Linda is a non-alcoholic person married to an end-stage alcoholic. She is author of “Workbook for Caretakers of End-Stage Alcoholics” and “The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife”. She maintains a blog about this difficult experience, looking for the places of humor and light amidst the, as she describes it, “insanity” of the situation. Through her powerful public voice on the issue, has become a resource for others in similar situations. A year ago, Linda started the “Our Alcoholism Resource and Support Group” (OARS F&F GROUP) as a private on-line support system which already has over 300 members. With Pollination Project funding, Linda will begin to pilot live group meetings for friends and families of addicted people within a 200 mile radius of her home. The goal of the group is for each person to survive and thrive by finding their strengths and passions within themselves while in the center of addiction insanity. Her goal is to launch groups that can self-sustain over time, and eventually, she plans to travel around the US to launch new groups.
Folami Irvine is a doula and herbalist who is passionate about empowering african american women to gain the necessary knowledge to better take care of themselves and their families. She writes, “Helping sisters in Philadelphia give birth to beautiful babies is my calling.”
Healthy Families is a community-based prenatal nutrition workshop for 18-30 year old women in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Strawberry Mansion currently has the highest rates of low infant birth weight in all of Philadelphia, with little neighborhood support. Women who attend the classes will be paired with mentors, and gain a network of social support right in their own neighborhoods.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 17, 2013
Volunteer Odyssey is a 7-day volunteering/blogging tour of the Memphis non-profit scene. While open to everyone, this program is specifically geared for those between jobs who are on the hunt for their next great opportunity and looking for a way to give back in the process. The program is time intensive, requiring 6-8 hours daily during the Odyssey Week. Those who complete the program will become more involved with the Memphis non-profit scene, sharpen their job skills, and “pay it forward” within Volunteer Odyssey by mentoring the upcoming participants during their own Odyssey Week.
The Pollination Project supported Volunteer Odyssey to develop marketing and promotional materials, as well as supporting their photo collection and storage efforts, which is the cornerstone of how they tell their story (and the stories of their participants!)
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 16, 2013
Suzanne O’Keeffe is a passionate, committed activist, writer and filmmaker who has been volunteering on the ground for over a year educating and empowering homeowners desperately trying to save their homes from the banks’ illegal foreclosures. She, as part of Occupy Fights Foreclosures in Los Angeles, has planned and participated in many actions to put pressure on lawmakers and banks to work with homeowners. Occupy Fights Foreclosures was instrumental in getting the Homeowners Bill of Rights passed into law in California in 2012.
But to stop this phenomenal injustice, the conversation of the country must change. Currently, the banks’ PR machine puts out the story lines across all media to blame the“deadbeat”homeowner. The resulting shame and embarrassment prevents millions of homeowners from standing up for themselves or even telling their neighbors what has happened. It prevents them from effectively pressuring the political system to make real change. Judges across the country are not immune to the propaganda and regularly side with the banks. As banks have stolen millions of homes, the relentlessness of years of immense stress coupled with lack of control has led to illness, suicides and PTSD across the country. Entire neighborhoods are boarded up. Banks are the new slum lords and America is becoming a nation of renters.
To change the conversation, Suzanne has been working on a powerful film project. I.B.G.Y.B.G. (I’ll Be Gone, You’ll Be Gone) chronicles the aftermath of the Inside Job. It tells the heart of the story. The film’s intent is to turn outrage into empathy, and describe how the system can and must change.
The title, I.B.G.Y.B.G., was a little saying the financial industry would throw back and forth to each other while they were doing the dirty work – to remind themselves they’d be long gone with all the loot (and out of the line of fire) by the time the inevitable disaster hit.
Suzanne has created a trailer for this film to attract funding and distribution deals. The trailer has been created by pure volunteer effort with top film professionals and donations of professional gear, but it needs additional work to bring it to the level that will reflect the award-winning quality of the final film. It’s come as far as it can come on volunteer effort and the Pollination Project is providing a grant to help Suzanne take it to the next level.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 15, 2013
Carolyn is an award-winning Filmmaker, Educator and Creative Director who is passionate about telling stories of women taking a stand against environmental destruction and injustices while implementing real world solutions to solve these problems.
Carolyn’s film, Conversations With Unreasonable Women, will profile four women working to save their hometowns, and the world at large, from the savagely destructive environmental practices of immense agri-business, energy, and petrochemical corporations. They are “unreasonable” in their dogged persistence to confront these goliath forces. The women face ostracism, prison,and even death threats in order to continue their work to preserve the land, the lives, and the livelihoods of their communities.
