SOCIAL IMPACTS: Girl Power and g3 Awards
In celebration of our 20th anniversary year, Impact Austin is highlighting Community Partnerships. From 112 grants totaling $8.26 million to 91 local nonprofits, here is one story, but a special story encompassing 18 partnerships.
Girls Giving Grants (G3) is a model of collective giving designed by Impact Austin to educate and engage young women in grades 8-12 on the importance of thoughtful giving. Their vision is empowering young women to impact communities in need today and tomorrow. Since 2005-2006 when they launched, G3 has awarded $107,200 to Austin-area nonprofits serving youth.
Every year, one grant* is awarded by G3's membership and funded with $100 from each participant. Their process spans the academic year and includes best-practices training in community needs, DEIB and anti-racism practices, application review, public speaking, and presentation skills. Like Impact Austin practices, the g3 members in grades 8-12 solicit applications, perform reviews, advocate for finalists, conduct site visits, and vote on their grant recipient.
Following is the impressive list of Girls Giving Grants awards to date.
2006 Grant Amount: $2,100
Organization: Austin Children's Shelter
Project Title: New Clothes for Children
Starting in 1984, the Austin Children's Shelter (ACS) provided emergency shelter, high quality care, and hope for the future to the abandoned, abused and neglected children of our community. ACS will use the G3 funds to provide new clothes for children at the shelter. (Note: In 2015, Austin Children's Shelter and SafePlace merged as SAFE.)
2007 Grant Amount: $2,600
Organization: Center for Child Protection
Project Title: Moving Through Crisis
The Center for Child Protection seeks to reduce trauma for children during the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases. The G3 grant supports their Moving Through Crisis Project which provides emergency funds for families in crisis. Not only has this project saved lives, but also it has assisted in easing the emotional pain both child abuse victims and their families have experienced.
2008 Grant Amount: $5,700
Project Title: Resource Library and Emergency Shelter
LifeWorks Austin is a fearless advocate for youth and families seeking their path to self-sufficiency. The G3 grant will be used for books, toys and mobile bookshelves for the Resource Library at the Emergency Shelter for young families and their children. The project will provide 100 young parents and their babies with the resources they need to build healthy relationships with one another.
2009 Grant Amount: $5,200
Organization: Hospice Austin
Project Title: Camp Braveheart
Hospice Austin's mission is to serve terminally ill and bereaved patients with integrity, compassion and respect. The G3 grant will be used to fund the Camp Braveheart program for a therapeutic counselor, a camp coordinator, camp supplies and volunteer and staff training.
2010 Grant Amount: $5,700
Organization: Austin Sunshine Camps
Project Title: Leadership Program
Austin Sunshine Camps serves over 800 high-potential, low-income youth every summer, and their year-round leadership and mentoring programs serve many more. The Camps provide an overnight summer camp experience at no cost to the children's families. The G3 grant will be used to fund college visits for their Leadership Program consisting of 30-40 at risk youth.
2011 Grant Amount: $5,200
Organization: People's Community Clinic
Project Title: Tandem Teen Prenatal and Parenting Program
The People's Community Clinic Tandem Teen Prenatal and Parenting Program is a service for teen parents. The G3 grant will be used to fund the "Caring for Baby" project that supplies care packages for teen parents. These contain child safety items, patient education information focusing on child/baby safety, and much-needed baby supplies to be distributed by case managers during home visits with teens.
2012 Grant Amount: $5,700
Organization: The Christi Center
Project Title: Kids Who Kare
The Christi Center's Kids Who Kare program is an age-appropriate support group that allows children ages 5 through 18 to move past the isolation felt after a loss by connecting with other kids who are experiencing similar struggles. The G3 grant supports Kids Who Kare retreats outside of normal support group meetings to facilitate team-building, socialization and an increase in communication between children and their families.
