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.
2017-2018 Banner Project
Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies, Charleston SC
Because so many FAUSA members live in areas impacted by the 2017 hurricanes, the FAUSA Board decided to limit the 2017 grant nominees to organizations that were assisting hurricane victims in more than one location. Members selected Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies, nominated by Louise Greeley-Copley, as the Banner Project of the year.
Portlight 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.
Undies for Everyone, Houston, TX
The other nominee for the 2017 Banner Project was Undies for Everyone. Undies enhances the self-esteem, dignity, hygiene, and success of disadvantaged students by providing them clean underwear. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the organization broadened their mission by collecting new underwear for Harvey victims and has since expanded to help those impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. As of October 20, 2017, they have collected and distributed 1,000,000 pairs of underwear to people in need.
Past FAUSA Banner Projects
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.