Carolyn’s goal seeks to use the documentary to ignite a movement across the US that brings women together to meet and discuss the issues the film raises and, most importantly, taking action on the positive solutions the film will present. Carolyn is at the very beginning stage of the project and we look forward to seeing how it unfolds over the coming year.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 14, 2013
Velinda and Desiree are passionate about the power that animals have to heal. They have 15 years of combined experience in Equine Assisted Activities & Therapy to children with disabilities. After shuttling horses back and forth from a barn in one location to a riding center in another location, Velinda, Desiree and their all-volunteer team at Freedom Ranch Therapeutic Riding and Rescue, are now developing a permanent location at which they can conduct classes for the kids.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 13, 2013
Patricia is a long time animal advocate and activist who saw a need for a more organized vegan/vegetarian community in her region of Rehoboth Delaware. She explains, “With the growing popularity/awareness of veg living and the ever-increasing number of local people I met here, I realized there was no organized veg community – no single place for veg and veg-curious to connect. So I formed the organization VegRehoboth to do just that.” In partnership with the nonprofit, Compassion over Killing, Veg Rehoboth will host their first-ever veg fest on June 1, 2013. Patricia hopes to attract attendees who are locals as well as the large population of people who make Rehoboth their summer home. Patricia hopes to leverage the Veg Fest to build more community around animal advocacy issues in the Rehoboth area.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 12, 2013
John Pierre is a nutrition and fitness consultant who has devoted more than a quarter century to helping and improving the lives of others through his expertise in the areas of geriatrics, nutrition, fitness, women’s empowerment, green living, and cognitive retainment and improvement. A dedicated activist, John works with people of all ages promoting the benefits of a plant-based diet, stress reduction, physical fitness, and the importance of living a loving and compassionate life. He is a popular personal trainer who conducts group fitness boot camps and works with individual clients, including Ellen de Generes.
Pollination Project seed funding will be used for John Pierre to be able to distribute video and print resources via his website to inspire people to focus on a plant-based diet.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 11, 2013
Lisa is a pediatric anesthesiologist who has participated in over 15 surgical missions around the world. Working with the Pain Free Foundation, Lisa and a team that includes two high-level surgeons, nurses specializing in burn care, physical therapist, a nutritionist, a social worker and a yoga teacher, will spend a week in March 2014 providing burn care training to the medical team at the Model Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal. Lisa’s team will work side by side with doctors and medical staff on acute treatment of third degree burns. Lisa explains that acute burn care and instruction is vitally needed in Nepal. According to the local surgeon who is hosting Lisa’s team, it is not an uncommon practice for women to be set on fire or have acid thrown on them by their husbands as punishment. Further, cooking on open flames on the ground is common practice. Children are accidentally burned by kerosene used to light and heat cooking pots.
Lisa’s team will not just to go do surgeries themselves, but teach the local doctors the need for early intervention, wound care, grafting, nutrition and physical therapy. They also will help educate on burn prevention and set up protocols for treatment and an ICU specifically for burn care. Lisa hopes to return at least once or twice a year to provide ongoing support to the Kathmandu team.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 10, 2013
Kelly is a student leader with Design for America (DFA), a US network of interdisciplinary student teams and community members using design to create local and social impact. As part of her work with DFA team, and with support from the Autism Project of Rhode Island, she created The Empathy Box, a storytelling tool to create an empathetic relationship between the autism community and the general public. Each box, created by a family within the autism community, contains stories about the joys or frustrations of living each day with someone on the spectrum. The project aims to challenge the stereotypes typically associated with the disorder and inform others about its intricacies. Accompanying this guestbook of stories are objects that either engage the recipient or provide them with a token to take away from their experience with the box. Then the recipient has two choices… to pass on the box to someone else, or participate by sharing their own story of autism or a similar empathetic experience. This is all paired with a web platform that allows people to track their boxes and to document their stories. Through the Empathy Box, Kelly and her co-leaders want to start a dialogue and wave of empathy within the community for autism.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 9, 2013
Gary De Mattei and Caryn Hartglass have been in the arts for over 30 years and are passionate advocates for humane, plant-based diets. They seek to joyfully show people the benefits of a vegan lifestyle and have created a fun, cabaret act called The Swingin’ Gourmets. It is a fun and entertaining way to educate people and open their minds to positive change. In addition to educating about food’s impact on health, environment and animals, vegan food will be served at each performance. The Swingin’ Gourmets tour takes the show on the road and already has performances lined up in California, South Florida and New York, with more to come. Pollination Project gave Caryn and Gary a Pay It Forward loan to be used for tour production costs.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 8, 2013
