Jan 4, 2021

Project of the Month Club Update: January 2021

Storytime with Yayasan Usaha Mulia
Storytime with Yayasan Usaha Mulia

Dear Project of the Month Club Member,

I truly can’t express how grateful I am that you’ve resolved to continue making the world a better place in 2021! Your generosity will play a crucial role in supporting nonprofits across the world as they help their communities overcome the long-term impacts of COVID-19. 

Last month, you joined an incredible 620 donors, raising $25,220 in support of Fundación Calicanto’s life-changing efforts to provide professional training opportunities for women in Panama. 

To ring in the new year, we’re crossing the globe (virtually, of course) to bring you yet another inspirational initiative. 

I’m thrilled to introduce Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) and their project Help Promote Good Reading Habits in Kalimantan

For more than 4 years, YUM has worked to increase the quality of children's education in Bukit Batu, Indonesia. The organization’s Community Library, which is the only library in the region, ensures that more than 500 children are able to access books, participate in educational activities, and build community.  

When Executive Director Vanessa Reksodipoetro learned that YUM was joining the Project of the Month Club, she sent this message of gratitude:

After a very tough year, what a blessing to discover that we were selected as Project of the Month for January 2021! This nomination enforces our belief that hard work and continued optimism can get us through any challenges ahead. We’ve seen first-hand how the generosity of the collective has stepped up in 2020, and this is the icing on the cake!

Vanessa also shared how plans for how your generosity will help YUM support the children in their community this year. 

The funds we receive will help continue the tutoring sessions in our library in Central Kalimantan. With 9 months of being out of school, the children living in rural Indonesia are experiencing a tremendous learning loss and we hope the small group tutoring sessions can help to ensure that the basics of reading, writing and simple maths are achieved. Once the library can reopen, the funds received will also help other activities such as the English Club, Computer Club, Science Club as well as our Dance and Arts activities.

To learn more about how YUM  is helping children continue their education, check out their most recent report

Thank you so much for your compassion and commitment. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year!  

Warmly,  

Alix Guerrier 

GlobalGiving CEO

Dec 29, 2020

Supporting Houston's Arts Community in Crisis

Photo: Houston Arts Alliance
Photo: Houston Arts Alliance

More than three years have passed since Hurricane Harvey devastated the greater Houston area and other parts of Texas. For many impacted communities, the journey to full recovery remains impossibly slow—and nowhere near its end.

One of GlobalGiving’s key partners in Houston, the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), remains committed to serving communities in the arts and culture sectors that were first impacted by the hurricane and now suffer additional loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. HAA is deeply committed to helping artists and local arts-focused nonprofits be bold, productive, and strong. As 2020 comes to a close, we took a moment to speak with Quang Vu, HAA’s Manager of External Affairs, and Disaster Services Program Manager Lauren Hainley to share a firsthand perspective of the organization’s impact, insight, and hope with you and the more than 30,000 others who have donated to GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund since 2017.

How has Houston Arts Alliance been in a position to serve creative communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey and now COVID-19?

When Hurricane Harvey devastated the artistic community of Houston, HAA and our partner service organizations came together to provide much-needed aid and relief funding to the community. In the years since Harvey, HAA conducted critical work to learn from that disaster and developed the preliminary vision for a new Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (VOAD) plan, which integrates into the emergency management systems of Houston and the surrounding arts and cultural communities. This plan has allowed HAA to respond to the needs of artists and arts organizations and continues to be reshaped with each disaster that threatens to undo the rich arts and cultural ecosystems of our city. During COVID, the HAA team responded to the needs of the community in two forms.

First, HAA expanded upon the initial partnership network of arts and cultural organizations that was developed during the response efforts of Hurricane Harvey, and convened nearly 20 small and large organizations within the Greater Houston Area to collectively respond. This group amplified and streamlined communication efforts into the community for faster, more effective resource dissemination while also operating as a strategy think-tank for the art’s pandemic response. The other side of this collective effort that made the group’s work impactful was the ability to listen to the needs of the community while being the voice for our shared constituents.

In April, we were able to put together the Greater Houston Area Arts Relief Fund for Artists and Arts Workers, which raised a total of $331,560 that went directly toward supporting the immediate financial needs of the growing number of unemployed creative workers in the arts. In June, after collecting data and listening to our community for the first three months of the pandemic, we created our needs assessment report for the arts in the Greater Houston Area. This document became the backbone on which we developed and prototyped new disaster programs for building community resilience and recovery.

