Under the direction of the Teen Funder Co-ordinator, Nancy Belkowitz, the group met twice in the past year to consider grant requests to charities from a Pooled Fund. After much consideration and negotiation, they distributed a total of $5,800 to the following 12 programs: Over the past 5 years, the Teen Funders have made grants of over $30,000.
The Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel – $750 helps Holocaust survivors in Israel in every possible sphere of their lives. This “Connected” project provides a computer and internet connection along with once a week student visits to teach computer use and help them cope with loneliness.
Merchavim – The Institute for Shared Citizenship in Israel – $500 This is to teach Arab and Jewish physical education (PE) teachers how to create a better environment in the PE class for all kids by building acceptance of one another.
InterFaith Works of Central New York – $500 In their Seeds of Peace program, a group of local teens work together to build hope and understanding among refugees and American teens through festivals, clubs and volunteer work.
Everson Museum of Art – $400 This will provide scholarships for kids from low-income families so that they can attend art classes at the museum. The classes help nurture critical thinking and observational skills and provide a safe platform for experimentation and self-expression.
Talpiot Community for Its Children – $250 The goal of this organization is to reduce the number of at-risk children and prevent risk situations in the family and the removal of children to out-of-home residential arrangements with a focus on returning the children back home to their healed parents and family.
Vera House, Inc. – $100 This is for the Pet Foster Care Program which allows individuals experiencing domestic violence and extremely difficult situations to seek help without the need to choose between their own safety and protecting their pets. Vera House volunteers take pets into their homes temporarily to enable individuals to seek shelter.
Fayetteville-Manlius A Better Chance – $300 gives talented young women who have a goal in life an opportunity to succeed and meet their highest potential. FMABC house, in the village of Manlius provides a home for six scholars to attend F-M High School for four years to get the education they need to qualify for college.
Forget Me Nots Chorus – $450 This chorus, THE FORGET ME NOTS, began last year to benefit the care giver and their loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. During a 10 week session, they learn new songs that “spark their memories”, and make them smile. A new song book accompanies each session.
From the Ground Up – $500 is an organization for those with learning, physical, and emotional disabilities. They offer therapeutic horse riding sessions. With the help of the teen funders, they are able to provide their services to some local teens.
Syracuse Jewish Family Service – $550 helps seniors to “Be A Friend! Stop a Bully! through small groups that gather twice each month with SJFS social workers to talk safely about themselves and have some fun with other people – forming the friendships they need to protect themselves and each other from bullies.
The Abraham Fund – $600 brings Jewish and Arab children (aged 11-12) together. The project pairs up Jewish and Arabs schools, and gives the students (and their teachers and parents) unique opportunities to meet and ‘get to know’ each other. The Encounters Project plays an essential role in rebuilding Jewish and Arab relations in Israel.
Crouse Health Foundation – $900 Kangaroo Care provides parents of premature and critically-ill babies with a more comfortable place to hold and bond with their baby in a new upholstered, reclining arm chair. This helps babies’ development and can actually improve a baby’s breathing, improve blood pressure and heart rate, help them digest their food, and aid in brain development.