Some highlights of last year and thoughts on partnerships as we move through the early part of 2018
Our local partnering with The Center of Civic Engagement (CCE) at Bard and The Red Hook Schools in November/December was a Food Drive collaboration that resulted in the donation of over 5,500 non-perishable items from the Bard & RHCS communities. The foodstuffs were distributed pantries in Red Hook, and in addition $3250 was granted by the AFF to the Red Hook Faculty Association (RHFA). The RHFA used those funds to buy food vouchers for needy families over the holidays. While not reaching our goal of 10,000 items, our sponsorship established a solid 1st year of teamwork with local organizations. We hope to build upon the spirit of this year’s Giving Tuesday next November.
Additional local activity included grants to the Red Hook Public Library to establish a program for the senior residents of RH Commons, the Red Hook Community Center for a "What's On Your Mind?" program designed for young adults, the NY State Council on Leadership & Student Activities to assist students in attending an annual conference, Culture Connect for the implementation of their Life, Learning & Language Program after school at Mill Road, and finally for ongoing support of the BackPack Program through the schools. These local grants amounted to just under $10,000 in funding.
Ambassador participation from our 2015, 2016, and 2017 classes included advocacy and grant requests from 12 organizations from around the country. The following agencies and ambassador advocates were granted funds for the third year in a row:
We Share Solar in Berkeley - Aminy Ostfeld
Sam Camp in Poughkeepsie - Megan Sanger
The Home for Little Wanderers in Boston - Alex Parks
A third year of support was also extended to The Mystic Learning Center in Somerville, MA. through our Directorship.
These organizations were extended grants, as well:
Circle Fleur de Lis in Fitzwilliam, NH - Betsy Kirtland
Detroit Partnership in Detroit - Jonni Mills
Fresh Truck in Boston - Robinson Greig
Griffin School Partnerships in Williamsburg - Lauren Marici
iPraxis in Philadelphia - Cassidy Blundell
Maine Adaptive in Newry, Maine - Emily Gall
Ruffner Outreach in Montgomery, Alabama - Brita Brudvig
Sunflower Bakery in Gaithersburg, MD - Tom Triebwasser
The 12 grants satisfied a range of mission aims. The grants provided support for after school programs at Mystic, iPraxis, Ruffin, & Griffin, summer camps at Circle & Sam Camp, community building & service through Detroit & Fresh Truck, and training for individuals with disabilities through Maine & Sunflower. A more comprehensive summary of these grants totaling some $60,000 and our Local Activity may be found at AFF 2017 Granting.
An end of year Gathering at Savona's Next Door in Kingston on December 23rd brought many of our local partners and ambassadors together to celebrate our giving in 2017 and introduce our Class of 2018 Ambassadors. Our new team members with RH graduation year include:
Jake Marshall (RHHS '16)
Mia Michaelides (RHHS '17)
Kyla Gabriel (RHHS '13)
Brenna Dolen (RHHS '12)
Emma Donahue (RHHS '13)
Tyler Launhardt (RHHS '10)
Nick Carlson (RHHS '15)
We applaud their volunteerism and look forward to their advocacy in extending our outreach to those in need.
As 2018 offers opportunity for foundation expansion we're also proud to welcome Brittany Mosher, an original ambassador with our 2015 class, to our Board of Directors. Brittany just recently received her Ph.D. at Colorado State as a Conservation Ecologist and brings an enthusiasm & experience that will serve the foundation well!
We are now fully funded with an endowment exceeding a million dollars, enabling us to consider additional granting requests from both our local partners and ambassadors at large in the U.S. With greater resources comes a greater commitment to funding groups in need - We'll strive to generate 25 or more grants to that end! We welcome that challenge and those ideas & thoughts you have as we move through 2018.
Yours in giving,
Nick, Barbara, Sophie, Ali, & Brittany