Twelve local organizations have been selected to receive grants through the 2013 Dow Gives – Community Grants Program. More than 41 organizations applied for the program, which provides funding to projects focused in improving the long-term success and quality of life of local communities.

"I am very pleased that UCC Seadrift Operations is able to support such worthwhile projects that will benefit so many people in our area," said UCC Seadrift Operations Site Director Crystal King. "All the non-profits receiving funding are taking important action in making our communities even better places to live and on behalf of all the Seadrift Operations employees, I applaud their efforts."

One of the grant recipients is Calhoun High School. They will use their $3,138.76 grant to purchase equipment and supplies for the school’s award-winning robotics team.

"We are truly honored to be able to partner with Dow to energize local students about STEM-careers though our Robotics program," said Amy Boone, the Partners in Education Coordinator who submitted the grant. "Without this funding our program would have been on hold."

The Bartimaeus Foundation will receive a $7,490 grant to purchase equipment to offer free vision screenings to schools, churches and day cares in Victoria and surrounding counties.

Amy Kirkpatrick-Hartman, Therapeutic Optometrist and representative for The Bartimaeus Foundation, says "I get goosebumps thinking about all the vision problems we can prevent in children with the funding from Dow."

A committee of Dow employees and community members selected the recipients. They are as follows:

Austwell-Tivoli Independent School District - $8,883 for playground equipment for the Austwell-Tivoli Elementary school. The school serves as a community gathering point and the equipment will provide a means to increase physical activity and promote interaction.

Austwell Volunteer Fire Department - $8,427 for fire equipment needed to provide basic first responder services to the Austwell community.

Boys and Girls Club of Victoria, Inc. - $4,500 for exterior gym doors renovations to improve facility safety and program participation

Calhoun High School - $3,138.76 for supplies and equipment for the STEM Program (Developing Scientists, Technoligists, Engineers and Mathematicians) Robotics Team.

Golden Crescent CASA – $1,717.12 for communications tools to be used by CASE volunteers in the field. CASA volunteers advocate for the best interests of children who have been neglected and assist in placing them in nurturing permanent homes

Hospice of South Texas - $7,995 for portable ultrasound equipment to assist Hospice of South Texas Medical Directors in bedside treatment for their patients in an 11 service county region.

Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic School - $4,961.29 to install a rainwater harvesting system on their campus. The system will serve as a demonstration site so residents and businesses can see rainwater harvesting in action.

Port Lavaca First United Methodist Church Harvest Kitchen – $2,000 for kitchen equipment to be used in the Harvest Kitchen operated out of the church. The Harvest Kitchen reduces the number of hungry individuals in Calhoun County by feeding those in need a warm, home-cooked meal.

St. Peters Baptist Church – $4390.19 to place Automated External Defibrillators in church communities. Utilizing an AED on those with cardiac arrest can increase survival rates and help victims live longer, healthier lives.

The Bartimaeus Foundation - $7,490.00 for a SPOT machine to be used through the Future Sight project, which offers free vision screenings to schools, churches and day cares in Victoria and surrounding counties.

Victoria Adult Literacy Council - $2,013.00 for the Family Literacy in Practice program to purchase books for an after school family learning program.

Victoria Business and Education Coalition - $5,450 for supplies and equipment to educate youth about personal leadership and work readiness through the Sure B.E.T. program, the Business Cents program, the YOUth LEADership Conference and Dream Big STEM Expo

The organizations have until May 1, 2014 to complete their projects.

Dow has been providing community grants to communities in the Seadrift Operations area since 2004.