Our annual Open Hearts and Junior Open Hearts Awards are cash grants available to houses of faith across the U.S. The awards help fund projects that make it possible for members of all abilities to participate in their worshipping community.
Applicants for the Junior Open Hearts Awards must be age 5-18. Parents and religious leaders may help to facilitate applications or children can submit applications on their own.
Your application should include:
- Completed application form.
- Video or essay with photos. Junior Open Hearts Awards applicants may submit a video, essay with photos or original artwork.
- Complete list of vendors, suppliers, and/or construction companies used or will use to complete your project.
- Complete list of costs of the project including electronic photos and descriptions of items used such as grab bars, large print prayer books, assistive listening devices, etc.
- Written request for funding up to $1,000.
- In a short video or a short essay with a series of photos, show how your congregation welcomes and includes individuals of all abilities in worship, ministries, fellowship, religious education, and leadership roles. Include information on your specific completed or planned project and how it expands access, inclusion and participation by individuals of all abilities.
Example of Junior Open Hearts Award Winning Video
Example of Junior Open Hearts Award Winner Follow-up Video
Example of Open Hearts Award Winning Essay with Photos Click Here
Example of Open Hearts Award Grant Use Reply Form Click Here
- You must provide a completed photo release for any individuals pictured in your video or essay.
- You must use People First Language. To be considered for an award, videos and essays must use “people first language”. Words should be chosen with care to promote dignity and respect and to focus on the person first rather than their disability. For example, rather than saying “a disabled person,” say “a person with a disability”. Rather than saying, “a wheelchair bound man,” say “a man who uses a wheelchair”. Do not use the word “handicapped”, instead say “accessible parking”, “accessible seating area”, and “accessible washroom”.
Submit nominations electronically to info@InclusionInWorship.org.
Annual Application Deadline: August 1
2018 Open Hearts Awards Winners
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Charles, IL
Fredericktown United Methodist Church, Fredericktown, OH
Mishkan Chicago, Chicago, IL
Mustard Seed Project of Loyola University Chicago Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education
Proyecto Samy Inc., Bronx, NY
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago Commission on Mental Illness
St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church, Glenview, IL
St. James Catholic Church, Arlington Heights, IL
St. John Berchmans Catholic Church, Chicago, IL
Twin Falls United Methodist Church, Munroe Falls, OH
Wittenberg Lutheran Campus Center, Normal, IL
See how the winners plan to use their grants to make their houses of faith more accessible.
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Open Hearts Awards Applications
Forms to complete to be considered for one of the Open Hearts Awards