For immediate release, January 4, 2021
Easthampton, MA- In a season of overwhelming need, the Rosenberg Fund for Children (www.rfc.org), based in Easthampton, MA, has responded by awarding a record-breaking $230,000 in awards this fall for critical programs for hundreds of children whose parents are facing significant repression because they have been fighting for workers’ and immigrants’ rights, an end to police brutality, freedom for all political prisoners, environmental justice, and other progressive causes.
Grants awarded this fall provided funds for therapy; music, drama and sports programs; books, computers and vital support for virtual learning; and other healing cultural and recreational activities.
RFC staff had to get creative in collaborating with grantee families on ways to put their regular grant funds to good use at a time when afterschool programs and other extracurricular activities were cancelled or moved online. They worked with one activist mother to purchase equipment for her 10-year-old son so they could build a garden in their backyard together, providing an opportunity for skill building as well as promoting emotional, physical and mental health. RFC has also continued to pay tuition for online K-12 education and to buy laptops and tablets to help make sure kids who are now dependent on technology to access that education can do so with ease.
Granting funds awarded in the fall exceeded that of any other in the organization’s 30+ year history. Including their spring grant award cycle, the RFC awarded more than $400,000 in total this year, including over $45,000 in grocery gift cards for 90+ grantee families facing financial hardship during the current crisis, an unprecedented addition to the RFC’s regular granting. “We are stretching ourselves beyond our ‘normal’ grants to help mitigate the economic fallout impacting the activist families we support,” adds Jennifer Meeropol, Executive Director of Rosenberg Fund for Children. “Even though we knew this might only be a small drop in the bucket of financial need for many families, it still felt important to offer what we could.”
The response RFC staff received made it clear that even modest support can have a big impact. “[The grocery gift card] came just at the right time,” one activist parent wrote. “This is such a generous help for our family!” and “it makes a huge difference, especially right now,” wrote others. One mom shared, “I have to tell you that I am literally crying after reading this extraordinary email! …Please tell everyone on the Board and donors how much this surprise blessing of the grocery card means. Both literally and in terms of boosting our spirits! Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
RFC’s grant awards come at a time in which a global pandemic has raged virtually unchecked, super-storms and fires tied to environmental mismanagement ravaged community after community, and despite massive protests, police continue to kill unarmed Black and Brown men and women, all too often with no repercussions.
The RFC pledges to continue to support grantee families through the duration of the pandemic. With their fall funding cycle now come to a close, they will be gearing up to release applications for next year’s spring cycle. Says Meeropol: “We’re looking forward to continuing to provide grants for the educational and emotional needs of the children of targeted progressive activists and targeted activist youth and will be there every step of the way to support our grantees, whatever the future brings.”
For information or interviews contact Rachel Harb, (413) 239-2711, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For downloadable, high-resolution photos visit rfc.org/bios_headshots.