DETROIT – For every major nonprofit organization, there are dozens of smaller ones struggling to keep doing good in the community. That mission got a little easier Tuesday.
Representatives from 23 local nonprofit organizations went to the Detroit Athletic Club and accepted a generous grant from the Catholic Foundation of Michigan.
A total of almost $90,000 was granted to the nonprofits -- a strong start, considering it was the first year of the grant program.
"It was amazing and inspiring to find so many people who are doing good to help people in need," said Anthony Schenn, the chair of the Catholic Foundation of Michigan grant program.
One recipient of a grant was St. Mary's Catholic Central High School in Monroe, which needed money for an inclusion program that would allow students with moderate to severe learning disabilities to attend SMCC.
The program would directly impact an incoming freshman named Jacob Goda, who had been dreaming of going to SMCC like the rest of his family.
"My husband and I graduated from there," Goda's mother said. "My parents had gone there, and our two other children."
When the inclusion program was accepted because of the grant, SMCC was able to hire the help it needed for including students with learning disabilities. Goda's parents broke the good news to him by wrapping up an SMCC jersey as a gift and letting him open it.
"We said, 'Do you know what this means?'" Goda's mother said. "He said, 'Yes, I'm going to be a Falcon just like my brother and sister.'"
Goda is now a Falcon and said he loves his teachers.
"They're funny, cool," Goda said. "They're the best teachers I've ever had."
His family has seen tremendous growth in Goda since he started in September.
"It's been wonderful to see him grow socially and emotionally," his mother said. "His maturity has really grown."