By Tori Montemurro, Granting Coordinator
Each granting cycle brings a mixture of emotions as we receive updates on current beneficiary families and welcome new families to the RFC community. This granting cycle in particular was full of highs and lows. As mass protests and the ongoing health crisis have brought more focus to the social issues facing our society, we have seen an increase in targeting of activists across the country. This spring alone, we approved grants for twelve new families; they joined the 68 families we funded as renewals.
In addition to these 80 grants, we approved a group grant that will serve children in up to 11 additional activist families, a grant for grocery gift cards for families in crisis, a grant for virtual programming for beneficiaries and an Attica grant for an RFC beneficiary family to visit an incarcerated parent. In total, the Rosenberg Fund for Children awarded 84 grants this spring totaling over $210,000.
New beneficiaries include the nine-year-old daughter whose mother was fired for organizing a union at her Starbucks; two children, ages five and seven, whose mom, a water protector, was arrested for disrupting construction of a pipeline; and three children, ages three to 10, whose mom faced harassment and surveillance for advocating for political prisoners unjustly targeted in the U.S. “war on terror.” (Keep an eye out for our fall newsletter for more of their stories.)
While the increased number of applicants and the targeting they faced were overwhelming at times, we were also inspired by our beneficiaries’ creativity, resilience and successes. More than a dozen RFC beneficiaries graduated from highschool this spring and five graduated from college. Two beneficiaries requested funds to build their own computers, and two used their grants for bridge programs to help prepare them for university. In addition, countless beneficiaries continued their music lessons, started new sports, received mental health services, participated in cultural programs and so much more.
As we move forward, we are focusing our efforts on creative ways to support our new and returning grantees by developing virtual programming and connecting with partner organizations. We thank all of our supporters for making it possible for us to continue to stand with these children of resistance.
It was because of Rosenberg grants, that my grandson was able to take karate and get his Black Belt! It helped his disciple and goals for the future. He just graduated with honors from high school in May, with plans for college in August ! My entire family (especially his Dad), will be forever grateful to the Rosenberg Foundation. You are the GREATEST organization for your help to families of activists ! Thank You.