Family Promise of the Palouse is a non-profit organization that will help homeless families with children gain independence in both housing and other life activities. Family Promise will join Sojourners Alliance, the Hope Center, Alternatives to Violence on the Palouse, Habitat for Humanity and other agencies to address many complex and underlying causes of poverty. Family Promise of the Palouse will serve Moscow, Pullman, and nearby locations.
This service will support homeless families with children who are facing short-term problems that would probably lead to longer-term poverty and more family dysfunction. Homeless children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States. Family Promise’s aim is to help families be strong and resilient so that children will thrive in a healthy setting. Many local agencies are on the front lines of poverty issues; no other area program assists families with children who have emergency housing needs… and keeps the family together during the time of distress.
Family Promise brings faith communities together to help families who are temporarily distressed due to job loss, unexpected health costs, domestic violence, or a car accident that eliminates transportation or access to a job. “Host congregations” and “partner congregations” will provide shelter, food, and fellowship while a small professional staff will coordinate services and volunteers. Congregations will provide service approximately four times a year.Homeless families with children who qualify for Family Promise must submit to an extensive application and screening process. Participating families must agree to a set of expectations that will lead to an independent and sustainable life. Typical Family Promise programs serve 25-30 families and 100-120 people a year. Approximately 77% of families who commit to Family Promise move into their own housing within 9 weeks. Sojourners Alliance staff report that 10-12 families a week seek shelter assistance.
More than 20 congregations in Moscow/Pullman have committed to Family Promise and our congregational recruitment process continues.
Our grant was for capacity with an emphasis on developing our donor base. We wanted to talk about some of the results we’ve seen with our increased efforts in donor stewardship this year, but also what we’ve been able to accomplish in terms of our mission.
In terms of donor base development:
This year we’ve seen a 72% retention rate for members
Our number of gifts this year is up 30%, and our average gift amount is up 25% from last year.
With new donors this year, our average gift has doubled from last year’s average for new donors.
We’ve reactivated 31 donors from prior years
Of the 40 key donors we were looking to reactivate this year, we’ve renewed over half of them, with a number of them promising to give a year-end gift.
This grant made a big difference to our organization in our first year with a paid staff person, and I wanted to share a little about what we’ve been able to accomplish this year:
We’ve updated our website to a new platform that allows it to be much more dynamic and useful as an outreach and engagement tool. Check it out at www.palouselandtrust.org
We’ve updated our strategic plan this year to include goals of expanding our outreach throughout our large service area, and enhancing education efforts at Idler’s Rest to collaborate more with educational institutions for the study of and enhancement of the preserve. We recently had 6th graders from PPSEL out at Idler’s Rest to map the trails as part of their study of Lewis and Clark.
We trained a group of volunteers this summer to help us with our annual easement monitoring to make sure that the land we’ve already protected stays that way
We’re currently working with two landowners in Troy. Both projects will protect important forest and stream habitat and critical wildlife corridors, and we’re working closely with one of these landowners to design her easement so that the property can be used as a center for youth agricultural education in the future.
We’ve reopened an easement project that was previously turned down by PLT because it requires some more complex facilitation to get it done. We’re currently working with state resource agencies and other partners to get this property protected. It will protect over 600 acres – 300 of which is in active agriculture. The rest of the property is a critical wildlife corridor, and would protect almost 2 miles of the south fork of the Palouse River. According to WA DFW, the Palouse River corridor is the only quality wildlife habitat left in Whitman County (two pictures in slideshow).
We’re working with IDFG on a project in Latah County that will protect about 200 acres of important meadow habitat and will involve a major restoration project to restore in-stream flows for fish.
We’ve been partnering with USFWS to go after some large-scale funding that would allow for regional scale protection and restoration of Palouse Prairie habitat.
We’ve seen a great amount of additional interest from regional partners like WA Department of Fish and Wildlife, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Heart of the Rockies Initiative, and the national Land Trust Alliance over the past year. They’re all excited that PLT is growing and has a dedicated staff person. A number of these groups have offered technical support and training opportunities so that we can start to address the needs of landowners throughout our service area.
