Grant #26 Levy – Ready, Set, Prep
Ready Set Prep is a non-profit focused on helping Black, Hispanic, and low-income community college students maximize their educational and career opportunities. Our 26th grant will support a 25 student pilot of their new program, TransferPrep. TransferPrep is designed to eliminate the gap between the 81% of students who enroll with the intent to transfer to a four-year institution and the 3-8% of Black, Hispanic, and low-income students who complete this transfer by year three. TransferPrep will provide guidance on how to utilize school resources, map a course plan that maximizes credits available for transfer, select four to six target four-year schools, and engage with leadership opportunities on campus. Students who participate will be placed in a paid internship at the end of the semester and receive 20 hours of personalized advisory services. We are proud to support this pilot.
Grant #25 Emilia – Maine Academy of Modern Music
At our second annual Portland Block Party, b.good Maine’s customers and partners came together to celebrate summer and raise $4,000 to fund a second grant to a local leader in the Portland area (special shout-out to Rising Tide and Peak Organic, who not only brought the beer, but donated directly too!). We’re thrilled to announce that the Maine Academy of Modern Music (MAMM) is this year’s winner. They’ll be using the $4,000 grant to fund a full season’s worth of children’s concerts at the Portland Public Library designed to both highlight local artists and allow kids to interact with musicians and instruments directly. The series is called The Kids Are Alright, and with the b.good grant it will now be completely free to the public. MAMM’s goal is to attract 100 or more attendees per concert, and with 10 concerts in the season they have the potential to reach 1,000 people! If you’d like to join them, concerts are the first Saturday of each month from this October through July 2017, and you can learn more at the link above.
Grant #24 Emily – Sharing the Harvest Community Farm
7/30/16 (at the Festival on the Farm)
Sharing the Harvest Community Farm is a non-profit, volunteer-driven farm that aims to fight hunger on Massachusetts’s south coast. Though they host thousands of volunteers each season, in the summer they see volunteer numbers drop off just as the harvest comes online. Without those consistent extra hands, Sharing the Harvest estimates that they lose 10,000 pounds of produce each summer. To combat this, they’ll be using their $5,000 grant form b.good to establish a summer youth work program to hire two students to help cultivate, harvest, and maintain the fields. These students will not only gain valuable work experience and agricultural knowledge, but they will be able to cut the farm’s annual food loss in half. That means 5,000 extra pounds of produce for those in need on the south coast.
Grant #23 Noreen – Mission for Children’s Nutrition
7/30/16 (at the Festival on the Farm)
Contact Noreen to learn more here
Noreen runs a local nutrition and fitness club in Plymouth, MA, and in 2015 it came to her attention that there were children in her town going to bed hungry. In response, she organized clients and friends to serve as volunteers, solicited donations from organizations like the Rotary Club and The Greater Boston Food Bank, and created a weekly program that filled back-packs full of food for kids to take home. As of the spring of 2016 she was serving 70 families a month through the program, but funding for and donations of fresh produce only lasted for the first half of each month. The $5,000 from our grant will enable Noreen to purchase fresh produce for the next 1.5 years of the program and will give her the stability she needs to seek larger, longer term support.
Grant #22: Judi – The Wily Network
7/30/16 (at the Festival on the Farm)
Youth who grow up in foster care age out of the system just as they begin their college careers. The Wily Network steps in at this critical juncture and provide a support system for youth to ensure they have the emotional and financial resources they need to graduate and go on to stable, successful careers. New to Boston, The Wily Network’s services are much needed in an area filled with colleges and universities. They will use their $5,000 grant to fund the addition of one new scholar to the “Wily Pack” – funding to be used to cover those things that traditional financial aid doesn’t cover (books, school supplies, public transportation, etc.) but are critical to student retention and success.
Grant #21: Susan – Brookwood Community Farm
7/30/16 (at the Festival on the Farm)
Brookwood Community Farm is a nonprofit farm located in Canton, MA (right next to the site of our first Festival at the Farm). They’ve developed a partnership with The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Project Bread, and the Mattapan Family Center to expand access to fresh produce in Mattapan using SNAP funding. Their new program will provide a weekly CSA bag to participating SNAP families at a fraction of retail cost- $25 for a month of fresh, local, organic vegetables. In order to do this though, they need to buy a new, larger cooler to be able to store the bags of produce on between visits to drop off sites in the city. We are proud that our $5,000 grant will help them make this important purchase.
