By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
In its 20th anniversary year, Palisades-based Everychild Foundation broke protocol for the first time ever to grant $1 million to be spread equally among eight worthy recipients to help ease the pain and suffering of children during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Founder and President Jacqueline Caster.
The organization typically amasses dues contributed equally by members to award a single $1 million grant to a local child-related agency to fund a new innovative replicable project.
“This is not a permanent change,” Caster told the Palisadian-Post. “We need to adapt this year because of this unprecedented situation.”
Each agency selected received a one-time, $125,000 emergency relief grant, Karen Olan, chair of the Grant Screening Board, explained.
Typically members select the agency to be awarded funding by voting after a year-long, rigorous screening process by a committee working with professional grant consultant Lisa Cleri Reale.
This year, the foundation elected to not put these organizations through the paces of pitching a $1 million grant, also taking into consideration that what they proposed in January might not be what they want to do now due to the current climate, Caster explained
Caster and the board voted unanimously to adjust the grant procedures this year in light of the crisis created by COVID-19.
The equal recipients of this year’s Everychild Foundation 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants are the Alliance for Children’s Rights, CASA of Los Angeles, Harbor Community Clinic, LA Family Housing, Pacific Clinics, Peace Over Violence, United Friends of the Children and Wellnest.
Caster said that each of the agencies being evaluated by its Grant Screening Board were “experiencing unprecedented levels of demand for its services and operating under emergency conditions with intense financial demands.”
“They have also all been thoroughly vetted and are leaders in their fields with proven track records,” Caster added. “Breaking from our normal protocol just made sense this year.”
Each of the recipients showed extreme gratitude in receiving the grants.
“We are elated, and so gratified by your confidence and this phenomenal support,” a representative from the Alliance for Children’s Rights wrote. “We deeply appreciate the Foundation Executive Board’s quick and thoughtful action to meet the exceptional challenges of the current crisis in this new and impactful way.”
CASA shared that it has become “fiercely apparent” at this time that some funders are true partners to the work: “The Everychild Foundation is certainly one of them, and we are humbled to receive this award.”
The foundation, which has the tagline “Women Reinventing Philanthropy,” is made up of more than 200 local women, including over 50 Palisadians.
“Everychild’s mission is to ease the suffering of local children, whether due to disease, disability, abuse, neglect or poverty, and providing these emergency operating funds will allow these agencies to address the whole gamut of these issues immediately,” Caster shared.
The organization “eschews costly, time-consuming fundraising events, and focuses instead on results and leveraging resources,” Caster explained to the Post.
“Operating costs are kept at a minimum—the organization pays no rent and no salaries,” she added.
The Everychild Foundation has donated nearly $18 million to projects directly serving the children of Los Angeles, including after-school programs, child abuse prevention, a mobile dental program, juvenile diversion programs, assistance to foster youth, asthma and lead paint abatement services, and more.
Past recipients of the grant include Homeboy Industries in 2019, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in 2018 and in 2017, the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
For more information about the foundation, visit everychildfoundation.org.
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