14 Nov Healdsburg Forever Grants Impact: Supporting the environment, arts, and more.
Our grants from Healdsburg Forever last year supported our nonprofit community to launch new programs, and maintain others, bringing vitally needed services to Healdsburg and Geyserville residents. We asked our grantees to share some notes of impact, about what they have been able to achieve with grants from Healdsburg Forever.
The Healdsburg Forever grant has allowed us to achieve our goal of reaching communities who have limited access to environmental education opportunities, and creating opportunities for local youth, in 2nd-5th grades, to experience the wonders of nature and to get excited about becoming next-generation stewards of our planet. The school field trip program that Healdsburg Forever supports, Students Conducting Environmental Inquiry (SCENIQ), has very limited funding and is supported solely by grants to cover the bus scholarships and staffing for the program.This program is unique in Sonoma County in it’s immersive nature – providing 9-hours of field trips and classroom learning at no cost to the schools we serve. Because of the Healdsburg Forever grant, we have been able to increase our services to the entire Healdsburg Elementary and Healdsburg Charter 2nd grade classes and 4th grade classes. I joined our environmental specialist, Holland Gistelli, on a recent field trip with Healdsburg Elementary 5th graders, and marveled at how excited they were to experience the wildlife here at Pepperwood, from close-up encounters with a young male deer, to seeing an acorn woodpecker drilling right in front of us! One of the students exclaimed, “isn’t nature perfect?”
– Margaret Boeger, Education Director
With the financial support from Healdsburg Forever, the Alexander Valley Film Society has been able to lean into our educational work in new ways. Their grant helped us pay for a teaching artist to visit classrooms in Geyserville and Healdsburg with film as a teaching tool. Partnering with them as funders has also provided legitimacy with under funders who trust the leadership and grant-making process at Healdsburg Forever. We are fortunate to have stewards at the highest level who value our work in this way.
– Kathryn Hecht, Executive Director
In June of 2018, the Healdsburg Unified School District (HUSD) was informed that due to the costly damages from the 2017 Wildfires, mental health funding for programs like SOS Community Counseling was being reallocated for disaster relief. Given that SOS provides on campus, year round mental health services for our students at Healdsburg High School, HUSD turned to the Healdsburg Education Foundation (HEF) to see if we could garner enough resources in a months time to save the program from being cut.
The students of Healdsburg High themselves came out in strong support of the program, which offers not only one on one and group counseling, but also preventative education on everything from addition to anxiety, and gives our students a safe place to seek help, guidance, and conflict resolution amongst their peers. The HEF Board did not hesitate to agree to an ad-hoc campaign to save the program, and thankfully, Healdsburg Forever reached out with a $5,000 grant towards the programs costs. This money helped to inspire other donors to rally around the issue, provided visibility to the importance of retaining these services for all members of our community, and ultimately resulted in HEF’s ability to find donors who were able to match the funds raised and save the program.
Healdsburg Forever’s support during this time provided HEF not only with critical funding, but it symbolized the community coming together to recognize that these services could not be sacrificed, and that if we all pitched in, we could retain this lifesaving offering for our students. The Healdsburg Education Foundation is truly grateful for the generosity and partnership of Healdsburg Forever and its grant making team~ they truly did save the day!
– Kira Ehrmann, Senior Development Coordinator
Healdsburg Forever has helped Reach For Home expand its services by providing funding for housing, outreach and medical services to the most vulnerable members of our community. They are more than just a grantor – they are our partner. Healdsburg Forever has been at the forefront of every program we have launched. Reach for Home is a better agency because of their belief in, and support of, our mission.
– Colleen Carmichael, Executive Director