Local nonprofit groups and other community organizations got a big financial boost from a longtime supporter.
The Alexander Eastman Foundation awarded $498,813 in grant money to groups serving Derry, Londonderry, Windham, Chester, Sandown and Hampstead.
The foundation awards the money every year to support healthcare, mental health, dental care, developmental and rehabilitative services, education, nutrition, and continuing education of health professionals.
One local organization reaping grant awards is Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, a group that works to help elderly and disabled remain independent in their homes. Caregivers got $17,500 in funding.
Caregivers’ Executive Director Cindee Tanuma said Alexander-Eastman is a good partnership.
“You can lean on them for advice, inspiration and strategic help,” Tanuma said. “They challenge you to be the best version of yourself and their reporting process holds you accountable and help you recognize the work that you have accomplished.”
Another Derry facility, The Upper Room, was awarded $30,000 in grant funding.
Executive director Kimberly Bavaro said the money is a critical resource for many nonprofit groups.
“To my knowledge, they are the only foundation that focuses exclusively on the health and well-being of the greater Derry community,” Bavaro said. “As such, they have been a cornerstone of support for The Upper Room and a steadfast partner in helping us make a difference for children and families.”
That support comes, Bavaro said, when times are difficult and budgets are tight.
Alexander Eastman has a long history.
Dr. Harrison Alexander was a Derry dentist. He died during the Great Depression and left money to the town of Derry to help create a community hospital.
When another town benefactor, Mrs. Charles Hood, also left her grandfather Benjamin Eastman’s ancestral home to the town, the Alexander-Eastman Hospital effort began.
The hospital opened in 1934, operating as a community facility for 48 years. The hospital eventually became Parkland Medical Center.