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Community Foundation Awards Celebrate Differences $5000 Grant

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley approved a $5000  grant to Celebrate Differences to support the organization’s social enterprise, A Pinch of Happiness Spice Shop.

A Pinch of Happiness is owned by Celebrate Differences and operated by our volunteers. In addition to selling spices, oils, teas, and coffee, the shop provides job skills to adults with disabilities. The goal is to teach them the skills they need to obtain employment. At the shop, they learn about job etiquette, interviewing skills, customer interaction and are involved in every aspect of the business.

“We wanted to make our job training program as accessible and inclusive as possible.”,said founder Rebecca Christiansen. The funds received enabled Celebrate Differences to purchase talking scales, large iPads, sifters, grinders, and a wheelchair accessible table. The new equipment makes learning skills more accessible to all of the adults who work at the shop.

At this time, the adults in the program cycle through a twelve-week training program. “Our program is unique because it allows our participants to be immersed in a real business and practice all aspects of a job. They really enjoy working in this type of fun, inclusive, and educational environment,” founder and president of Celebrate Differences, Rebecca Christiansen, said.

Celebrate Differences is committed to creating a place for families of children with disabilities to feel a part of a larger, accepting community. Celebrate Differences is an all-inclusive Disability Awareness Center, welcoming all children and their families regardless of age or disability. We offer services – such as informative monthly workshops, sib shops, annual summer and holiday party, book club, playgroups, social support groups and much more! We connect families through our outreach projects, our social activities, and social networking. We are proud of all we have accomplished thus far and cannot wait to expand our program in the future. If you would like to learn more about us, please visit our website: or like us on Facebook at and Differences.

About the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley 

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley is a non-profit, tax-exempt, philanthropic organization that administers individual charitable funds from which grants and scholarships are distributed to benefit the citizens of the Greater Aurora Area, the TriCities and Kendall County, Illinois.

Founded in 1948, the Foundation provides a simple and powerful approach to charitable giving. Individuals, families, businesses, and organizations have the opportunity to custom design their own named funds that reflect their charitable goals and interests. Since its inception, the Community Foundation has grown to more than $80 million in assets and has awarded more than $63 million in grants and scholarships.

For more information on the Foundation, visit www.

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

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