The annual Fresno State Humanics Students4Giving Project awarded $27,000 in grants to three Central Valley community benefit organizations. This year, Grandma’s House, Wounded Warriors and Kids ReBuild received a $9,000 grant each.
“Many CBOs are faced with the harsh reality of possibly closing their doors due to the lack of fundraising and grants available. To prevent that from happening, we wanted to recognize three extraordinary CBOs that caught the attention of three student boards,” said Carlos Mendoza, a student involved in the project.
Humanics students, while learning virtually and facing difficult circumstances themselves, produced a thorough and competitive grant process through quarantine. With extensive research and interviews, they learned that the cost and impact COVID-19 and wildfires had on community benefit organizations has been tremendous.
“As a student, the opportunity to award a significant monetary grant to organizations in our local community was more impactful than we ever could have imagined,” said Kristi Hollenbeck, president of Students4Giving. “We were blessed to take part in the grant process from start to finish, and cannot wait to see how these grants benefit the three CBOs going forward.”
Grandma’s House in Tulare provides after-school and distance-learning programs. The Young Author’s project of Kids ReBuild is a unique children’s resiliency program for kids who were impacted by the fires in the Sierras. And Wounded Warriors (Our Hero’s Dreams) in Hanford provides hope to veterans and their families via healing retreats.
A grant awards event was held virtually via Zoom on Monday, May 10, 2021 at 10 a.m., hosted by scholars in the Fresno State Humanics Program. At the event, Ms. Susie Harder of Kids ReBuild expressed how this grant and her CBO are impacting the youth who have lost their home in a quote from Aubrey Hooper who said, “this is the first time this year I felt like people actually saw me, not the fire.” From Wounded Warriors and Families Relief, Mr. Justin Bond stated “[The grant is] literally going to save their lives, over 900 servicemen and women’s lives.” Ms. Flora Johnson of Grandma’s House explained that their mission was to help at-risk youth realize they were smart enough and this grant would help them do it.
Humanics at Fresno State created its first Student Philanthropy Project in 2007 with an $8,000 seed grant from the Central Valley Community Foundation and has flourished into what is now the Humanics@Fresno State Students4Giving Project. With significant financial support from the Whitney Foundation and continuing support from Central Valley Community Foundation, as well as many individual donors, the project continues to engage Fresno State students as philanthropists and community change agents.
Assemblyman Devon Mathis said “if it wasn’t for the (Humanics) program, I would not be able to help as many people as I can.” This is a sentiment shared by all students who complete this program.
The Students4Giving Project has provided over $192,000 in grants to 149 different organizations in the San Joaquin Valley. This and other applied projects of Humanics at Fresno State create change on leadership and philanthropy while engendering exceptional leaders, enhanced organizations, and enriched communities.
View the press conference here. Passcode: Y8nc7r@u