We wanted to thank you all so much for this grant and your support this year – it’s made a HUGE difference. THANK YOU!
My Own Home received a $5,000 grant from the Giving Circle to assist in our first year of operation as we build our capacity to grow and provide services to members.
At the time of our application we had 16 members, 5 family and 6 single, and had not yet started providing services. With the Circle’s support, we were able to begin offering services this past July and currently have 23 members, 6 family 11 single.
We were also able to develop our list of volunteers, which now includes 30 community members willing to perform a wide variety of services for our members. All of the volunteers have now undergone background checks and an initial group has gone through our training program.
As a result of being operational, we have been able to participate in three student service events sponsored by the University, where members had yard clean up work performed and windows washed. An added bonus was how pleased the members were to have this kind of contact with university students.
Most recently we were invited by Moscow High School to give a presentation about My Own Home. Approximately 120 students attended the presentation and 80 of them completed volunteer forms. Not that we, or at least some of us, want it to snow a whole lot this winter, but if it does having so many student volunteers should be a real asset in being able to provide snow removal services for our members who need it.
Some of the other services we have performed for our current members include: moving furniture so that carpets could be cleaned, transportation and minor house repairs. We have also held two get togethers for members to have an opportunity to meet one another and tell us what services they are most interested in receiving. We’ve also sponsored trips to a movie showing at the Kenworthy and a performance of the IRT’s summer play.
Organizationally we have recently strengthened our board with the addition of three new members: Andrea Beckett, a well known and highly regarded CPA; Jim Prall, who has extensive experience providing services to seniors on a volunteer basis; and Susan Ripley, who has worked for Latah County’s Assessor’s Office for more than 27 years, most recently as Technical Systems Manager, and who has performed countless hours as a volunteer and board member for a number of local organizations.
Our major goals for the coming year are increasing our number of members and becoming financial sustainable through securing funding from grants and private donors. To that end, we have scheduled a facilitated board retreat in early January to develop a concrete action plan for accomplishing them.
The Willow Center is a children’s bereavement support program, providing peer support groups for children and teens (ages 3-18 yrs.) grieving the death of someone close to them. We also extend supportive services, grief resources and education to families, care givers and the community – all free of charge. Willow Center provides a safe place for children and their families to cope with the death of a loved one, and an environment in which to share their grief with others who have had a similar loss.
By utilizing the support group model and having program activities that focus on the bereavement needs of kids and families, there is a decrease in feelings of isolation and the grief experience is normalized. Our groups are open-ended and meet twice a month, year round. The Willow Center is also host to Camp Erin, a weekend, overnight camp, for kids ages 6-17, who have experienced the death of someone close to them. It is a weekend long experience filled with traditional camp activities combined with grief education and emotional support. All of what we do is aimed at providing help, hope and healing, thus preventing the problems associated with unresolved grief.
Yes! The Willow Center program relies on trained volunteers to facilitate the peer support groups and to companion our participants on their grief journey. No experience is necessary; our volunteers are from all walks of life and just have a heart for children and the mission of the Willow Center. We also rely on various community professionals to volunteer their time to provide family intake assessments and program leadership and training for volunteers. All volunteers complete 23 hours of training, and undergo a full background/reference check. We ask that volunteers commit to one year of service following completion of the training. Volunteers are also necessary (needed, wanted and loved!) for Camp Erin. Volunteers complete training that is appropriate for their task related to camp involvement, as well as a full background/reference check.
