Our Whole Community, Inc. a local, non-profit faith-based collaborative, has been awarded a three-year, $120,700 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), through its Community Health Work Group, to further its goal of bringing faith communities together to share resources and promote whole person health in congregations throughout Central Florida.
Launched in 2007 with grant support through the WPHF’s Think~Act~Be Healthy Communities initiative, the Our Whole Community now has six faith community members representing a variety of religious denominations and it continues to grow.
The award provides funding for a part time director, a community gardening coordinator and health program resources and supplies. Plans also call for an annual showcase of church wellness programs and producing a resource directory for educational classes—such as nutrition and medical issues—offered in the community.
“The grant takes us to the next level as we move from an all-volunteer effort to a staffed organization,” said Lavon Williams, Chairman of Our Whole Community. “It will help us significantly expand our shared health program resources and allow us to achieve our vision of being a resource center for faith communities.”
Current members of Our Whole Community, Inc. include First United Methodist Church, Winter Park; Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Eatonville; St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Winter Park; Winter Park Presbyterian Church, Winter Park; New Covenant Baptist Church of Orlando, and St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Altamonte Springs.
According to the proposal, Our Whole Community will serve as a broker of coordinated educational and health initiatives within faith communities which foster wholeness (spiritual, physical, mental, relational and emotional) and develop increased community awareness through dissemination of information and programs.
It encourages intergenerational physical fitness and healthy nutrition, and maintains a website featuring healthy activities and programs offered by all of the organization members.