Welcome to our Quarter 2 Beneficiaries!
This quarter we are strengthening already existing relationships with three organizations that we have supported in the past, but that have never been featured quarterly beneficiaries. Ignite was one of the beneficiaries for the meal packing project FBB facilitated with Black Nonbelievers for the 2019 Women of Color Beyond Belief Conference. BakerRipley was a beneficiary of our Hurricane Harvey Disaster Appeal. Our Humanist Action: Ghana Administrator, Yvonne Nyahe, spent time in 2019 with Hearts of Gold as part of a learning and exchange trip in Ecuador. Our fourth beneficiary this quarter, Trees for the Future, is a new beneficiary that we had considered several times in the past, but haven’t featured before.
Ignite, our Poverty & Health beneficiary, stands with youth on their journey to a home and a future with promise. Ignite supports young people between 14 and 26 in Chicago who are experiencing homelessness or unstable housing, offering services that range from meeting immediate needs to offering long-term support with vocational training, stable housing, and health care. Their programming is all trauma-informed, evidence-based, and culturally sensitive.
Our Human Rights beneficiary, BakerRipley, is a nationally recognized, Houston-based nonprofit that brings resources, education, and connection to nearly 600,000 children, youth, adults, and seniors across Greater Houston each year. They exist to keep this region a welcoming place of opportunity where everyone can earn, learn, and belong.
Founded in 1907 in Houston’s Second Ward (today’s East End), BakerRipley is the largest community development organization in Texas, delivering holistic community-based services in the areas of immigration, workforce and career development, education, senior care, wellness, and community engagement.
This quarter, BakerRipley’s grant will be restricted to their immigration program, which began to support community members facing deportation proceedings. Now, the program includes defense work for families separated at the border and asylum advocacy.
Hearts of Gold, our Education beneficiary, is a local nonprofit that works in Ecuador to boost the capacities of other local nonprofits so that they can reach their unique goals. They do this by working side-by-side with nonprofit leaders to help them embrace their strengths and target their areas of weakness. Hearts of Gold’s Community Assistance Program uses mentoring, capacity-building workshops, dialogues, and networking to make a large impact and develop long-term solutions for nonprofits and their struggling communities. They also provide financial assistance and nonprofit management and administrative services to promote growth.
Trees for the Future (TREES), our Natural World beneficiary, has planted over 115 million trees by supporting groups of farmers in planting and maintaining Forest Gardens. Forest Gardens consist of thousands of trees that include a variety of fast-growing fruit, hardwood, and food trees providing families with sustainable food sources, livestock feed, products to sell, fuel wood, and a 400% increase in their annual income in four years.
Protecting our forests and supporting the most vulnerable people on our planet are not mutually exclusive endeavours. TREES’s approach simultaneously tackles the health and sustainability of both our planet and low-income smallholder farming families. The Forest Garden approach is simple, scalable, replicable, and evidence-based.
COVID-19 and our beneficiaries
Our Q2 beneficiaries were chosen before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States. Operations for these organizations have been affected, as is the case for all nonprofits worldwide. Each of these beneficiaries works with people who are already vulnerable, and each has had to pivot its work to best support its community during this time. FBB not only supports the overall program designs and missions of these orgs, but also the way they have adapted to continue their missions in today's unexpected and unusual circumstances.
Ignite have not closed their doors because of COVID-19. In fact, they can’t. They provide essential services in Chicago and continue to support area youth who are experiencing homelessness or unstable housing in the safest ways possible.
BakerRipley have temporarily closed all their locations and programs, keeping open only essential services operating such as health clinics and drive-through food distribution sites. They meanwhile work to keep their community informed. People in the crowded detention centers remain particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. ICE and detained immigration courts are continuing business as usual, including refusing to make accommodations for or release detainees who are immunocompromised. BakerRipley attorney-advocates are spending this crisis filing emergency motions to get immunocompromised clients released.
Hearts of Gold is joining forces with other nonprofits in their area to raise money and provide food baskets to those who are struggling to eat. They are also buoying the unique needs of the organizations they currently support, such as an orphanage that doesn’t presently have enough staff to adequately care for the youth in their care.
Trees for the Future operates in countries where the outbreak has so far been small. However, TREES has chosen to follow the strictest safety guidelines for all programs. To limit physical contact, TREES staff is currently creating short videos in the local language covering what the farmers would normally be learning in person at this time.
Please take some time to explore the beneficiaries that we are featuring this quarter.