Nike Community Stores, Including The Detroit Community Store, Are Giving Back $240,000 To Their Communities Through Grants To Youth Organizations. (Photo: Business Wire)

Nike Community Stores across the country are giving back $240,000 to their communities through recent grants by the Nike Community Impact Fund (NCIF). The NCIF is an innovative approach to grant-making that engages a committee of Nike employees and store athletes from across the U.S. to directly impact the local communities where they live and work by awarding grants to organizations that give youth early, positive experiences in sport and physical activity and strengthen communities. Community Stores in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Ivy City in Washington, D.C., the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn and East Los Angeles have awarded $240,000 in grants to 48 nonprofit organizations and schools, in partnership with CAF America, to support projects that build strong communities and give kids opportunities to experience the power of physical activity, sport and play.

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Nike Community Stores, including the Detroit Community Store, are giving back $240,000 to their comm ...

Nike Community Stores, including the Detroit Community Store, are giving back $240,000 to their communities through grants to youth organizations. (Photo: Business Wire)

Since 2010, the Nike Community Impact Fund has awarded more than 375 nonprofit organizations with more than $3.75 million in grants. With this recent round of grants, the total impact for 2016 is $800,000, including grants in Oregon where NCIF began and the national expansion of the program.

"Our Community Store Ambassadors are passionate about getting involved in their communities," said Caitlin Morris, Nike's Senior Director of North America Community Impact. "By connecting Nike's Community Stores to local grant programs, we look forward to fostering even deeper connections to provide youth with early, positive experiences in sport and physical activity."

Grant Recipients Reflect the Health and Vitality of Local Communities

At the Detroit Community Store, one recipient for the inaugural grant program is the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan. The club is devoted to guiding and supporting children ages 6-18 in five core areas: the arts; character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; and sports, fitness and recreation. With the grant, the organization will create a co-ed basketball league.

Tim Carroll, Head Coach of the Detroit Community Store, oversaw the grant process in his community. "We wanted to focus on organizations that are striving to make physical activity, play and sport a highly valued part of everyday life for our athletes in the Detroit area," Carroll said. "The Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan is doing just that through their co-ed basketball league."

He added, "Our Nike Store athletes already have a strong relationship with the Boys and Girls Club, spending a few days a week volunteering there. During the afterschool program they lead young athletes in games and activities. We're excited to deepen our connection with them through this new grant."

"We are very grateful to our local Detroit Community Store, The Nike Community Impact Fund and CAF America for their support of our co-ed basketball league," said Patrice Dicken, Club Director, Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan-Lloyd H. Diehl Club. "At the Boys & Girls Club, we want our kids to succeed. Through the co-ed basketball team, we'll be able to provide even more opportunities for our youth to participate in a structured environment that will help them develop skills, increase fitness, learn strategy and practice good sportsmanship."

At the South Chicago Community Store, Caitlyn Hickey, Community Store Ambassador, emphasized the need to hire positive role models who want to be part of the local community. "At the Chicago Community Store, we like to be a positive role model in kids' lives. Having Nike involved at their school is really impactful to these kids."

Prior to the grant process, the Chicago Community Store was already involved with the Gary Comer Youth Center, where Community Store Ambassadors—store employees that have received training in providing early, positive experiences in sport and physical activity--have been helping kids who may be struggling in physical education classes, by working with them to move to the next level. They also talk to kids about career development, how to develop a resume and do interviews, and what life is like after high school. When the grant opportunity came up, Caitlin Hickey personally went out and helped school administrators through the step-by-step grant process. "It was really rewarding to be involved in that portion of the grant process, helping them apply and eventually get chosen as a grant recipient," said Hickey.

International Expansion of NCIF

Nike is proud to be expanding the Nike Community Impact Fund to Europe. Nike employees in Nike's European Headquarters in Hilversum, Netherlands, and European Logistics Center in Laakdal, Belgium, will help direct more than $350,000 (USD) of Nike's community investments in Europe.