Harriet is one of the original and devoted founders of the Bread for the Journey chapter in Santa Cruz, CA. Bread for the Journey is an incredibly effective, de-centralized organization that encourages small groups to raise and give away money in their own communities. Harriet describes the Bread For the Journey experience as “soulful nourishment that is found when like minded spirits come together to practice generosity with themselves and their community.” The Santa Cruz group is undergoing a rebirth and new members have come on board to implement their ideas on how to best support those in need in their community. The Pollination Project offered a matching grant to the Bread for the Journey Santa Cruz team to help them relaunch their chapter and build awareness about their work. Of course, they raised the other half of the match very quickly and are well on their way to making micro grants to wonderful projects in their community. See (and LIKE!) their Facebook Page for updates.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 7, 2013
Jeff Kirschner, a serial entrepreneur and storyteller, says his four year old daughter helped him see the need for Litterati. Litterati is a movement that uses Instagram to crowd-source clean the planet. The Digital Landfill is a photo gallery showcasing the different pieces of litter being picked up, and the overall impact of the movement. With geo-tagging, Litterati provides insight into problem areas and highlights the most active Litterati communities. Keyword tags on the photos help identify those brands and products that generate the most litter. Litterati will use this data to work with companies and organizations to find environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 6, 2013
Leah is an herbalist and teacher who builds community awareness around wild plants as medicine and food in North East Ohio. She started developing a botanical sanctuary as a place to propagate and grow seeds, protect endangered plants, and train others on seed saving, root propagation and how to cultivate medicinal plants. The Seed House will be a sunny straw bale structure and a greenhouse where participants will learn all these planting techniques and then take home seeds to start in their own backyards.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 5, 2013
Kayla is a long time animal advocate and it has been her dream to open a farm sanctuary. The grassroots-run Full Circle Farm Sanctuary will use Pollination Project funding to construct additional chicken coops which will enable them to provide lifetime loving homes to additional chickens in need. They are often contacted about hens and roosters in crisis situations and they want to be able to house as many chickens as possible.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 4, 2013
Treva has been a volunteer English teacher in Central America for almost two and a half years. She and her husband started a foundation to build and repair schools in and around the town of Timushan, Guatemala. They were able to raise money to build their first school, and now want to work with the children and build a greenhouse made from plastic 2 liter bottles.
The greenhouse construction project will teach the children about cooperation and teamwork, as well as eco-friendly building methods. Once the greenhouse is complete, children will learn about planting and growing fruits and vegetables.
Treva explains that many of the children in the area eat only one meal a day and their diet does not include many vegetables or fruits. The greenhouse will provide healthy snacks while in school. Treva adds, “it will give more incentive for the parents to send their children to school, when many times; the children are kept home to work and gather food.”
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 3, 2013
Ami and a team of Vegan Educators are creating a monthly community event in South Florida that teaches and inspires people about plant-based diets. At the event, while adults attend a screening of the documentary, Vegucated, younger children will participate in ‘Food Play’ where they will make live, edible, sculptures out of farm fresh fruits and vegetables. The event will also showcase and sell art from a vegan kids cookbook (which is how they will fund the next month’s event), feature a raffle and have other resource materials to take home. Local businesses and organizations have already donated space, resource materials and food for their launch.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 2, 2013
Cherry Lane is a successful florist by profession and has been a front line volunteer for many organizations. She knows how much organizations need money to do their work and wanted to help. Cherry Lane had the idea to collect unused gift cards and donate the “change” to organizations that need it. Unused gift card “change” accounts for nearly 2 billion dollars of money!
Giftcard Change Matters has a donation system for people to give their gift card balances to nonprofits in the Atlanta, GA area. The collective balances are used to purchase donated items on the wish lists of registered nonprofit organizations. Already Giftcard Change Matters has supported several local animal shelters and women’s centers, and has a plan to expand beyond their region across the US.
GRANT AWARD DATE: MAY 1, 2013
Caroline is an artist whose passion is using the creative process as a tool for personal growth and community awareness. She says, “I know that our innate wisdom holds great power and our personal expression of that wisdom can cross borders and reach far beyond ourselves to grow and affect change for generations to come.”
