Giving Children Hope is a faith-based partner providing sustainable hope through wellness programs and disaster response in collaboration with local and global communities. We do this through the gathering and giving of Basic Needs, Nutritional Foods, and Medical Resources.
Description of how the funds will be used:
“We’ve Got Your Back” (WGYB) is a weekend nutrition program serving children and their families who are considered homeless. Impact Giving funds will be used to subsidize transportation and personnel costs associated with administering the WGYB program.
Description of Project/Program, what makes it compelling, and the specific needs it will address:
Homeless children are fed by school programs, but no child should have to go hungry on weekends. This program provides homeless children with backpacks filled with nutritious food each weekend throughout the school year. Giving Children Hope receives food subsidies from various relationships and then partners with the Orange County Department of Education and local schools to identify children and enroll them into WGYB. The program is presented to the children and families as a Weekend Nutrition Club in order to maintain their dignity and alleviate the stigma of homelessness. Every week (including during summer and holiday vacations) a backpack filled with nutritious food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, is distributed to each child enrolled in the program. The food provided is enough to feed a family of four, allowing the program to help feed the parents and siblings of each child. Giving Children Hope anticipates next year sending out 1,528 backpacks to 49 schools in Orange County, serving just over 5,800 of these individuals on a weekly basis.
Describe the Organization or Project as it pertains to the following Impact Giving Grant Standards:
High Impact, Direct Benefit, Education, Sustainability, Community Building, Innovative, Measurable: Many of the children served by WGYB receive free and reduced lunches at school during the school year, but outside school, they do not always have access to a stable source of food. It is important for students to receive a proper diet for healthy development. By providing these children and their families with a consistent source of food, WGYB’s goal is to turn this temporary relief, along with nutritional education into sustainability by eventually “graduating” children and their families once they no longer need the assistance of the program. By providing food on a weekly basis, families are able to save money they would put towards groceries for rent, clothing, or other basic necessities to help them get back on their feet. Impact Giving funds would provide high impact for approximately 260 families (about 1,000 individuals) providing healthy food for the weekends for the entire year. Through community building and partnering with the Orange County Department of Education and local schools, they work together to identify the most critical needs among their children and execute the delivery of the weekly backpacks. By distributing through these existing resources, they are able to multiply collective impact for these families, providing a network of support and care. Their family of volunteers is consistently around 3,500 individuals per year. To minimize the stigma associated with homelessness and poverty, they created an innovative solution to make this weekly delivery of food to these children through a backpack. This common carry-all, present on every school campus across the country, allows these children to blend in among their peers and not have to worry about receiving unwanted attention for needing this care and support. Finally, they have excellent outcome measurement data demonstrating definitive goals and accomplishments as it relates to distributions, food donor relationships, food drive donations, community partnerships and families supported.