Naples non-profit Eden Autism Services Florida received a $5,000 donation from Trinity by the Cove Episcopal Church’s Grant Commission earlier this year to purchase umbrellas for the outdoor play area at the school it operates for children with autism. Eden Florida was one of 39 Collier non-profits to share in the commission’s $140,000 worth of donations.

“We are very thankful for the church’s support,” said Eden Florida executive director Susan Suarez. “The umbrellas provide much needed shade on the playground, making play time more comfortable for our students.” This is the first time Eden Florida has received a grant from Trinity by the Cove in its grant commission’s 30-year history. 

Commission chair Marilyn Tiburski said the grants are awarded to Collier County 501(c) 3 charities for improvements, equipment or special aids. Grants cannot be used to cover normal operating expenses and funds must remain in Collier County.

“The application process consists of both a written form and interview,” Tiburski says. “We make decisions based on the merits of each organization’s presentation, how well they are organized and execute their missions, as well as how they collaborate with other charitable agencies in the county. Eden Florida’s presentation was excellent.” Members of the commission also visited the school for a tour and discussion on the children it serves and its program with one of Eden Florida’s teachers.