Community Chest Cornerstone grant applications open 

November 30, 2023

Innovation is all around us: Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT, autonomous vehicles and drone delivery, to name a few. The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and its Cornerstone Initiative for Innovation were early adopters of bringing innovative thinking, products and services to residents and businesses alike. 

Cornerstone, which has awarded more than $500,000, was established in 1995 by Mary Johnson to honor her late husband, founding Community Chest member Franklin Johnson. Recent Cornerstone-funded initiatives include: 

  • First Connections: a post-pandemic program targeting social skill development in children. 
  • MetroWest Legal Services/Emerson Hospital: a collaborative initiative integrating legal assistance as a component of patient care. 
  • Open Table: enhancements to the food pantry’s online/phone ordering system. 

In 2022, Cornerstone granted $25,000 to Brain Health Bootcamp, a non-profit providing online mental health education for students, parents and school communities. The curriculum launched as a pilot at Concord-Carlisle High School in 2021, grew in the 2022–2023 school year to include 9th–11th graders, and expands to seniors in 2024. 

“Mental health challenges are prevalent and consequential, yet widely unaddressed,” said co-founder Bryce Bjork, whose brother, Chase, died by suicide in 2020. “The statistics speak for themselves: 44% of teens struggle with mental health, 75% of mental illness starts in adolescence and 50% of those struggling never seek help. Research shows that mental health literacy promotes early action and better life outcomes.”  

Through the Cornerstone Initiative for Innovation, the Community Chest financially supports the positive impact non-profit organizations can have in addressing community needs. 

Grant applications for the 2023-2024 cycle opened to the public on November 17. For more information, visit or email