Grant #20: Whitney – Camp Casco
In October 2014, the founding team at Camp Casco realized that Massachusetts was missing something many other states had: a camp specifically for pediatric cancer patients and survivors. The team had seen other such camps make a big impact for children in other states, so they decided to address the gap in Massachusetts themselves and Camp Casco was born! As Whitney describes in her video, the camp’s mission is to provide fun for a week and support for a lifetime. The camp is free to attend, ensuring children can join regardless of their financial situation, and is designed to create a space where children fighting and recovering from cancer can feel normal and enjoy the joys of summer camp while also forming support networks that will serve them throughout their lives. 2016 will be Camp Casco’s second summer, and Whitney and her team will use our $5,000 grant to cover half the campsite rental cost, ensuring the 28 campers attending this summer have a safe and welcoming place to stay.
Grant #19: Pam, Ellie & Nancy – Nourishing the North Shore
Nourishing the North Shore’s mission is to ensure equal access to healthy food for all members of the greater Newburyport community. This spring, Nourishing the North Shore will use their $5,000 grant from the b.good Family Foundation to fund repairs to their greenhouse that will help turn it into a year-round seedling factory. This means Nourishing the North Shore will be able to grow more food all year round for their sliding-fee-scale CSA program, provide more jobs to local adults with disabilities through a partnership with Opportunity Works, and host more garden education programs for local kids. Plus, growing their own seedlings will help Nourishing the North Shore save money in the long run. We are proud to support a program that so consciously connects local agriculture with nutrition education and a focus on social justice.
Grant #18: Doug, Kayleigh, Ryan & Kristin – Gaining Ground Farm Apprenticeship Program
Gaining Ground is a community, volunteer based farm that donates 100% of all the produce they grow to hunger-relief agencies in in the Greater Boston area. Our $4,000 grant will be used to support their new full-time Farm Apprenticeship program. Last season, taking the program from part-time to full-time helped apprentices take on more responsibility sooner, freeing up experienced farmers to work with larger and more volunteer groups. As a result, Gaining Ground was able to host a record setting 2,800 volunteers who worked to harvest 60,000 lbs of produce for donation, the most the farm has ever produced. We can’t wait to hear what the Farm Apprenticeship program will do for Gaining Ground Farm in 2016.
Grant #17: Andrea & Emily – REACH (Resources and Education for Adolescents and their children)
Learn more about REACH
REACH is a Service learning group that connects volunteers from The BU School of Medicine with five Boston-area shelters to provide twice monthly workshops for moms there. Local moms have an opportunity to learn about topics like child development, vaccines, and nutrition, while medical students learn from increased interaction with patients to become more informed and empathetic physicians. REACH volunteers will be using their $3,000 grant from the b.good Family Foundation to provide safe rides for volunteers to the shelter, coordinated t-shits to make them recognizable to clients, healthy snacks for workshop participants to boost attendance, and educational toys and games to help keep children involved and learning while their moms are at the workshops.
Grant #16: Sarah – Fab Lab Hub
Fab Lab Hub works with volunteers to use 3D-printers to create prosthetic hands to be given away to children and adults otherwise unable to afford them. Even the simplest prosthetic hands can cost tens of thousands of dollars, a cost burden too high for many families, especially when children are still growing and may require multiple prosthetics throughout their childhood. The b.good Family Foundation’s $3,000 grant will fund the materials and engineering expertise needed to produce 25-30 prosthetic hands, including the design of a smaller prosthetic hand more suitable for children. We are excited to contribute to Fab Lab Hub as they deploy 3D-printing technology to promote inclusion in our community.
Grant #15: Christa, Saheed, and Jair – B4 Records
Listen to their music & learn more here
Our 15th grant went to support local teen leaders like Christa, Saheed, and Jair, who work for B4 Records writing, producing, and recording socially conscious and progressive music. B4 Records is a youth run record label that provides young people in Boston with jobs that allow them to develop their skills as both leaders and artists. The social justice focus of B4 Records’ music makes it unique among record labels, and we’re excited to be able to support them as they produce their third album this spring.
