscilla Swiat
  • Kathy Creek
  • Joyce McNally



2021 Grant Awards went to:

Friends of Returning Citizens, Detroit

Cathey DeSantis, CSJ ~ $2000

The purpose of FORC is to provide resources to address physical, mental and emotional needs, etc. to aid recently released prisoners. The funding is for a partime individual to coordinate appointments and contacts to assis the people in the program to make the transition back into society a success.


La Casa Gradalupana, Detroit

Marie Benzing, CSJ ~ $1500

La Casa is an established family literacy program serving the Hispanic community of southeast Detroit. The money is for family enrichment programs on weekends, field trips to museums and other cultural experiences. In addition, opportunities for individualized access to reading and math.


YWCA, Edison Neighborhood Childhood Resource Center, Kalamazoo

Rita Ann Teichman, CSJ ~ $200

Funds will be used to purchase 10 copies of Circle of Life and 10 copies of That All May Be One. These books will be used by CSJs and CSJ Associates in small group discussions to develop a common unified vision as volunteers at this new center.


Barrios Unidos en Cristo, Detroit

Nina Rodriguez, CSJ ~ $2000

The funds will cover a portion of the expenses for two retreats, one for women, one for men -- recovering addicts. The retreats have become an annual event. The benefits are evident when retreatants return to help the following year.


Ministry to the Elderly, Flint

Rose Lambers, CSJ and Mary Norman, CSJ ~ $500

Support for in-home visits to elderly shut-ins, provides food assistance, running errands, books for Lent and Easter, small treats, etc. in this very needy neglected diverse area in Flint.


N.E.W. Life Ministry, Flint

Judy Blake, CSJ ~ $2000

Funds intended to purchase books for children to involve their parents, in turn, to read to them (as Learners). Books are taken to shelters and soup kitchens. Also, they have partnered with the Genesee Intermediate School District to expand arena for greater access to reading materials.


San Juan Diego Resource Center, Warsaw, IN

Joan Hastreiter, CSJ ~ $1800

The Resource Center functions as an important gathering place for folks in the community, especially refugeees, Books in English and Spanish are requested as well as religious articles to supply this non-profit book store that strives to meet the needs of the people served.


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2020 Grant Awards went to:

Gianna House, East Point, MI,

Helen Susalla, CSJ ~ $1500

This is an Outreach Program providing support for all pregnant women on the East side of Michigan through classes and support groups. The funds will help with the overwhelming urgency to meet the needs for basic supplies, baby and mother toiletries and diapers.


Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, Galesburg, MI,

Virginia Jones, CSJ ~ $750

Given in support of a major project to provide barrier-free access to Bow-In-The-Cloud, a hidden gem connecting with nature located at the far north end of the Nazareth Campus.


Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, Detroit,

Mary Catherine DeSantis, CSJ ~ $1500

FORC (Friends of Returning Citizens ) is a new program designed to meet the needs of folks recently released from prison. The Funds are for a computer to be used, with guidance, to find housing and work. The Directors are resource people to support their re-entry to the "outside".


The Workshop Way, Chase City, VA, Mary Anne Dalton, CSJ ~ $400

The request is to fund a Zoom account with The Workshop Way, plus to urchase two totally redesigned virtual Workshop training programs: Kindergarten Thinkers and Grade 1 Thinkers.


La Casa Guadalupana, Detroit, Marie Banzing, CSJ ~ $2000

Awarded to purchase 10 Chromebooks to support internet learning. They will be loaned during "stay at home" times. It continues the on-going literacy program for children and parents.


Kalamazoo, MI YWCA, KORU House, Rita Ann Teichman, CSJ ~ $900

A computer was requested for use at a Women's Shelter to safely look for housing, childcare and employment. It would provide access to search options and assist with resume building.


Strangers No Longer, Detroit, Nina Rodriguez, CSJ ~ $2000

This grant is in support of the programs designed to assist immigrants in their adjustment to a new community, a new way of life and help with food, medical needs, transportation, etc.

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2019 Grant Awards went to:

The Workshop Way, Based in Virginia, Mary Anne Dalton, CSJ  ~  $800

Sr. Mary Anne is a dedicated educator and continues her mission as a consultant working with classroom teachers. She will be working with a Kalamazoo Public School K-3 Early Childhood Program as well as a similar program in rural Virginia. Funds will provide needed resource materials as well as travel assistance.


Centro de San Jose', Marie Benzing, CSJ  ~  $2000

The focus is on family literacy supporting literacy for adults and children in the Hispanic community of southwest Detroit. This monetary gift will help support a 2 week summer program for grades

2 to 8 with a focus on furthering their reading and math skills. It will include two field trips and breakfast.