This year, Circle funding helped Moscow's downtown non-profit movie theater, the Kenworthy, provide afternoon movies for young people of all ages. Here's what the Kenworthy's Executive Director, Christine Cavanaugh, had to say about the impact of our gift:
This summer we chose 5 classic movies and 5 blockbuster films to show for our Children’s Matinee Summer Movie Series. We had over 1500 kids join us this summer for the movie series of which 250 were free admissions. We expanded our series from 9 weeks in 2010 to 10 weeks this summer and this wouldn’t have been possible without the funding from The Giving Circle. The funding was used for bringing classic kids films to KPAC to help enrich the lives of those children attending with quality family entertainment. cavanaugh These movies included: Annie The Sandlot Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory The Wizard of Oz The Princess Bride
Not only did the funding from The Giving Circle help pay for the rental cost of the classic films, it also went towards keep our ticket prices affordable for all families in the Moscow/Pullman area. If you'd like to continue helping the Kenworthy, contact Christine at 208-882-4127 or email@example.com. The Kenworthy is always looking for a few good volunteers to take tickets at the door. Volunteers receive a free admission to the movie with a bag of free popcorn and a volunteer appreciation preview night each year.
Other needs include: 1. 3 folding banquet tables, $40 each
Editor's note: St. Vincent de Paul has been a recipient of Giving Circle funds for all three years of our grantmaking. There's a reason. Their straightforward and respectful approach to individuals and families in need has spoken to Circle members every year.
Here is their report from the 2009-2010 Grantmaking Cycle. Anyone interested in volunteering or joining St. Vincent de Paul may contact Fran Trevisan at firstname.lastname@example.org St. Vincent de Paul - Moscow Conference
Project: St Vincent de Paul 2010 Job Employment Grant The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide non-profit organization of lay Catholic men and women. The members of St. Vincent de Paul in Moscow meet weekly in order to help local people in need. We visit anyone who requests our help from Latah County regardless of race, nationality, religion or sexual orientation on a person-to-person basis. Great care is taken to preserve the dignity of the person served and we visit those in need in their homes.
Last year, 2010 we distributed over $40,000 dollars in emergency funds to families and individuals in Latah county, plus in-kind donations, such as used furniture, clothes, major appliances and even a few cars. We served over 500 people who requested our help. In the past 8 years we have provided for the basic needs of the poor – shelter, medical care, clothing, heating, transportation, medicine and food.
The 2010 grant from THE CIRCLE: Moscow Women Giving Together was to fund employment challenges. Given the high rate of unemployment due to the ongoing economic downturn we requested these funds to support workers who were at risk of losing their jobs due to financial difficulties and work related expenses and to help job seekers with expenses necessary to find and maintain work. Between April and December of 2010 we successfully distributed the grant fund of $4,500 to 33 households serving a total of 79 individuals including the children, elderly and other family members of workers. The allocation of funds were divided as follows:
Car Repair $1478.62 Moving Expenses 784.81 Gasoline 735.88 Transportation Expenses 455.22 (car registration, licenses, insurance) Clothes, Tools, Work Supplies 452.12 Communication (phone, internet) 292.85 Childcare 300.00
Individual allocations ranged from $22.50 for car registration to $434.00 for moving expenses. At times we partnered with other agencies, including the Hope Center, Community Action, and the Department of Social Services when the need was great.
Donations to support our work can be sent to: St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 9888, Moscow, Idaho 83843
Anyone interested in volunteering or joining St. Vincent de Paul may contact Fran Trevisan at email@example.com
Debbie Bell, second grade teacher at McDonald Elementary School sent us the following update about the school's use of its 2010 Circle grant:
Our school has been proactive in supporting this project this past school year. The purpose of this project continues to enhance the outdoor classroom at McDonald Elementary. In doing so, we can continue to provide an integrated teaching style and an alternate learning environment for both faculty and students.
The following is a list of volunteer groups who have made this project a success:
Backyard Harvest – Amy Grey, Director
Adventure Club – Moscow School District
Brad and Kate Jaeckel – McDonald School parents
Saturday of Service – University of Idaho Volunteer Services
Make A Difference – University of Idaho Volunteer Services
Brian Carhart and Karen Trippei – McDonald School Teachers
Wish list for the future:
Greenhouse - $1,200
Grow lights for the classrooms - $500
McDonald School Garden sign - $150
Contact information:If anyone is interested in donating items or volunteer their services you may contact me at:
From Circle members Mary Silvernale Shook and Dianne Daley Laursen
The Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse shares many of the same aspirations as the Giving Circle by raising funds for local non-profit organizations. The mission of the Alternative Giving Market of the Palouse is to provide our community with a meaningful alternative to holiday gift giving and an opportunity to support local non-profits. We strive to enhance community well-being and sustainability through celebrating personal charity and community partnerships.
