The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation is pleased to report on its year ended December 31, 2014. The Foundation serves residents of Bandera, Bexar, Comal, and Kendall counties in Texas by (i) awarding grants across the wide range of charitable purposes summarized in the Foundation's Program Guidelines and (ii) inspiring action and bringing together coalitions to address root causes of the issues these communities face.
During 2014, 151 grants totaling $15.8 million were approved for 121 non-profit organizations covering all four counties in the service area of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. These grants are made possible by the remarkable generosity of the Kronkoskys. Our communities are fortunate to benefit from the dedicated work done by thousands of caring staff and volunteers who carry out the missions of numerous non-profit agencies that serve our communities in so many areas of need. The organizations we fund are valued partners in the work of the Foundation.
Grants in Honor of
Albert Kronkosky, Jr. and Bessie Mae Kronkosky
From inception through December 2014, the Foundation has made grants totaling $217.5 million. The impact of the generosity of the Kronkoskys on the area non-profit community has been simply tremendous. The Foundation honors each of its founders annually by making an unsolicited, unrestricted grant in their honor to a non-profit previously supported by the Foundation.
In May 2014, Friends of Cibolo Wilderness received a $50,000 grant in honor of Mr. Albert Kronkosky, Jr. in support of its operations. The Cibolo Nature Center is responsible for 162 acres of wilderness and 4 miles of Cibolo Creek. Visitors can enjoy hiking the trails of the varied ecosystems or picnicking around the Cibolo Creek area. The Nature Center is made up of native Texas prairie, marsh, cedar woodlands, and is home to numerous species of animals and plants. The center provides several educational programs for children and adults to learn about nature as well as demonstration projects to educate landowners on how to maintain natural areas. Demonstration gardens and a weekly farmers market are located at the farm area of the park. Professional research is also conducted at the center and at the adjacent 600 acres of protected land, by both trained volunteers and scientists, to monitor and survey the natural areas.
In December 2014, CASA of Central Texas, Inc. received $50,000 in honor of Mrs. Bessie Mae Kronkosky. In 2014, Comal County had 435 confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect. The CASA of Central Texas program provides trained volunteers who are sanctioned by the courts to gather information to advocate for children removed by the state from the home due to abuse and/or neglect. The program provides extensive training for volunteer advocates and case supervision by professional staff. Volunteers routinely go beyond the scope of their responsibilities. It is not uncommon for them to spend additional time mentoring the child and assisting CPS caseworkers in assessing new placements for children. In 2014, Comal County CASA volunteers donated 6,558 hours of volunteer time and drove 58,396 uncompensated miles.
Initiatives and Partnerships
This year, the Foundation introduced its Initiatives and Partnerships program, which will focus on determining the greatest needs for which the Foundation can make a profound difference in the region it serves, and within its program areas. Initiatives will be identified through such processes as assessment and evaluation programs, and roundtable discussions. Working with strategic planning and analytics, a collaboration infrastructure can be designed to attack gaps in services, recruiting resources to develop a collective impact effort between the Foundation, other funders, legacy gifts, and the community at large.
The Foundation’s Initiatives and Partnerships programs for 2015 will focus on (1) providing a seamless continuum of services for families dealing with autism; (2) understanding the community’s perspectives on child protection in Bexar County and attending to inefficiencies in the system; and (3) addressing transportation challenges facing individuals in need and the agencies who wish to provide them services.
The Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative continues to be a major focus of the Foundation and is the largest privately funded initiative that focuses on parents and young children in Bexar and surrounding counties. The objective of the Precious Minds, New Connections (PMNC) Initiative is to help parents understand the importance of the first three years of life when their child’s brain is developing so rapidly. Parents are exposed to information and skills that help maximize their child’s potential during this critical time – with the greatest focus being placed on the nurturing relationship between parent and child. Ultimately, we hope to have a positive effect on every family with a young child in our service area.
The Foundation funded 20 parenting education programs during 2014 with funding of approximately $3.4 million. Partner agencies are equipped with everything from parent educators, meals, childcare, incentives and data management services. The programs include both site-based and home visitation services. See the Precious Minds, New Connections section of this Website for more information on this important initiative of the Foundation.
In late 2014, we launched our PMNC Facebook page and are working to increase viewership and participation (please “like” us at Precious Minds, New Connections on Facebook). We are currently encouraging every parent to “like” us and several of the Program Managers are actively creating posts and sharing relevant information.
The Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative includes grant making in the area of parenting education as well as funding other programs within the community that promote early brain development of infants and toddlers. We suggest that non-profit agencies active in every program area of the Foundation consider how their work affects early childhood development. We anticipate funding early childhood programs in museums, parks, libraries and other areas. We hope this initiative will help put our service area on the leading edge of developing child-centered communities.