San Juan Diego Resource Center, Warsaw, IN

Joan Hastreiter, CSJ  ~  $1500

The need for resource material to enhance faith formation, world view, inclusiveness and support for life expericnces is on-going. The intent is to provide quality religious and inspirational books, including several bi-lingual offerings, for folks in Warsaw and the surrounding area.


Benton Harbor Girls Academy, Benton Harbor, MI

Teresa Blundell, Nazareth Associate  ~  $1000

November 2006, Dr. Patricia Ann Quattrin decided to establish a school for young girls in Benton Harbor, MI. Since the beginning the enrollment has fluctuated from year to year. Last year there were 10 girls total in grades 4th to 8th. Twelve students are anticipated to enroll this fall. This year's grant is awarded towards the purchase of new computers for the classroom.

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2018 Grant Awards went to:

The Workshop Way, based in Virginia, Mary Anne Dalton, CSJ  ~  $770 

Educating and supporting teachers in proven ways to effectively communicate with their students is very important. Funds will provide needed resource materials for phonics and reading as well as travel assistance.


Heart Sisters, Kalamazoo, Goretti Germain, CSJ  ~  $1000

Informing vlunerable girls who are working in jobs that could be human trafficking and sexual prostitution there is another life by building relationships, restoring hope, supporting change.


Gianna House Residence, Detroit, Helen Susalla, CSJ  ~  $1500

Choose Life for teenage girls to have their baby and teach them mothering skills. They can stay up to one year, complete their GED and learn life skills, providing a posibive start for their future.


Barrios Unidos en Cristo, Detroit, Nina Rodriguez, CSJ  ~  $1000

A program for all who want to change from addiction using a retreat format that provides prayer, reading, discussion and reflection. Funds are used to purchase manuals and other material for our retreats.


Centro de San Jose', Marie Benzing, CSJ  ~  $2000

Educaation of students and their parents in a casual atmosphere to enhance the learning experience for both. The focus is on developing and enhancing math skills for families by using math-based games which they design and can take home.


San Juan Diego Resource Center,  Joan Hastreiter, CSJ  ~  $1500

                     Warsaw, IN

Refugees need to have published bi-lingual documents to share their positive or other constructive experiences with others. It acknowledges their value and presence in the community.


Benton Harbor Girls Academy, Benton Harbor, MI,

                                        Teresa Blundell, Nazareth Associate  ~  $2000

Introducing students, using a Late Day program setting, to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Students can benefit from the opportunity to do something creative using a combination of new skills and direction.


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2017 Grant Awards went to:

Barrios Unidos en Cristo - Nina Rodriguez, CSJ - $1,000 to be used to purchase material for retreats, workshops, and other activities in the outreach programs for families in an Hispanic community located in one of the oldest parishes in Detroit. Members of these families are dealing with an ongoing battle with addiction.

Benton Harbor Girls Association - Teresa C. Blundell, CSJ Associate - $1,425 to partner with the Citadell Music and Dance Center teaching msic, dance and drama in a program call I Am Saving Myself . Every student participates.

Centro de San Jose - Marie Benzing, CSJ - $1,600 will support a series of four week workshops. It is providing books to families while it promotes the experience of reading to the children and learning English along the way. The goal is to get books that can be read together into homes.

Creative Community Pathways Healthy Living Corporation - Phyllis Davis Williams and Mary Anne Dalton, CSJ - $1,500 to pay some of the expenses of Mary Anne Dalton, CSJ and WorkshopWay team in presenting a weeklong demonstration-educational workshop with 20 participants (made up of the Pathways' group of professional and community members in the Detroit area). 

 Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance  - Cathey DeSantis, CSJ - $975 to help buy materials and supplies, plus pay gas mileage and lunch for the two retired engineers who are the instructors for two workshops for The Tuskegee Spirit Project. This project teaches 16 children (ages 9 to 14) math and science skills while also giving them experience with small machines and tools. There are two workshops in which the students make the parts and assemble all sorts of wonderful things, e.g., tables, bookends, lamps.

The Holley Institute - Jacqueline A. Wetherholt, CSJ - $1,000 will provide some of the money for a program called ACORN (Artistry, Communication, Opportunity, Resourcefulness, Nurture). The participants develop pride, self-esteem and independence while learning theater craft in a beautiful outdoor setting near Brooklyn, Michigan. The Holley Institute provides support services for our population of deaf and hard of hearing middle and high school students.

New Life Literacy Center - Judy Blake, CSJ - $1,000 will be used to fund Project Transportation. The learners who come to the Literacy Center are there to have tutoring they need to take and pass the GED test. This grant makes transportation by bus possible for GED participants.