The second front of our VOAD plan was to create important relationships outside of the artistic community. The HAA Disaster Services department joined the Harris County Long-Term Recovery Group that has been consistently meeting since Hurricane Harvey. HAA’s partnership with this group, along with other local response and recovery organizations, has given the team frontline access to services and information outside of the arts. 

In Houston Arts Alliance's view, how can people best support the arts and creative communities during this time of such need?

In Houston alone, the artistic community has suffered nearly $100 million in economic damage. A recent Brookings Institution report shows America’s arts and creative industries lost $150 billion in sales and 2.7 million jobs through July. What artists and arts organizations need the most during this time is your support. There are many ways you can do this: buy next season’s season tickets at your local theater or a membership to your favorite museum; look to see if your community is holding an outdoor art market to support local makers and creatives; or commission a portrait of your family for the holidays. Artists and arts organizations continue to create and innovate for the community and are given less resources and support to do so, while creativity is needed now more than ever.

However, HAA encourages you to go beyond just your dollar contribution to the arts. True change happens when we are able to change the systems and structures to enhance artistic and cultural vibrancy within our cities. This starts at the local level, where elected officials must be made aware of the important place of the arts within all of our communities.

What is giving the Houston Arts Alliance team hope as we all head into 2021?

The COVID-19 vaccine has begun to be administered across the country. As this vaccine becomes more widespread, the arts community will be able to begin reopening their doors to the community. There is hope that our community will be back to some normalcy by the end of 2021. However, artists and arts organizations have already adapted to the new world of Zoom entertainment and social distancing. Dance shows are performed at outdoor pavilions and online art sales are beginning to gain traction. Artists and arts organizations are resilient, innovative, and ever-changing. To HAA, that continues to be the pillar of hope for us as we charge into the new year with our team. 

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Thank you for your generosity and support of community-led disaster recovery

With gratitude, 

Chase + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo: Houston Arts Alliance
Photo: Houston Arts Alliance
Dec 10, 2020

What Community-Led Recovery Looks Like In Australia

Photo: Upper Murray Innovation Foundation
Photo: Upper Murray Innovation Foundation

As 2020 comes to an end, we are reflecting on the importance of community. It has been inspiring to see the global community work together to support local communities impacted by disaster, even during the most difficult times. This has been especially true after the devastating bushfires that swept across Australia earlier this year. Thanks to your generosity, GlobalGiving’s community foundation partners in Australia are driving bushfire recovery and building back stronger.

Community foundations play a critical role in the local social sector. Empowering local people and letting them lead are central to their work. With community knowledge and connections, they can provide immediate relief and get targeted funds to those that need them most. 

Through GlobalGiving’s strategic partnership with Australian Community Philanthropy, your contributions have supported the exemplary work of seven community foundations that continue to respond to the terrible impacts of the Australia bushfires in their areas:

  • Community Foundation for Tumut Region is providing a second round of local business vouchers to families in the Tumut area of New South Wales whose homes and property were damaged in the fires. The vouchers will allow families to purchase materials to rebuild and native trees, shrubs, and garden plants to restore damaged local ecosystems.
  • Mumbulla Foundation, based in the Bega Valley of New South Wales, is supporting its community by providing psychosocial care to frontline responders.
  • Into Our Hands Community Foundation is deploying GlobalGiving funding through hyperlocal grants to small organizations and initiatives in North East Victoria that are focused on holistic community recovery and building resilience against future fires.  
  • Upper Murray Innovation Foundation is expanding the scale of its long-term bushfire recovery efforts in the Upper Murray region of Corryong, Victoria in consultation with a locally led advisory committee. The committee, composed of community members, will respond to a wide variety of local needs caused by the fires. 
  • Southern Highlands Foundation is allocating grants to local community organizations focused on medium- to long-term recovery in the Wingecarribee Shire area of New South Wales.
  • Northern Rivers Community Foundation, located in New South Wales, supports community-based organizations and initiatives in the Northern Rivers region. Following a community listening project, it launched a Recovery and Resilience Grant Program to support local initiatives like a community education and action program focused on strengthening disaster preparedness and resilience.
  • Community Foundation For Albury Wodonga Region (Border Trust) is supporting 13 local community initiatives, including the creation of a community greenhouse, in the Albury Wodonga area on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. 

These critical community initiatives are only possible because of your support. Thank you for joining with more than 26,000 other donors to drive community-led disaster recovery efforts through organizations with first-hand knowledge of people’s needs following a disaster and the best path to a stronger future. In the months ahead, we’re looking forward to sharing another update on how your donation is making an impact in Australia. 

With gratitude,

Mikaela + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo: Southern Highlands Foundation
Photo: Southern Highlands Foundation
 
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