Catholic Charities receives $100,000 grant

By Kirsten Pederson, Special to the Florida Catholic

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., has received a $100,000 grant as part of The Cigna Group Foundation Healthier Kids For Our Future® initiative to help support the organization’s youth mental health programs that provide school-based services for youth in Lee County public schools.

The Cigna Group Foundation’s Healthier Kids For Our Future program is a nationwide initiative that provides funding to non-profit organizations that are working to improve the health and well-being of children and families.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from The Cigna Group Foundation,” said Eddie Gloria, Catholic Charities Chief Executive Officer. “This funding will allow us to expand our Youth Mental Health Services Program in Lee County public schools and provide much needed support to struggling young people in our community. We are committed to using this funding to make a meaningful impact in the lives of young, and with the support from The Cigna Group Foundation and other donors, Catholic Charities is able to provide licensed mental health counselors to offer onsite one-on-one counseling in respective Lee County public schools.”

Joe McNair, Catholic Charities Director of Behavioral Health, added, “This grant provides the funds to eliminate barriers to access care, care that many families need but cannot afford, and provides an innovative model to address the mental health needs of our youth.”

“Today’s youth are facing many challenges that impact their mental health,” said Bonnie Mann, program officer for The Cigna Group’s Healthier Kids For Our Future grant program. “By providing Lee County students access to much-needed services, we can put them on a path to thrive, not only during their school years but their entire lives. The skills they learn now will help them become healthy adults. We are excited to be a part of this great program.”

For more information on Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice, Inc., and its Youth Mental Health Services program, please contact Joe McNair at

Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice, Inc., is a nonprofit founded in 1984 by the Diocese of Venice in Florida and serves as a resource to the community, offering assistance in the area of health and human services, food pantries, counseling, legal assistance, rapid re-housing, education, and disaster response. Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice serves 10 Southwest Florida counties, including Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, and Sarasota. The mission of Catholic Charities is to provide help, create hope, and serve all. For more information, visit