San Juan Diego Resource Center - Joan Hastreiter, CSJ - $1,500 - will be used to serve a diverse population of bi-lingual and multi-cultural local residents by providing a bookstore making religious reading matrials and other religious items available for those who are continuing on a faith journey. They need a technology upgrade to efficiently serve their community. They also need a web site, business                                                                        cards, and a permanent ad in the parish bulletin.

2017 Grant Award Recipients

Grants from previous years were awarded to:

  • Amigos de Jesus (Latino women's support group)
  • Barrios Unidos en Christo
  • Bethany House, Kalamazoo, MI
  • The Benton Harbor Girls Association for Learning and Self-Esteem, Benton Harbor, MI
  • Borgess Gardens, Nazareth, MI
  • Borgess Health, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Borgess Resounding Spirit, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Cantera, a Niaraguan NGO
  • Catholic Community Center, Benton Harbor, MI
  • Catholic Family Services, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Catholic Social Services, Stanton, MI
  • Centro de San Jose~ Detroit MI
  • The Choral Group at Dillon Hall, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Congregation of St. Joseph, Nazareth Center, History Room, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Congregation of St. Joseph, Personal Action Toward Health, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Corazones Unidos, Lima, Peru
  • Covenant Community Care~ Detroit MI
  • Dads Love to Read, Detroit MI
  • Department of Infectious Diseases, Lima, Peru
  • Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, Detroit, MI
  • Detroit Pastoral Alliance/McClellan Block Club Activities, Detroit, MI
  • Diocese of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Dos de Mayo Hospital, Lima, Peru
  • Earth Ministries, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Equipo Docentes, Nasca, Peru
  • Faith in Action of Upper Pinellas, Dunedin, FL
  • Fontbonne Manor, Nazareth, MI
  • Gianna House Pregnancy and Parenting Residence, Detroit, MI
  • Guidance Center (Detroit)
  • Gussy Up Your Spirit Women's Event, Wayne, MI
  • Hispanic Outreach, Macomb, MI
  • Holley Ear Institute, St. John Health System, Brooklyn, MI
  • Holley Ear Institute, Detroit, MI
  • Holy Cross Parish, Marine City, MI
  • Holy Redeemer Parish, Detroit, MI
  • Holy Redeemer Grade School Alternative Learning Program, Detroit, MI
  • Hope for Creation (inter-faith group & climate change)
  • Immigration Assistance Program, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Jonestown Health Center, Jonestown, MS
  • Latino Women's Empowerment Center, Detroit, MI
  • Lemkin House Inc.(Rosie’s Place in former Nazareth farm house)
  • Kairos Dwelling, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Macomb County Warming Center~ Eastpointe MI
  • Manitou Arbor Ecovillage, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Michigan Peace Team, Detroit, MI
  • Ministry with Community, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Nazareth Center Assisted Living Residents, Nazareth, MI
  • Nazareth Home, Hobart, IN
  • N.E.W. Life Adult Literacy Program~ Flint MI
  • Office of Hispanic Ministry, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Middle School for Girls, Detroit, MI
  • Our Lady on the River Parish, Marine City MI
  • Outreach East Program, Davison, MI
  • The Parish of Huaura, Huaura, Peru
  • Powers Catholic High School, Flint, MI
  • Resurrection House, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Servico De Enfermedades Infeccuosis, Lima, Peru
  • Sisters of St. Joseph, Nazareth, MI
  • Shrine Catholic High School, Royal Oak, MI
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Detroit, MI
  • SSJ Office of Peace and Justice, Nazareth, MI
  • St. Benedict School, Highland, MI
  • St. Catherine of Siena~ Portage MI
  • St. Edward on the Lake Catholic School, Lakeport, MI
  • St. Frances Cabrini Clinic, Detroit, MI
  • St. Francis Cabrini of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Detroit, MI
  • St. John Vianney School, Flint, MI
  • St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Saginaw, MI
  • St. John’s Hospital, Detroit, MI
  • St. Joseph Health System, Tawas MI
  • St. Luke Catholic Church, Flint, MI
  • St. Luke Catholic Church North End Women's Center, Flint, MI
  • St. Luke Parish, Detroit, MI
  • St. John's Health System
  • St. Joseph Health System, Tawas MI
  • St. Rose of Lima Parish, Hastings, MI
  • St. Thomas More Student Parish, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Tawas St. Joseph Parish, Tawas, MI
  • Transformations CSJ Center, Nazareth, MI
  • Workshop Way, Inc
  • Zambia Program, Zambia, Africa
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Nazareth Association
3901 Emerald Dr, Ste N
Kalamazoo, MI 49001-7923

Phone: (269) 342-1191