2021 Giving Tuesday Grant Contest winners

2021 Giving Tuesday Grant Contest
The results are in!

We are excited to announce the winning nonprofits of the 2021 Giving Tuesday Grant Contest.

We figure what better way to share the impact these wonderful organizations have in their communities than to let the team members who nominated them tell us in their own words.

Congratulations to these nonprofits and to all our team members who give back to their communities every day!

Tempe, Arizona 1st place winner and $25,000 grant recipient Nominated by:  Dianne Ross Lost Our Home Pet Rescue is more than a pet shelter. It was originally started in 2008 as a grassroots response to the housing crisis that left thousands of people displaced and thousands of pets abandoned. They soon learned that there was a greater need.

In addition to adoption, this organization provides:

*Temporary Care - provides up to 90 days of complete care for pets when their pet parents experience a life hardship and are unable to care for them temporarily. This relieves pet parents of the overwhelming fear of losing their pet and, in turn, allows them to solely focus on regaining stability in their lives so they can be reunited with their pet.

*Pet Food Bank - provides pet food and supplies to financially struggling individuals so they do not have to give their         pets up simply because they cannot afford pet food during their time of need.

*Partnership with a domestic violence shelter that allows women fleeing domestic violence to keep their pets with them.

This is such a unique organization, allowing families who are facing hardships to keep their pets and not lose yet another important part of their lives.

Dallas, Texas 2nd place winner and $15,000 grant recipient Nominated by: Trish Cole I first learned about After8toEducate through a philanthropic organization that my son and I are members of, the Young Men's Service League. One of our chapter meetings highlighted the work After8toEducation offers to homeless youth in Dallas. We were not aware of this critical need in our community, nor were we aware of the high number of high school students who are homeless.

Over 4,000 students in the Dallas area are currently homeless. One in 30 adolescents aged 13-17 experience unaccompanied homelessness over the course of a year. Despite their living conditions, these students have the drive and determination to continue to pursue their education, but they need tremendous support. When unsheltered students age out of the foster care system or opt out of the child welfare system altogether, they are left with limited public and private resources.

After8toEducate (“After8”) is the first nonprofit in Dallas that provides comprehensive support to unsheltered high school youth. Unsheltered is defined as living in a car, park, campground, street, or abandoned building. Their mission is to improve life outcomes and promote self-sufficiency by giving unsheltered high school students a safe place and offering education as a pathway out of homelessness and poverty. After8toEducate provides an umbrella solution that supports unsheltered high school students to enable academic development, social and emotional development so they are able to lead healthy, productive, and independent lives. Working with the Dallas Independent School District as well as other local organizations, After8toEducate addresses the immediate needs of homeless students enrolled in DISD.

Services include the following:

*Residential services: 35 beds available for emergency youth shelter and transitional living program services.

*Support: Academic, emotional, and social support services such as tutoring, job training, counseling, and family           reunification resources.

*24-hour drop-in service: Around-the-clock services to meet immediate needs with meals, showers, clothing, laundry and other support services.

More than ever, in these very challenging times, After8toEducate needs all the resources they can gather to directly support homeless youth.

Memphis, Tennessee 3rd place winner and $10,000 grant recipient Nominated by: David Coleman Streets Ministries serves nearly 400 underserved students a day in Memphis by engaging, encouraging, and equipping them through educational, athletic, and mentor-based programming in two 34,000 square foot facilities. With my manager's support, I have been a mentor for six years for two young men through the Streets Ministries mentoring program.

I remember the first year when I met my mentees, I took them to get a hamburger after our mentoring session. They were talking about their chances to make a middle school basketball team. I asked them what positions they played and how tall they were compared to the other kids playing. I also asked them how tall their Dads were. One mentee said that he never met his Dad because he was in prison. The other mentee said that he thought his Dad lived in Atlanta, and he had no idea how tall he was. That conversation melted my heart, and I knew that I would do whatever I could to help these young men navigate their way through middle and high school.

Streets Ministries provides a great environment and support for me to connect and mentor with my guys. I have seen the positive impact that Streets staff and mentors are having on young teens’ lives. I know personally that my mentees have changed my perspective on the inner city and helped me become a better man. I believe that any grant with Streets Ministries will help bolster their programs and provide more opportunities for at-risk kids in Memphis to reach their God-given potential.

*** Images published with permission from Lost Our Home Pet Rescue, After8toEducate, and Streets Ministries