Caroline and another artist will spend the month of July traveling across the United States, bringing a unique healing arts workshop, Traveling Postcards, to over one hundred women who are living in safe houses. Caroline’s project will support these often invisible / hidden women in telling their stories and sharing their wisdom. The workshop allows women to create a self-portrait on a blank postcard. Using fabric, pens, glue sticks, ribbons, buttons and thread, women gather and share a story from their hearts. The postcards will be used as a collective art exhibit that will be shown in San Francisco at the culmination of the month long journey, and also archived in a virtual library online.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 30, 2013
Karega Bailey is the Dean of students and the spoken word poetry coach at Maya Angelou Public Charter High School in Washington DC. He is also an accomplished spoken word poet and most recently completed SOL SPOKEN, a double album, tour and documentary of poetry and music. Its message is about finding hope in hopelessness. As his students watched him reach his own dreams, the students started becoming more interested in and committed to telling their own stories. Karega explains, “Many of my students have been unsuccessful in other academic environments. They have struggled with attaining goals and have been met with an unusually harsh reality of violence. In their journey of healing and taking control of their futures, poetry has become a pillar. My students are defying the odds.”
After months of writing, these amazing students are ready to record and produce their own stories in the form of a Spoken Word album titled the Maya Angelou Public Charter Mixtape: Rebel Music. With the help of sound engineers and graphic designers, Karega will support the students create a professional recording that they can promote at school assemblies, open mics and in their community. Proceeds will fund future projects.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 29, 2013
Vartika is one of the leaders of a small troupe of young theatre activists who develop and perform plays based on current social realities in India. This team includes youth from Kolkata’s slums and other Bengal villages, students pursuing self-designed learning courses at an alternative university as well as other theatre enthusiasts from Kolkata. Their first play, ‘Madhubabur Bajaar’ (Madhubabu’s Market) is based on a real incident where a nine-year old girl in a Bengal village was beaten to death by local traders for stealing a watermelon from the market. The play struck a chord with the first viewers, and many have expressed a wish to see it being performed for other institutions, organizations and groups they are associated with. Besides taking Madhubabur Bajaar to these spaces in the city and beyond. This project will also develop new sketches and performances with socially relevant themes and commentary. Vartika’s project came to us via our flow fund partnership with Youth for Environmental Sanity.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 28, 2013
Erica is an 11th grade biology teacher at East Side Community High School in New York City. She is passionate about the Environmental Committee comprised of 20-30 students who have taken on the huge project of revitalizing the school’s garden after years of neglect. Their plans include renovating a pond, reseeding a lawn and creating planting beds and gardening. Erica says that rodent proofed, raised garden beds are key to transforming the space. They will use Pollination Project funding to build wood garden beds for flowering plants and herbs. During the winter, 30 students already worked very hard to produce compost from the school’s waste stream and this compost will be used in the planting beds. Planting beds will be made available to students at ESCHS as well as the neighboring schools and members of the local community.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 27, 2013
Keegan Kuhn was involved in the largest animal neglect case in US History. A filmmaker by trade, Keegan was one of the first animal rescuers at the site of the A&L poultry farm in Turlock, CA, where 50,000 hens were left to starve to death. Keegan began to document the rescue efforts as they unfolded, and after two tireless days of work, the team saved over 4,400 hens, making it the largest animal rescue in California history.
TURLOCK the documentary, is Keegan’s feature length film about this case. The film delves into the emotional lives of the animal rescuers present at the farm in their attempt to save as many lives as possible and exposes the reality of animal farming today. The film raises questions about how we view non-human animals in our society and the role we play in their suffering. Pollination Project funds are being used to pay licensing costs for some of the necessary media footage that appears in the film.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 26, 2013
The CAPABLE Volunteer Co was founded by Julie Schulte, an occupational therapist who seeks to nurture and encourage people with all types of abilities and capabilities. Julie launched CAPABLE Volunteer Co to connect people ages 20-65 with physical/medical challenges to volunteer opportunities in the Dubuque, Iowa community.
In addition to sending volunteers to serve at almost 50 local nonprofits, CAPABLE Volunteer Co. hosts a weekly workshop where volunteers create upcycled crafts from leftover materials that builders and stores would put in landfills. Crafts are sold, donating most of the profits to worthy causes, both local and global.
Pollination Project funds will be used to purchase ongoing use craft materials and tools like a circular saw, glue guns, etc., as well as paying for local craft fair vendor fees.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 25, 2013
Renee Jean writes, “When I started gardening, I had no one really to help me. I started my garden to improve my own food security, but three years in a row I failed to produce any substantial amount of crops. I think many food insecure families would give up long before that point, and I thought how nice it would be if I had only had a garden coach to help me avoid wasting a ton of money, time and resources.” Many years later, Renee works with local garden clubs and is a vocal advocate for the importance of native plants.
The Parkland Seedbank is Renee Jean and Jaime Willmann’s vision for a community-managed seed bank based in Eastern Missouri. Its goal is to strengthen food security in the community, teach sustainable gardening techniques and promote the use of more native plants in home landscapes.