The Giving Market is looking for volunteers to help us this year. A few of you offered specific help at the meeting – THANK YOU very much. A couple of specific needs are:
1) someone to organize musical entertainment at various times throughout the Market. We have some musicians lined up, and if you are a musician and want o play we would love to hear from you!
2) Folks to solicit collect and organize holiday and greeting cards for use at the Market. We have a good start on a supply, but will need more. These can be your left-over cards from previous years, the freebies you get in the mail, blank cars you create, etc.
3) A Circle member has offered to help organize activities at the children’s table. If you want to help at the Market, or in advance, please let us know.
4) We need volunteers the day of for set-up, working in the payment area (1.5 hour shifts), greeting shoppers, and more
5) and lastly and most importantly if you have a long term interest in the Market and would like to be on our planning team /future Board we would love to hear from you!!
The Market will be held on Wednesday December 1, 2010 from 4-8 pm at the Prichard Art Gallery, 414 S. Main St, Moscow, before and during the Light-Up the Night Holiday Parade The Market is sponsored by the City of Moscow Parks and Recreation in partnership with the Latah County Community Foundation, the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Moscow Buy Local with support from the Potlatch No1 Credit Union. The Market promotes Shop Local. Buy Local. Give Local.
The Market strives to make fundraising as easy and fun as possible for an organization and potential donors. Each non-profit will design a shopping list of cash designations, ranging in value from $5 - $100, reflecting the needs of their organization. For each donation the giver/shopper will receive a holiday card provided by the market and an insert with a description of the organization and gift, which can be sent as a gift to family and friends.
If you have any questions about the Market or the application process, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mary Silvernale Shook, 208-310-9561 or Dianne Daley Laursen 208-310-1231.
What have our 2009-2010 grantees used Circle funding to accomplish?
Each year, we ask our grantees to provide us with a brief update, photos if appropriate, and a wish list of opportunities for volunteering or additional support. We haven't heard from everyone yet, but I wanted to fill you in on some of the projects that our nonprofit partners have undertaken with the funds that you provided last year. Over the next few blog posts, I'll share summaries of the work made possible by your funding.
Mrs. Branen and her greenhouse-building kindergarteners! Circle funds made this project possible.
Palouse Prairie School:
Palouse Prairie School is a non-tuition based public charter school. Our goals are to engage children and the community of the Palouse in an inspiring and collaborative education of the highest standards by following the educational design principles of Expeditionary Learning.
Last semester, nineteen kindergarten students embarked on a semester long expedition called, "Feed from Seed." There were two components of this project; students learned about the characteristics of plants and they were involved in building a greenhouse for Palouse Prairie School. The students collected 1500 2-liter bottles from the Moscow Recycling Center. Washington State University Architecture students were integrated into the program as part of a service learning project. The entire architecture class spent a day with the kindergarten students in building the walls of the greenhouse.
After completion of the greenhouse, students grew vegetables for Backyard Harvest, a local non-profit fresh food bank. Students presented their produce to Backyard Harvest and the greenhouse will provide many opportunities for student engagement for the years to come.Volunteer opportunities:Palouse Prairie School- teaching children about planting and growing teaching children about plants, gardening, farming, etc.
Wish List: 1. worm bin 2. soil 3. terra cotta pots 4. Garden tools: trowel
Hey there -- I'm just checking out the new blog function of our new website. I hope that once we get going, this will be a spot for information about community volunteer opportunities, giving circle meetings, discussion about grants, and other information that Circle members might find interesting or useful.
Our next meeting is October 3 at 2:00 -- at the 1912 Center! Hope to see you all there!