Grant #14: Kelly – Sea Change Yoga (Formerly, One Posture at a Time)
Kelly is a Portland resident and recovered heroin addict for whom yoga was and is a critical part of her recovery. Now an instructor herself, she is passionate about expanding the availability of yoga to those in recovery. So, Kelly put together a partnership between her studio, Maine Hatha Yoga, and One Posture At A Time, a new nonprofit dedicated to bringing yoga to local sober homes, recovery centers, and detoxes. The funds from the b.good grant enabled their newly founded partnership to provide yoga classes at three recovery centers a week for 26 weeks, and offer 80 unlimited monthly memberships at the Maine Hatha Yoga studio for those in recovery who committed to attend class three days a week. Kelly represents the resilient spirit and passionate commitment we look for in inspired leaders.
In the summer of 2016, One Posture at a Time became a part of Sea Change Yoga, an organization dedicated to bringing yoga as a healing tool to those experiencing trauma of all kinds in the Portland area.
Adnan embodies what we mean by “inspired individual”. At his day job he puts his medical skills to work in the community as a resident anesthesiologist at Tufts Medical Center. After his shift ends, he takes to the streets of Boston to express his passion for dance and exercise by performing for crowds all over the city and collecting donations to give directly to charities. The project, known as Doctor Be Dancing, is all about demonstrating the power people have to improve their communities by embracing their individuality. This concept resonated so strongly with our Board that we decided to match Adnan’s fundraising efforts 2:1 this past Friday. Together, we raised $1,500 for two local nonprofits: Community Servings and Cradles to Crayons.
Grant #12: Lonsdale – Science Club for Girls
Lonsdale runs Science Club for Girls. She’s on a mission to empower young women, particularly from underrepresented communities, to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, & math). In addition to teaching technical skills, Science Club For Girls targets the confidence gap that undermines many girls’ success in STEM. They do this with a program called Sister Circles, which uses workshops, career panels, and retreats to address the social and emotional needs of program participants and connect them to a network of peers, mentors, and academic and professional women in STEM fields. Funding from this grant will go towards the Sister Circles program so that more girls can have the support they need to pursue their career goals with confidence.
Grant #11: David – Resilient Coders
David founded Resilient Coders to teach underserved and at-risk young people how to code, that is, how to build websites and other software. His goal? To connect high performers to stable careers and increase diversity in the tech sector. This grant for $5,250 will allow two of their best students to attend Startup Institute, an eight-week bootcamp (Last year, Micah got to go – you can see his story here). At Startup Institute, these students will take the skills they’ve learned at Resilient Coders to the next level, enabling them to refine their coding skills and providing access to mentors, hiring partners through networking events, and soft skills training.
Grant #10: Scot – The Giving Garden
Since 2013, Scot has organized a volunteer project in his community up in Nashua, NH called “The Giving Garden”. Growing food since Spring of 2013, the space is a 4,000 square food garden behind his church. Scot’s mission is simple — grow as much food as he can and give it all back to neighbors struggling with food insecurity. His inspired work is best summed up when he says: “We just really want to help people who can’t afford the kind of food we enjoy.” With the funds from the b.good Family Foundation, Scot’s plan for this year is to increase production of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash and butternut squash. They will purchase quality soil and compost. Meanwhile, as needed they’ll buy and use, organic pesticides and fungicides. Additionally, they will use the funds to invest in a quality fence to help with animal control and a green house/high tunnel to extend our growing season.
Grant #9: Matt – Framingham DROP the Bottle campaign
Matt is a local high school student inspired by his AP Environmental Science class to find a way to decrease plastic and water waste and improve public water infrastructure in his community. His brainchild is The Framingham DROP the Bottle campaign, which will start by using grant funds to install two hydration stations at Framingham High School. These hydration stations are water fountains retrofitted with a second tap to increase the convenience of reusable water bottles and eliminate the need for disposable plastic bottles. Not only will these these fountains decrease the school’s plastic footprint, but they’ll also encourage students to choose water over sugary beverages and set a positive example of environmental stewardship throughout the community. Sounds like a triple win to us!
Grant #8: Bill at Project New Hope
In September, the b.good family voted in Bill and his organization, Project New Hope, as our 8th grant winner. Project New Hope’s motto is “Where Veterans Rebuild with Honor.” With our grant of $4,000, Bill will be able to organize, lead and host an additional retreat in early 2015 for 50 veterans, including spouses and children – at no cost to them. According to Bill, “Veterans and military families face such challenges as reintegration into the civilian community, invisible wounds from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, domestic violence, special stressors on children, addiction, thoughts of suicide, and (for men & women who serve) military sexual trauma. The b.good Family Foundation Grant will help us help more veterans, currently on our wait list for services at our small nonprofit, to take a step forward in their lives at our healing retreat.”
