Jennifer Prince, grant writer for Crossroads Youth & Family Services, left, is presented with a $10,000 check from United Way of Norman president and CEO Darren Wilson, as the winner of The Launch grant.
The Epic Boxes program at Crossroads Youth & Family Services is the 2021 winner of a social innovation grant awarded by United Way of Norman.
Four non-profit organizations applied for The Launch grant, which is UWN’s second annual social-innovation grant program. The Epic Boxes program received the $10,000 grant to help Crossroads Youth & Family Services deliver boxes containing art therapy supplies, journals, bibliotherapy books and other supplies to promote healthy choices and prevent risky behaviors.
According to the UWN website, the boxes will be delivered to local middle school students to help manage mental wellness.
President and CEO of United Way of Norman, Darren Wilson, said The Epic Boxes is a highly beneficial program that launched during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know what our school kids are going through right now, it’s just a tough time,” Wilson said. “Certainly our school districts are doing incredible work, but when you have kids that have to quarantine and go back and forth between virtual and in person instruction, we have seen our kids are struggling, and for this to come about at this particular time, it could not have been better.”
Wilson said the grant will help Crossroads Youth & Family Services provide the boxes, which in turn will have a positive effect on their ability to give supportive services when necessary.
“They will be able to take their [community service] a step further and offer small group therapy sessions and counseling services as well,” Wilson said.
This year marks the second year of The Launch grant. The Virtue Center’s Move Through Recovery program was chosen as the recipient in 2020.