2013 Grant Amount: $5,900
Organization: Easterseals Central Texas
Project Title: Sliding Fee Scale Program
The Easterseals Sliding Fee Scale Program is for uninsured and underinsured children with disabilities. The G3 grant supports this program, which promotes access to rehabilitation therapies (speech, occupational, physical) and audiology services in the Austin area. They are the only Austin provider of a sliding fee scale for these services for children. Without it, many children with disabilities would go without these critical services.
2014 Grant Amount: $5,200
Organization: Helping Hand Home for Children
Project Title: Kids Closet
Helping Hand Home for Children has provided a place to heal for abused, neglected, and abandoned children. The G3 grant supports the Kids Closet program, which provides new and seasonally appropriate clothes to 70 children each year.
2015 Grant Amount: $6,000
Organization: Austin Diaper Bank
Project Title: Diaper Donation Expansion Project
Austin Diaper Bank is an organization dedicated to providing diapers to Austin families in need to strengthen the community as a whole. Austinites young and old need a clean, reliable supply of diapers for healthy and comfortable quality of life. Austin Diaper Bank will use the G3 grant to invest in diaper need awareness and community support that can lead to generations of diaper provisions for our children at a very effective cost. The outcome of this project is to raise 250,000 diapers or 33,000 days worth of diaper changes, a game changer for our community.
2016 Grant Amount: $7,000
Organization: Casa Marianella
Project Title: Posada Esperanza Family Shelter
Casa Marianella’s Posada Esperanza family shelter serves homeless immigrant women and children escaping violence in a cluster of renovated houses in a residential neighborhood in East Austin. The recent purchase of a fourth shelter house allows Casa Marianella to serve 100 people a year with housing and full supportive services. The $7,000 grant from Girls Giving Grants will fund one additional national service program case manager as well as providing $500 toward direct client needs. The G3 grant will help Casa Marianella continue providing comprehensive case management to help families transition from crisis to independence. Families come from Africa, Asia, Central America and other parts of the world.
2017 Grant Amount: $6,800
Organization: Center for Child Protection
Project Title: Canine Courtroom Accompaniment Program
The Center for Child Protection is the first stop for children in Travis County who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect, and for children who have witnessed a violent crime. One of the Center's programs, the Canine Courtroom Accompaniment Program, provides a highly trained canine companion to offer comfort and support for children who must testify in court. While in the courtroom, the dog never leaves the client’s side. As the Center shared in their grant request, “While the child is on the stand, [the dog] often places her head in their lap, as if to say ‘I am here.’” The $6,800 grant from Girls Giving Grants to the Center for Child Protection was earmarked to help fund the Center’s new therapy dog, Mickler, a golden retriever/yellow lab who is a year-and-a-half old. The grant will be used for training, veterinary care, and supplies for Mickler.
2018 Grant Amount: $8,200
Organization: Foster Angels of Central Texas
Project Title: Basic Needs: Beds and Bedding
Foster Angels of Central Texas helps meet the many unfulfilled needs of 5,600 children and youth in foster care. Through its partnership with Child Protective Services and other nonprofit agencies, Foster Angels identifies the gaps and quickly responds to children's circumstances so they, too, can have supportive, loving childhood experiences, with long-felt positive impact. G3’s $8,200 grant will be used to assist approximately 80 children and youth in foster care with much-needed beds, cribs, mattresses and bedding items. Foster Angels thinks no children should go without their own comfortable place to sleep at night, especially foster children who often must face multiple challenges during the day.
2019 Grant Amount: $8,800
Organization: The Refuge for DMST
Project Title: The SEE Program
The Refuge for DMST™ (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) has developed The Refuge Ranch, a long-term, residential, therapeutic community for 48 girls, minors through age 19, who have been rescued out of sex trafficking. Built from the ground up on 50 acres in a beautiful and restorative setting outside of Austin, TX, The Refuge Ranch provides trauma-informed, holistic care for the girls on site, including: a University of Texas Charter School program, a medical clinic staffed by community partners and various therapeutic programs uniquely designed for the development of a child survivor. The Refuge Ranch is the largest long-term, live-in rehabilitation facility for child survivors of sex trafficking in the United States. G3’s $8,800 grant will help fund the SEE program, which helps integrate the girls back into society through fun and educational field trips.