In spring 2014, Bryan was a runner-up for our 5th grant. But, his heartfelt grant application describing his project to build a skatepark for needy kids in his town really struck a chord and stuck with us. For months afterwards, we still felt like we needed to do something. So, at our annual Family BBQ in June, we issued a spontaneous a $4,000 grant to Bryan.
The goal of the Turners Falls Skatepark Campaign was to build a world-class 7,200 square foot seamless concrete skatepark – the kind you might see in a much wealthier town – in Turners Falls (MA), where 42% of children live below the poverty line. The dedication of the inspiring group of citizens working to make this project a reality paid off: in June of 2016 Unity Skatepark had its Grand Opening. The park is now providing a world class community space, fun, exercise, and a safe haven to every kid facing the challenge of growing up in Turners Falls and the surrounding areas.
Grant #6: Movement Mends
Like Bryan (above), the other runner-up for our 5th grant was equally compelling. We just weren’t going to feel right if we didn’t support Jerusha’s passion and commitment to work with kids who needed help. So, we issued a second $4,000 grant at our Family BBQ in Summer of 2014.
Movement Mends is a program run by Urbanity Dance, a Boston-based professional dance company, in the Boston Juvenile Detention centers. Professional dancers from Urbanity’s company and teaching staff travel to juvenile detention centers to teach dance and choreographic workshops to incarcerated youth. These boys are currently offered no arts education and little to no outside contact while incarcerated.
Grant #5: Nourish Boston
In May, the b.good family voted in Nourish Boston as our 5th grant winner. Since 2013, they’ve been a local non-profit dedicated to fostering healthy living in under-served communities in Boston. Their mission is to provide community members with the skills necessary to make healthy, sustainable, and affordable food choices. Specifically, they applied for the funds for their ambitious project to to offer hands-on cooking classes, interactive nutrition education, and local food demonstrations at farmers’ markets, community hubs, and health clinics.
Grant #4: Food Link (formerly the Food Recovery Project)
Thanks to the vote of the b.good family, we gave our 4th grant to Julie and DeAnne, the founders of Food Link, formerly known as The Food Recovery Project.
Started in March 2012, the Food Link is a non-profit organization located in the greater Boston area. Through this project, excess nutritional food is collected from cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores that would otherwise be thrown away. This food is then distributed to organizations serving people in need. Food Link is run solely by volunteers. True Story Theater, which uses improvisational theater and music, will help to publicize the work of Food Link.
Grant #3: Groundwork Somerville
“Healthy food is hard to get”. That’s what it says on this mural behind the gardening beds at Groundwork Somerville. And that’s what our foundation’s 3rd grant winner is trying to fix. Yes, thanks to your votes, we gave $4,000 to Kristin at Groundwork Somerville. She’ll use the cash to help kids grow more real food & make healthy food a little easier to get.
Grant #2: Ultimate Sports Program
The family has spoken, and the winner of our first grant is the Ultimate Sports Program!
Steve Berube and his son, Sean, founded the Ultimate Sports Program over eight years ago with the goal of promoting social inclusion through sports. USP brings together kids with special needs and their more typical peers to play sports together, ignoring their differences and simply focusing on fun, comradery, and sportsmanship. Since its founding, USP has grown from a cohort of 11 families to a mailing list of almost 500 families across Massachusetts. Steve works hard to keep most programs free so that cost doesn’t prove a barrier to participation.
USP is Steve’s passion. After his career as a systems analyst was ended by a drunk driver in 1995, Steve underwent three separate brain surgeries to help reduce headaches and other symptoms, but was unable to return to work. He has since dedicated himself full time to USP and will be using the funds from the b.good Family Foundation to continue to keep costs down, passing the savings along to families, and to expand USP’s network across Massachusetts and New England.
Grant #1: Richard Family Fund
Today, we officially gave our foundation’s first grant to the Richard family by depositing $6,252 into their account at Meetinghouse Bank in Dorchester. In light of the tragic events of Marathon Monday, the Burger Brigade (the 17 b.good family members who ran the marathon in burger suits) decided it was important to give back in this way first. The whole thing was even more special because of where the money came from. $4,000 was raised by the Burger Brigade and $2,252 came from the generous donations of our kinfolk who responded to last Tuesday’s newsletter. Thank you for helping us give back!