By Tori Montemurro, Granting Coordinator
This spring, six new families received RFC grants, joining 64 families whom the Board funded as renewals, and the Board approved one last grant to fund grocery gift cards for families this cycle. In total, the Rosenberg Fund for Children awarded 71 grants this spring totaling over $205,000. This brings the total granted in our 30+ year history to almost $8 million!
New families included:
- Eight children, ages two to 12, from four families whose fathers all participated in a hunger strike at a detention center to protest their detention and the unsafe conditions during the pandemic. As a result of the strike, the dads were placed in dry cells without access to running water, threatened with deportation, told they would not be eligible for release and taunted by prison guards. RFC grants will allow these kids to attend nurturing childcare and summer programs while they wait and hope for their dads’ release.
- The 21-year-old daughter of an environmental and racial justice activist who runs a podcast that highlights local issues and gives a voice to the voiceless. Due to her podcast, this mom has been removed from Boards and denied jobs in her field. The harassment extended to the daughter, who was denied a scholarship due to her mom’s activism and chose to attend college out-of-state to try to escape the targeting the family experienced.
- A little boy, just two years old, whose dad is a professor and racial justice activist. The dad had a series of disagreements with his department and university about his fundraising for anti-racist efforts on campus, in the community and in collaboration with other colleagues. He also clashed with administrators over his outspoken condemnation of the university's racist past, inadequate response to recent racial incidents on campus, and the university's continued ties to major donors who profit from prisons, as a result, his contract was not renewed. An RFC grant will cover childcare for his son in a program which shares his values while he looks for work and tries to regroup from the stress of the past year.
Highlights from Renewal Grants:
We have been blown away by the creativity of beneficiary parents who have found new ways to use their grant funds, and entertain their children, as the pandemic made many activities impossible. We are happy to see some of our beneficiaries will be returning to their activities this summer, with multiple children signing up for summer camps and other recreational activities. For those children who will not yet be returning to their pre-COVID activities, many parents have come up with creative ways to keep them engaged this summer. Here are some of our favorite spring grants:
- $1500 for an 11-year-old to purchase a paddleboard and a bee colony.
- $2,110 for two sisters, ages eight and 12, for online summer camp, backyard games and a garden project.
- $375 for an 11-year-old to take virtual puppy training lessons with her new dog.
Grocery Gift Cards:
The RFC has tried to adapt to the changing needs of our community during the current health and economic crisis. Because of this, the RFC will once again offer $200 gift cards to beneficiaries to purchase groceries for the families.
We welcome all the new and returning grantee members of our community and thank all of our supporters for making it possible for us to continue to stand with these children of resistance.
It is with extreme gratitude I feel towards the Rosenberg Fund that allows us to participate in donating...Jen and her crew do so much good. BRAVO
I feel so happy to read about and support your work and today it brought me to tears because when I was a kid my parents were imprisoned in South Africa for their anti-apartheid work and it was only through the generosity of the community I am here today.