*2020 Grant Amount: $7,725 (75% of total grant funds available in 2020)
Organization: Friends of the Children Austin
Project Title: Engagement Events for Families Living in Poverty
Friends of the Children Austin is part of a national nonprofit that is breaking the cycle of generational poverty by giving children facing the highest risks the ability to create a new story. They do this by providing these children with a long-term, salaried, professional mentor from kindergarten through high school graduation. This grant will support activities that build a sense of community and engagement for youth and their families.
*2020 Grant Amount: $2,575 (25% of total grant funds available in 2020)
Organization: Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin
Project Title: Charitable Care - Life-Saving Solutions for Premature Babies in Foster Care
Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin (MMBA) is a community-based organization that saves the lives of very fragile babies through human milk. MMBA sends prescribed donor human milk to babies in nearly 200 hospitals in Texas and 23 other states, as well as to nearly 140 babies in their homes. Three quarters of the nearly one million ounces dispensed annually stays in Texas, providing care to premature and other sick babies. This grant will support MMBA’s Charitable Care Program, ensuring life-saving donor human milk will be provided to all infants with a need, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
* In response to the pandemic's stress on nonprofits, Girls Giving Grants opted to support both grant finalists with an 75/25% distribution of funds. This practice was consistent with Impact Austin's own 2020 grant decisions.
2021 Grant Amount: $7,600
Organization: Center for Survivors of Torture
Project Title: Healing Children Program
The Center for Survivors of Torture (CST) exists to facilitate healing, ease transition into new beginnings, and foster hope in survivors of trauma, by providing specialized services addressing their comprehensive psychological, medical, and social needs; generating legal referrals; providing training opportunities for state-of-the-art professional service delivery; and collecting outcome measurements. The grant will be used for the Center’s Healing Children Program, which provides access to web-based telehealth and virtual counselling services for child victims of torture. The funding will ensure that upwards of 200 refugees and asylum seekers have the technology and internet service needed to connect with therapy sessions, art classes, legal advising, and other essential CST programs.
2022 Grant Amount: $9,200
Organization: Texas Family Initiative
Project Title: Nicole's House (later to be changed)
Texas Family Initiative (TFI) is a child welfare nonprofit with more than 55 years of experience providing quality services to children and families across the Midwest. The TFI team is equipped to offer comprehensive, research-based, therapeutic programming to evaluate each survivor and find the best path of treatment based on individual needs, allowing survivors to heal and thrive. This grant was intended to support Nicole’s House, designed and operated by TFI, to provide temporary care in a healing, therapeutic environment for female survivors of human trafficking. Later in 2022, TFI discontinued affiliation with Nicole's house and shifted plans to build another facility, with the same purpose, in northern Texas. G3 funds remain with Texas Family Initiative and will be applied to the new facility; details will follow at a future date.
2023 Grant Amount: $8,400
Organization: Wonders and Worries
Project Title: Girls Giving Happy Days
Wonders and Worries was founded in Austin, Texas, in 2001. Now they report seven offices in Texas, several national services, and 58 registered Wonders and Worries providers in 23 states and Japan. To date, they have supported more than 14,000 children and teens dealing with a serious illness or injury in their families. Services are free of charge to ensure access for all families whose teens and young children are struggling with a parent’s tragic health diagnosis. Last year 31% of the families served by Wonders & Worries were living in low-income households. All Wonders and Worries services are available in English and Spanish, and face-to-face or virtual meeting options ensure access for families with transportation barriers. This grant will support Wonders and Worries' family events initiative - providing fun family activities to families functioning under the dark cloud of a parent's serious illness.
Watch this 2021 video to understand more about Girls Giving Grants and how they work.
Or, check out their entire YouTube playlist here.
Girls Giving Grants registers new members in grades 8-12 during the late summer and fall. Participants may earn up to 25 hours in community service. The diverse membership comes from all over greater Austin, typically from 15-25 different schools and homeschools.