It’s time for a new quarter and a new slate of featured beneficiaries! Get to know our new charities for the third quarter of 2014:
|Human Rights: Footsteps
Footsteps is a New York-based organization that helps people from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community leave this insular way of life. Most leave with a limited knowledge of English (Yiddish is the primary language spoken in the home and in school). Many have only received a religious education and do not have a high school diploma. Most of their clientele recently has been men between the ages of 18 and 24, but they have seen an increase in women also leaving the community to escape abuse or obtain further education. Footsteps is working to offer both services (education, job training, job placement, housing assistance, etc.) and a community to offer strength and support for its clients.
|Poverty and Health: SOIL
Sanitary disposal of waste is a problem in many areas of Haiti, as is the poor quality of soil. A large percentage of the population has no access to adequate sanitation, and generally when a latrine is available, the practice is to pump out the contents and dispose of them in a way that risks the health of locals and the environment. SOIL developed a toilet seat that separates solid and liquid waste. This diminishes odor in the latrine and lightens the load of the solid waste that must be moved and treated. SOIL has created a novel procedure to safely turn human waste into useable compost to enrich soil.
|The Natural World: Rainforest Foundation US
The Rainforest Foundation supports indigenous people in rainforest conservation efforts and establishing their rights to protect their environment. They have supported Maya people in Belize and peoples throughout Central and South America through grants to local partner organizations that secure rights to native lands, influence public policy in their countries, and establish strong community leadership. According to the organization, “We believe that the most effective way to protect rainforests is to ensure that the indigenous communities who have historically managed and protected those forests have secure and long-term rights to their lands and resources.”
|Education: Washington Women’s Employment and Education
WWEE has a long history of providing computer training, job support, and life skills courses for low-income adults in Pierce and King Counties in Washington State. Their REACH Plus program is a job training and workforce development program that targets low-income women. It enhances their employability through focused job training, including computer skills, work habits and attitudes, financial literacy training, barrier reduction counseling, employment and wage progression counseling, and wraparound supportive services such as housing and rental assistance.
|Challenge the Gap: The Night Ministry
The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based nonprofit initiated by a collective of 18 congregations (a spectrum of Christian and Jewish groups) to provide, through a variety of programs, housing, health care, and human connection to the homeless, with a particular emphasis on disenfranchised youth. They operate the only shelter in Chicago that will work with pregnant or parenting teens as young as 14 and also have programs aimed at transitioning teens from homelessness to long-term independent living within two years. Among their outreach services, The Night Ministry operates a Health Outreach Bus that works in six neighborhoods, four nights per week. Their Youth Outreach team operates two nights per week in one neighborhood to offer support, food, and self-care supplies to homeless and LGBT youth.