Westerman foundation logoEDMOND, Okla. (CNS) — The Westerman Foundation, based in Edmond, plans to award $1 million in grants to Catholic schools, parishes and charitable organizations and is currently accepting grant applications.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 1. Online applications are available on the foundation’s website, www.thewestermanfoundation.org.

Recipients will be announced in late September and funds will be distributed in December. Since the foundation was founded in 2000, it has awarded $5.5 million to nearly 250 organizations, primarily Catholic schools and parishes, across the country.


Catherine Belden, board president and CEO, said the foundation’s mission is to “provide financial support to educational institutions with emphasis on Catholic education; Christian based organizations, which promote family unity and values; and programs, which provide assistance to the poor and the abused.”

“We have given as little as $ 4,000 to a parish food pantry and that amount nearly doubled its annual budget,” she said in a statement, emphasizing that the grants should be “impactful” and the group wants to “make a difference, not just be the ones who write another small check to a multimillion dollar campaign.”

Belden encouraged potential applicants to review some of the testimonials on the foundation’s website.

Laura Westerman, who died in 2012, started the foundation as a means to continue the philanthropic work she and her husband, Howard, were supporting prior to his death in 1999. The Catholic couple, who lived in Dallas, raised seven children.