The FAUSA Annual Grant was created to standardize the way that charitable projects are selected by FAUSA for support. The Grant format allows members to propose, promote and select their own philanthropic projects. The Grant winner receives a check when it is selected and announced at the Getaway and Annual Meeting and becomes the FAUSA Banner Project for a year, allowing the opportunity to raise more funds and promote and educate the FAUSA Membership further about the charity. The first Grant was initiated in 2013.
2019 FAUSA Annual Grant Banner Project Recipient
Veronica’s Voice was established in 2000 to empower women to exit from, prevent entry into, and end all demand for commercial sexual exploitation in the US through survivor leadership. Our recovery home, Magdalene KC, has been in place since 2016, funded primarily by private donations, foundations and local grants to provide women in recovery a sanctuary from abuse, violence, sex trafficking and addiction to focus on deep healing. Our program provides women exiting 'the life' up to two years of free transitional housing, food, and basic necessities in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Importantly, Magdalene KC also provides participants specialized services consisting of: a) comprehensive trauma, addiction recovery, and other mental and physical health services and b) education, life skills and job training. $49.80 per day is the cost for this pathway to prosperity and economic independence to be provided to a woman in recovery. This compares to $67.15 per day of incarceration. The return on investment is most greatly felt as each woman develops a healthy safety net, achieve gainful employment, and gives back to her community. www.veronicasvoice.org
Other nomination for the 2019 FAUSA Banner Project
The RED Bookshelf was started to inspire children to read by providing them the opportunity to own books and have those books in their home which equips them with the tools for better literacy. Since being read to is an important component for learning to read, the focus of this expanded mission is to encourage Non-English speaking parents to read to their children by having children’s books in their native language. With over 1000 volunteers in 2018, the staff and volunteers were able to organize community collections, as well as recondition and distribute free books for children to choose and keep. Volunteers range from middle school to college students, corporation workers to retirees, special needs individuals to the community-at-large. www.theredbookshelf.org
Past FAUSA Banner Projects
2018-2019 Direct Service to Victims of Sexual Assault Abroad (Pathways to Safety International)
Pathways to Safety International nominated by FAUSA member Karen Lewis, allowed Pathways to Safety International to provide a myriad of life-saving sexual assault response services including rape kits, access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), medical care, translation services to communicate with local law enforcement and medical personnel, transportation to services, hotel costs, etc. to the Americans overseas population. Pathways is the only non-profit organization providing sexual assault (and gender-based violence) response to Americans overseas. The organization spent an average of $150 per person on sexual assault response direct services in 2017, when funds were available, although they have had to suspend some of these services due to decreased government funding. With no other non-profit organization specifically designed to serve the needs of Americans living overseas affected by sexual assault, this grant will be incredibly beneficial to Americans living and traveling overseas, including FAWCO/FAUSA members and their friends and relatives.
2017-2018 Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies supports people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work assisting victims with durable medical equipment lost and other obstacles incurred as a result of natural disasters. The organization was founded in 1997 to facilitate a variety of projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. Through ongoing programs, like Getting It Right conferences, Portlight works to promote self-determination of needs and issues with respect to disaster preparedness and response. The organization fosters community relationships to promote inclusiveness in disaster preparedness and response plans and to demand provisions for transportation and shelter accessibility.
2016-2017 4 Girls Foundation, Long Beach, CA
4 GIRLS inspires and empowers middle school aged girls to identify themselves as inherently valuable, beautiful and powerful through 2-day workshops and periodic empowerment events that give them the tools to make good life choices. Examples of topics covered include: healthy body image, vision journaling, self-defense, museum trips, art, dance, and STEM classes. 4 GIRLS targets middle school aged girls because studies have shown that girls are most vulnerable at this age. The FAUSA grant funded an increase in the empowerment events from quarterly to monthly.
2015-2016 Friends of Paradies des Indiens, Inc., Haiti
Ecole Paradis des Indiens, created in August 1975, is a school for the destitute children of Abricots, Haiti, supporting 2500 students. The grant provided medications for the treatment of ringworms, scales, malaria, upper respiratory diseases and other childhood diseases; health and hygiene educational classes; and cement platforms and sinks for hand-washing stations to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
2014-2015 San Francisco SafeHouse—San Francisco, CA
San Francisco SafeHouse is a nurturing and unique housing program that empowers homeless, prostituted women to escape the violence, brutality and trauma of life on the street. It was founded over 15 years ago, long before “trafficking” became a media issue and focuses on an overlooked and undeserved population, homeless women in commercial sex work. The FAUSA Grant helped fund one component of SafeHouse’s offerings, its innovative Internship Program. Through this program, partners (private companies, government agencies and other non-profits) provide a part-time work experience, with training and supervision, while SafeHouse paid each intern a stipend from the grant funds, building the economic security and self-sufficiency of the women.
2013-2014 Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition (now United Against Human Trafficking): Girls Prevention Program Project, Houston, TX
The Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition (HRRC) works to prevent and confront modern-day slavery by educating the public, training professionals and empowering the community to take action for the purpose of identifying, rescuing and restoring trafficking victims to freedom. The grant funded the Girls Prevention Program, which uses the My Life My Choice: Preventing Commercial Sexual Exploitation Among Adolescent Girls national curriculum for sexual exploitation prevention education. The program targets middle and high school girls who demonstrate at risk behavior and educates them on the seriousness of sexual exploitation that can lead to victimization.