Our 2009 Project Sponsorship Winners
Small differences in the community can make a large difference in the world, so we want to support and encourage your efforts to get involved! In November 2009 we awarded five 501c (3) nonprofit organizations chosen by you with $20,000. What makes this really special is that all of you helped to choose them. Thanks for taking the time to vote for your favorites. Each winner will make a difference in their community thanks to your support, and that's the best news of all. Read more about the winning organizations.
Project Name: Boulders & Butterflies
Each winter during the rainy season, run-off from Coeur d'Alene Elementary School playground and parking lot floods the campus and the adjacent streets before entering the storm drain system. The Boulders and Butterflies native plant rain garden is designed to capture this precious water, create a beautiful native riparian habitat, and inspire other citizens of the school and neighborhood to do the same. The garden and the integrated curriculum will promote awareness of the local watersheds as a valuable resource.
Project Name: Bread for the City
With its innovative new Glean for the City project, Bread for the City has tapped into a new resource of fresh food for the tens of thousands low-income DC residents who require assistance putting food on their table. Glean for the City organizes weekly excursions into the fields of farms located near the DC metro area, where teams of volunteers collect literally tons of fresh produce (apples, corn, squash, etc.) that would otherwise go to waste. An abundance of food is available out there on farms - never to reach consumers because of a lack of resources, fickle markets, or minor cosmetic blemishes. So long as we collect it, box it up, and carry it off, we can have as much produce as we want, free of charge. By utilizing volunteer groups from the community, Glean for the City has reaped over 35,000 pounds (several tons a week) of free fresh produce. And this program has the potential to increase in scale. We are planning additional outreach efforts to local farms so that we may expand our roster of available produce outlets for the winter seasons as well as next year's harvest season (June-November).
Project Name: Corridor of Cruelty
The Houston Mobile Clinic Project will fund its Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) to aid animals who victims of abuse, abandonment, injury, illness and hunger in Houston's "Corridor of Cruelty & Neglect." They work with a rescue group that gets the animals to the mobile clinic for sterilization and then finds loving homes for them. The organization has nine trips planned to sterilize & vaccinate hundreds of animals in the area, mostly large dogs or other animals living with indigent families unaware of or unable to offer proper care.
Project Name: Rutherford Housing Project
The Rutherford Housing Project builds ramps that provide handicap access to an estimated 15-20 low-income homeowners in the county who are unable to safely access their own homes. RHP provides urgent repairs for low-income homeowners, and ramps are one of the most common needs we see. Volunteers provide all of our labor; donations and grants provide materials. Handicap ramps provide safe access to and from the home, giving disabled homeowners independence and the dignity they deserve.
Project Name: Grow Food, Grow Hope Garden Initiative
In a community racked by massive job loss, our primary mission is to lessen the effects of poverty through fresh food access. To that end, our first project was establishing a 20-plot vegetable garden for low-to-fixed income families, with all supplies, tools and training given for free by Wilmington College. This grant will help us expand our garden to 40 plots to help feed 20 more families in 2010, and purchase the necessary supplies for that expansion.
We are planning an expansive backyard garden project for 2010, in which we'll seek out in-need families and give them the resources to build and plant their own backyard gardens to help supplement their food supply. With the Tom's of Maine Community Improvement grant, we'll be able to buy all of the supplies for that project and ensure its sustainability in the future. Education is essential for sustainability, and so it is a critical part of our organization. We are building partnerships with local school districts to establish school gardens for students, and we started a successful food literacy program to teach food issues and healthful habits to children. In 2010 we plan on spearheading a campaign to educate our community about CSA programs (community supported agriculture) and our grower's co-op, both of which help connect local growers with consumers and distributors.