During the RFC’s most recent granting period, we received an unusually high volume of applications including requests for support for 25 kids from 11 new families. The need was so great that we once again increased our granting budget and awarded more than $410,000 in grants in 2021. This record breaking amount brings our total granted in our 30+ year history to over $8.1 million.
To give a sense of our organization’s growth over time, in our first ten years the RFC granted just over $725,000 in total; in 2000, our tenth full year of our granting program, we awarded 84 grants totaling $190,000 to benefit 150 children. In 2020, our 30th granting year, we made 145 grants for 198 children totaling $399,450. With the need for support ever increasing, the RFC made grants totaling almost $2 million dollars in just the last five years.
Since the RFC was founded in 1990, we’ve provided grants to the children of targeted progressive activists to support their educational and emotional needs. We've helped thousands of kids in our organization’s history. The grants we’ve awarded have allowed kids to attend progressive institutions, play sports, receive tutoring and mental health services and more. We’ve also provided funds to Targeted Activist Youth to develop their organizing skills and supported our older beneficiaries as they prepared for their adult lives by providing Carry it Forward awards to help them purchase educational items needed for university or to cover the costs of their career training.
Along the way, we have watched beneficiaries who joined the RFC as little kids grow up and thrive. One RFC beneficiary who first received support in 2010 and was just awarded her final CIF award this past fall shared, “I am eternally grateful for everything the RFC has done for me, I practically grew up with them.” Another RFC beneficiary who received her first RFC grant for dance lessons when she was just four years old, is now attending her first year of college.
Even as the beneficiaries we support, and the activist communities they come from, continue to change, one thing remains constant: none of the grants would be possible without our dedicated community of supporters. Over the years, supporters have hosted house parties, named the RFC in their wills, made donations in honor of their loved ones and showered the RFC with messages of encouragement and support. The strength of our community of supporters has allowed us to grow year after year to respond to the ever growing needs of our beneficiary families.
The generous, sustained support of our community has allowed us to continue to stand with the children of targeted activists during the darkness of the previous administration and through the ongoing COVID crisis. This longevity is a remarkable testament to the power of our founder Robert Meeropol’s vision of a community of support for the children of targeted activists and a fulfillment of Ethel and Julius Rosenbergs’ belief that others would carry on after them.