This year, over $160,000 was donated to local nonprofits here in Red Hook, as well as nonprofits across the country for which our ambassadors volunteer. Below are short descriptions of each grant.
Red Hook Public Library - “Red Hook Grows Up” was a theatrical collaboration between Cocoon Theatre and staff at the RHPL. The $6,000 grant supported this ambitious undertaking involving many diverse groups of people. “Cocoon Theatre’s commitment to a collaborative, community-based approach to both visual and performing arts allowed the Public Library to offer participants a summer of new skills and experiences, involving more members of the community than any summer before.”
Backpack Program - This was our fourth year serving Mill Road students with weekend foodstuffs; we provided $3,500 to the Regional Food Bank for weekly backpacks for about 25 students at Mill Road. We’re grateful to Linda Piastro, the program coordinator, and retired teacher volunteers, who assist in the project.
Brothers at Bard - a Mentor-Mentee program coordinating Bard College men of color and students at Kingston High School. A first year grant from us at $25,000 will sustain a vibrant and dynamic program which is housed at Bard’s Center for Civic Engagement. “BAB provides year round programming and has the unique ability to empower young men by exposing them to high achieving men of color who are currently attending a selective four-year college.”
Culture Connect- Our second year $5,000 grant will support the Life, Learning, and Language After School program at Mill Road. “The goals of the program are to enhance language and other academic skills, promote confidence, address achievement gaps, foster interpersonal and social relationships, and nurture a sense of the child’s and family’s belonging in the school and local community.”
Red Hook Student Council - Our second year grant of $4,635 will help support 20 middle school students attend the NYS Council on Leadership & Student Activities in Buffalo. The grant will assist with transportation costs, as well as provide funding the fees, hotel, and meals for 4 participants in need.
Red Hook Faculty Association (RHFA) - Our grant money will help support RHFA scholarships given to Red Hook High School graduates. We matched the $1,765 raised at the annual Bowling Tournament sponsored by the RHFA. In partnership with the RHFA for the second year now, we also matched donations made through a Fall Food Drive. The campaign, called Nourish Your Neighbor, saw 3500 nutritional items donated to local food pantries, and we provided matching funding of $1/item to be converted to food vouchers for those families in need.
Red Hook Schools - A $6320 grant will support the first year Summer Academy for high school students. The goals of the program are:
To provide incoming freshmen through graduating seniors the opportunity to access programs otherwise unavailable to them during the typical school year.
To meet a community need for learning experiences for high school students that are free and available to all.
To use Summer Academy to pilot new programming with potential to be built into a credit bearing course offering in the future.
Suzie Reizod Foundation - A $2,500 grant allowed the Suzie Reizod Foundation, partnering with the Community Action Agency in Red Hook, to provide 100 pairs of shoes and 100 backpacks to local children.
Town of Red Hook - a matching grant of approximately $35,000 for the purchase of 2 electric vehicles whose use will benefit all members of the Red Hook Community. Two buses will provide residents with a transportation alternative in allowing them to move about the greater RH area.
Garden Club at Mill Road Elementary School - the 1st year of a 3 year agreement to fund educational materials & garden supplies. The $8,000 grant continues the initiatives developed by the Garden Club Committee in raising awareness, educating our youth, developing farm to table conversations, as well as addressing nutrition & sustainability issues to the younger RH Community.
Budget Buddies via Ambassador Kyla Gabriel - A grant of $5,000 will support financial literacy programs in the Greater Boston Area. Kyla has “committed to a 6-month, one-one-one mentorship program, during which she will help low income women gain the confidence and skills to improve their lives and the lives of their families.”
Circle Camp at Fleur de Lis via Ambassador Betsy Kirtland- Ambassador Betsy Kirtland in her third year advocating for Circle’s week long summer camp in New Hampshire. The $4,500 grant will allow six young women who have lost a parent to be with a peer group that will benefit from the volunteerism of counselors who will provide an environment of support and camp life.
Emmanuel Cancer Foundation via Ambassador Mia Michaelides- a first year grant from ambassador Mia Michaelides of $5,000 for the Family Assistance Fund in Clark, New Jersey. Mia states “ECF’s Family Financial Assistance Fund also helps pay for household bills, meals while they are with their child in the hospital, costly transportation to treatment facilities, and sadly, the high cost of burial and funeral expenses for a child who has lost his or her battle to cancer. Their (ECF) goal is to continuously replenish this fund so it will be available to fulfill as many emergency requests as possible.”
