Sep 30, 2020

Treads & Trails (TX) Update

Treads & Trails fosters healthy and active lifestyles for underserved youth. Children average 7 hours of screen time a day and only 1 in 5 receive the daily recommended 30 minutes of active play. Those statistics are even worse in low-income and minority populations. Through our Treads and Trails program, Can'd Aid rallies volunteers and provides them with equipment, tools and instructions needed to build bikes and skateboards. When the builds are complete, the new wheels are presented in a surprise assembly to an entire grade at a Title 1 school. Professional athletes are part of the assembly, teaching the students about the importance of exercise, bike/skateboard safety and never giving up on their dreams. Riding bikes and/or skateboards at a young age has been linked to higher academic performance, fosters positive character and social traits, and increases adolescent responsibility. Socially, the program helps to bridge the gender gap between boys and girls and promotes social interaction between children and adolescents. To date, over 6,000 bikes and skateboards have been distributed to children across the country. In Texas, 469 bikes and 165 skateboards have been built and donated in 2019 and 2020.

Since March, Can’d Aid has been busy implementing adapted programs so that we can continue to fulfill our mission despite the challenges related to the COVID pandemic. By following CDC recommendations, adhering to evolving guidelines and restrictions, and reworking areas of our signature programming, Can’d Aid has continued to serve communities in need.

In Texas, Can’d Aid has implemented revamped ways to deliver programming and to safely engage volunteers through people powered do-goodery. In partnership with small businesses on the ground, we have developed a “drive thru” opportunity where individuals pick up parts, assemble bikes and skateboards at home, then return the new sports equipment to prearranged drop off locations. Using this new model, two successful skateboard builds have been completed. In partnership with 11 Below Brewing, 65 boards were built by 13 volunteers. The boards were donated to Royal Family Kids, a foster care organization that is dedicated to interrupting cycles of neglect, abuse and abandonment. Buddy’s Houston Bar facilitated the building of 100 boards through 50 volunteers, all donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. Can’d Aid is grateful for the flexibility and creativity of our donors, volunteers, and implementing partners.

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Sep 22, 2020

Adapting TUNES efforts during COVID

Since March, Can’d Aid has been busy implementing adapted programs so that we can continue to fulfill our mission despite the challenges related to the COVID pandemic. By following CDC recommendations, adhering to evolving guidelines and restrictions, and reworking areas of our signature programming, Can’d Aid has continued to serve communities in need.

Significant modifications needed to be made to our existing TUNES program in order to support music programs in need. With schools abruptly out of session and in-person assemblies out of the question, Can’d Aid focused our efforts on partnering with multiple organizations dedicated to providing low-cost or free music education to financially disadvantaged youth. Over 25 instruments were donated to the varying organizations as well as directly to the children to take home. Small groups of students then participated in a series of five virtual, personalized music lessons with one of our TUNES Ambassadors using their brand new instruments.

Five brand new keyboards and stands were donated to five children on the waitlist for private lessons at Central Music Academy in Lexington, KY. These students’ first introduction to keyboard came from a series of five lessons with Abby Bryant, lead keyboardist/vocalist of TUNES Ambassador Downtown Abby & the Echoes. All five students are now enrolled in ongoing private lessons with Central Music Academy.

TUNES Ambassador George Guthrie of The Wooks, hosted a series of five group banjo lessons via Zoom for 7 students with Music Education and Performing Artists Association (MEPAA) in Eugene, OR. Can’d Aid donated 7 banjos and 2 stand up basses for children who receive scholarships for lessons.

“The fact that the lessons took place at all during the wildfire crisis they are dealing with is incredible, but amazingly the kids showed up each day ready and eager to play and learn. It was incredibly humbling and inspiring to see. I would love to work with you guys again should the opportunity arise, and I greatly look forward to representing Can’d Aid with the Wooks! Thanks so much! “
-George Guthrie of the Wooks

Bevin Foley, of Trout Steak Revival has finished up her first series of violin lessons with students at Central Music Academy, and is gearing up to launch a second set of lessons with the same group of children. Can’d Aid donated 11 violins to CMA, seven of which were given directly to each participating child.

With many musicians struggling to navigate an abruptly-altered industry - Can'd Aid offered participating TUNES Ambassadors a $1,500 stipend for each series of five lessons in order to support them during this challenging time.

Thank you to our donors for continuing to support our efforts as we navigate this new landscape!

Sep 14, 2020

Drinking Water to Navajo Nation Update

Can’d Aid spreads people powered do-goodery through Towns, Tunes, Treads & Trails, and Love Yur Mama efforts nationwide. Can’d Aid’s core programs develop healthy and whole humans capable and inspired to nurture a healthy and whole planet.

Through a signature program, Towns, Can’d Aid has a rich history of responding to communities in need post-disaster. From mucking + gutting homes ravaged by flooding to providing small emergency assistance grants to individuals and businesses in need, Can’d Aid has a proven track record of impactful grassroots efforts in the wake of disaster. However, one of the most significant impacts made to date has been and continues to be the disaster relief canned water program. Can’d Aid has distributed over two million cans of water throughout the United States and Puerto Rico in response to 30 natural and man-made disasters.

The people of the Navajo Nation, an extremely vulnerable population, have been hit especially hard during the COVID-19 global pandemic. With the pandemic’s negative ripple effects, necessities such as water, milk, and eggs are nearly impossible to secure in hard-hit communities throughout the region. According to Jessica Stago, Director of Native American Economic Initiatives at the Grand Canyon Trust, several communities have been asking for water. With many community members lacking access to clean running water and temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees, the need for water is increasing. Jessica explained that “the need for clean water is probably greater than the numbers show. If you have one person asking for water per community, there’s probably 20 families who need water”.

From the onset of COVID-19, Can'd Aid has been providing canned drinking water to the people of the Navajo Nation, where infection rates are far above national averages. Since March, Can’d Aid has established several strong relationships with local groups and organizations such as Grand Canyon Trust, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the community of Window Rock. Through key relationships, we have heard repeatedly that water continues to be a significant and increasing issue for the community.

In response to the needs, Can’d Aid has made a commitment to advance the water program to new levels by securing new water partners, purchasing new equipment, and making several capital improvements to the program.

Since March, Can’d Aid has shipped and distributed over 228,000 to the communities within Navajo Nation. With new partners and new equipment, Can’d Aid is able to continue and enhance providing water throughout 2020 and for the foreseeable future. 

We continue to be grateful for the support of GlobalGiving community.

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