Mid-Year Updates from Our Grant Recipients

With a grant period of June 2018 – June 2019, we have officially reached the half-way point with our 2018-2019 grant recipients! We have received some amazing mid-season updates from the six organizations whose grants totaled $130,000. From success with installing solar panels at a school in Afghanistan to feeding hundreds of families in need in Orange County – these updates are proof that our Partners’ contributions are truly making an impact.

WISEPlace – $36,000

WISEPlace in Santa Ana launched a capital project, Orange County Women’s Center, to triple their capacity to transform the lives of unaccompanied homeless women. Pre-launch & phase one of this project includes planning and design estimated at $376,395. Two components of this phase are the architectural fees and construction documents totaling $136,450. A $36,000 grant from Impact Giving is being used to fund approximately 30% of this critical component.

To date, WISEPlace has received a preliminary design and drawings, as well as preliminary construction budget. Phase I of the capital campaign is in full swing and progressing well, with groundbreaking and construction set to begin in Fall 2019 and a ribbon cutting expected for early 2020, dependent on funding.

Giving Children Hope – $25,000

Though low and no-cost lunches help students’ hunger problems during the week, food insecurity isn’t magically cured on Friday afternoon. Knowing the importance of food in improved learning, the We’ve Got Your Back program works with local schools in Orange County to provide backpacks filled with nutritional food to feed a child and their families on weekends.

Giving Children Hope received a $25,000 grant from Impact Giving to provide backpacks filled with nutritional food to feed 1,500 children and their families on weekends. To date, there are 913 families enrolled in this project, with 15 schools completing the application process. Once those schools are signed up, the number of families will meet or exceed the projected number. In addition, families have begun returning surveys indicating the program’s impact. The organization expects 70% to show an improvement in quality of life!

Concern America – $23,000

The village of Hermosillo is an indigenous Mayan community, materially impoverished, and underserved, requiring eight hours of challenging land and water travel from the nearest city. Its population greatly suffers from water-borne illnesses. Concern America received a $23,000 grant from Impact Giving to be used to construct a water system and install filters in the village of Hermosillo and install filers in five additional villages, providing clean water to over 400 families (over 3,000 people).

To date, significant progress has been made with the Hermosillo community water system and the installation of water filters in three communities. In Hermosillo, the Concern America team and the community members have completed the construction of the spring source catchment tank; two miles of pipeline has been laid from the spring source to the community; the sedimentation tanks and air valves have been installed; and 275 filters have been installed in Hermosillo and three additional villages.

While the system was scheduled to be completed in November, the work had to be postponed due to excess rains which swelled the river thus making it impossible to bring in the materials for the next phase. It is now anticipated that work will resume in January, and the system complete in March 2019.

Lotus Outreach International – $22,000

With a $22,000 grant from Impact Giving, Lotus Outreach is able to pay for Blossom Bus – which provides safe, reliable transit to school for girls in rural Indian villages. These funds directly create access to education that is unavailable otherwise; without Blossom Bus, school is only accessible for girls locally through Grade 5. Transportation to secondary school (>Grade 6) is unavailable, and it is too far for these girls to walk safely due to high rates of sexual violence in the area. As such, most girls are forbidden from continuing their education.

To date, Blossom Bus has served 688 unique riders, including 109 new riders added this year. In the 2018-2019 school year, there are 328 girls riding the Blossom Bus, including 230 in two schools in Haryana, 58 in Rajasthan, and 40 in college. There are also seven girls pursuing education at the masters level. In addition, 15 girls graduated college this year, and 13 began! A leading newspaper in India, the Hindustan Times, published a full-page story on the Blossom Bus. One father was quoted: “I am not sure if I would have educated my daughter had the bus service not been there.”

With My Own 2 Hands – $14,000

With a $14,000 grant from Impact Giving, With My Own 2 Hands is building four, 80’ greenhouses to grow vegetables to feed and support the education of children in Kenya.  Funding covered the full greenhouse setup, including materials/seeds, installation and training the community on how to sustain the greenhouse.

To date, all four of the greenhouses are built! One of the greenhouse recipients has already received a greenhouse from WMO2H and is thrilled to receive another. They are a model of success: they feed all of the children and staff at their school and are selling surplus to their community. The children are all taking part in learning to farm and to sell crops for a profit. All four greenhouses should be ready for their first harvest by the new year and will feed up to 1,000 children.

International Orphan Care – $10,000

In the war-torn country of Afghanistan, there are many children who have lost their parents and have no family to turn to. In many cases, these orphanages and vocational schools are their only hope for survival. IOC has identified that providing a few essential tools for a very minimal cost will be life transforming. With Impact Giving’s $10,000 grant, $5,000 will provide 80 “tool kits” (sewing machines or carpentry sets) received at graduation; and $5,000 will buy & install solar panels for two buildings & two batteries for the back-up generator which will provide consistent electricity at the school to light their educational path.

While Afghanistan has seen much destruction and death in recent months, International Orphan Care’s schools have remained intact. Despite violence and threats, the students continue to attend classes. Unfortunately, graduation has needed to be postponed; however, the solar panels were installed and are working very well. Since the solar panels were installed, there have been many days when electricity was not available in Jalalabad – even to government offices. Thanks to the panels, IOC’s classes and office had electricity and were able to operate.