A team of local volunteers will provide non-hybrid, heirloom vegetable seeds to families to help them grow fresh produce to supplement their diets, as well as some butterfly weed to help monarch butterflies. Recipients who lack gardening space of their own will be connected with a nearby existing community garden, or the volunteers will help them design a suitable potted plant option. Each recipient will be asked to harvest seed from at least one or two plants, to replenish what they have taken from the seed bank and help grow its size. They would also be asked to consider growing an additional row of crops to donate to an area food pantry.
Pollination Project funds will literally be used to seed the project! The Parkland Seedbank will purchase the initial seeds to put the vision in motion.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 24, 2013
Sheena Brown is a teacher at the University of Arizona in Tuscon. She has deep training in meditation and mindfulness practices, and a passion for a group of students who are part of the Arizona Assurance program. AZ Assurance provides financial, academic and personal support to a large cohort of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, many of whom are first-generation college students who would not be able to attend college without the program. Many hold down full time jobs to support their families while taking large course loads and trying to maintain a high GPA to keep their scholarship. As an adjunct to her class on the Art and Science of Happiness, Sheena is providing (as a volunteer) a weekly small group experience for the AZ Assurance students called “Mindfulness 101”. Over time, she plans to use the structure of Mindfulness 101 to develop a network of AZ Assurance program students who can mentor and support one another. Pollination Project funds will be used to purchase meditation cushions and books for Mindfulness 101.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 23, 2013
Dancing without Borders is a grassroots peace and social justice project that produces and facilitates large scale interactive dances, flash mobs and rituals to support social, environmental, and economic justice. Each dance is a universal prayerformance directed towards life-affirming consciousness. It is a lively invitation to weave communities together in a context that is healing and enlivening. Magalie founded Dancing without Borders in 2011 as a grassroots effort and has since coordinated large-scale dance rituals across the world, most recently in San Francisco in conjunction with the V-Day One Billion Rising efforts, and on April 20, 2013 in honor of Earth Day.
Funding from the Pollination Project will be used to build an effective web platform that can be used as a movement building and organizing tool. Magalie’s goal is to make it enticing for leaders across the world to organize local flash mobs in their community with the Dancing without Borders web and coaching support. Watch Dancing without Borders in action.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 22, 2013 (EARTH DAY!)
HECK of a Neighborhood Grocery Store (short for: The Health Education Center, Organic Farm And Neighborhood Grocery) is a community vision for a fresh, affordable and healthy food grocery store serving Lower Ninth Ward residents in New Orleans, LA. Founders Jessica Velcoff and Philip Sambol are passionate about health and social justice issues and with HECK of a Neighborhood Grocery, hope to inspire other cities with similar challenges, how a cooperative, community driven approach towards holistic health and wellbeing can help achieve the successful, sustainable society we all want to see. They are in Phase I of the work, planning and developing partnerships. In May, they will break ground for a community garden that will serve as a focal point for the community. They will begin fundraising and space acquisition in the summer, 2013 once they secure nonprofit status.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 21, 2013
Shodo Spring is a long time activist, a grandmother for four, a buddhist practitioner and Zen teacher. She was arrested during a Keystone Pipeline protest in 2011. Shodo writes, “while in a winter-long monastic retreat, I received a vision of walking along the pipeline with a group of people. The vision persisted and I accepted it as my major assignment for this lifetime.”
Shodo has assembled a core group of walkers and support people to make a 3 month pilgrimage along the Great Plains Keystone XL pipeline route this summer. The team starts in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada where the new pipeline construction is slated to begin, and walk south on roads near the pipeline route, living as intentional, committed, spiritual community, and offering service and educational events to communities along the way. They are working with local groups to arrange events and also film a documentary.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 20, 2013
Teresa is a nutrition and health coach and passionate about people living integrative and healthy lifestyles. Her personal experiences with healing led her to want to make natural health care practices more accessible. She and her husband recently launched an innovative cooperative network called the Wellness Cooperative of New Mexico. Instead of a small group of natural practitioners competing for a limited amount of clients who can afford to pay out of pocket for their services, the Wellness Cooperative expands the audience by creating a strong referral and peer support environment, educational events, and collaborations between practitioners to treat a whole person with multiple modalities. It is also a business model where coop members share in profits at year end and when one member wins, everyone wins. In a time when new integrative approaches to health care need to be more accessible to more people; and where our old business models are failing us; we loved this project for its community based approach to creating a business where everyone shares in the success.
GRANT AWARD DATE: APRIL 19, 2013