Fresh Truck via Ambassador Robinson Greig- funding to support a mobile market for seniors at Mission Park Housing in Boston. Robinson Greig’s second grant with Fresh Truck of $5,000 to “provide affordable, healthy food across low-income Boston communities, operating at the same place at the same time each week.” In addition, the grant will provide funding for their new FreshRx program, which is “an administrative platform that enables Fresh Truck’s health care partners to cover the cost of healthy food for their patient population by pre-purchasing and distributing FreshRx cards that patients use to shop at any of their mobile market sites.”
Martha’s Community Kitchen via Ambassador Tyler Launhardt- A $5,000 grant will go towards Food Security & Wellness workshops for Seniors at a kitchen in St. Albans, Vermont. This was the first year of advocacy by Tyler. From Martha’s application: “Our mission is to improve the quality of life and to restore dignity to hungry individuals and families by providing nutritious food; camaraderie in a safe, warm; caring environment for all who enter our doors.”
Crossroads Family Center via Ambassador Micaela Ryan- In late spring a grant of $5,000 provided much needed new bedding to Crossroads Family Center, a homeless shelter in East Boston. Through another grant in the Fall of this year, we were able to provide monies for safer cribs and toddler beds at the shelter. Micaela writes, “during my time at Crossroads, I was incredibly fortunate to find my own niche within the shelter’s community. Throughout the year, I was able to cultivate meaningful relationships with residents, form a deeper understanding of the hardships those experiencing homelessness face and the complications present in the re-housing process, and gain an overall sense of gratitude for the services provided by Crossroads as a whole.
Ruffner Mountain Outreach via Ambassador Brita Brudvig- A 2nd year grant of $6,000 with ambassador Brita will fund field trips for local schools to Ruffner Mountain in Jefferson County, Alabama.
SAM Camp via Ambassador Megan Sanger- This $1,400 grant will provide four scholarships for young girls to attend a STEM summer camp at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie. This is the fourth year of funding for camp scholarships, advocated for on behalf of Megan, a 2015 ambassador.
Youth Cities via Ambassador Cassidy Blundell- A $5,000 grant will help fund students in need attend a springtime STEM and entrepreneurship bootcamp Boston.This is Cassidy’s fourth year as an ambassador with us. She says, “this March to May program takes place every Saturday over the course of 10 weeks and tasks teams of students to conceive and develop a new venture. The students are mentored by experts from the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and encouraged to create a minimal viable product by the end of the 10-week program.
Griffin School Partnership via Ambassador Lauren Marici- This is our 2nd year of funding for a mentor program between William & Mary students and public school children in Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia. Ambassador Lauren Marici sponsored this $1,120 grant, and wrote, “Griffin After School program also invites WJCC students to participate in Saturday Enrichment days held three times a semester and the annual Big Trip held every Spring. The annual Big Trip is a full daylong event that provides an opportunity for WJCC students and W&;M student tutors go on a daylong field trip to a specific location of historical and cultural significance.”
Sunflower Bakery via Ambassador Tom Triebwasser- This is our 3rd year partnering with Sunflower Bakery via Tom, and this $5,000 grant will help Sunflower’s Pastry Arts as well as Teen programs for culturally diverse students in Gaithersburg, Maryland. As Tom explains, “Our Pastry Arts Program goals are to increase the number of: 1. culturally diverse young adults with learning differences, family members, educators and related professionals knowledgeable about employment-track programs. 2. culturally diverse young adults with learning differences who are prepared with skills that are transferable and marketable in the workplace. 3. culturally diverse young adults with learning differences who are securing and maintaining employment. 4. employers we educate about employing culturally diverse young adults with learning differences.”
Jane Adams Resource Corporation via Ambassador Isaac Reichman- A $4,985 grant will provide resources for 140 in an adult learning program in Chicago. Isaac volunteers for the program, and writes, “through the Manufacturing Bridge Program, trainees are taught contextualized reading and math, similar to what they would be using on the shop floor. They receive customized instruction for an average of 12 weeks, totaling approximately 192 hours.”
The Home for Little Wanderers via Ambassador Alex Parks- a 4th year of granting to this Boston based organization for mental health services for school children. The $5,000 grant will provide approximately 100 hours of services for funding to help The Home meet the costs of providing in-school services for students who suffer from mental illness or emotional and behavioral problems, often the result of trauma, that impact their ability to function in school.