Every day of the week, The Pollination Project provides $1000 in seed funding to an individual who is working to make the world -- or just their own community -- a better, more peaceful and more sustainable place.
Here are the extraordinary people and ideas changing the world this week:
Monica Metzler is a musician, teacher, and an expert in therapeutic music who works with Portland-based program My Voice Music provides workshops for teens living with chronic and terminal illnesses, as well as those facing depression, isolation, and low self-esteem. The workshops involve mentoring, self-reflection, songwriting, and a supportive community to build confidence and coping mechanisms. Monica uses both traditional and non-traditional instruments and methods, and the students showcase their original compositions in a performance open to the community.
As a fifth-generation resident of Okanogan County, Washington, Rosa Snider was deeply affected by seeing the area's wild horses sent to slaughter. To save displaced horses from slaughter, Rosa and her husband converted their own property into a sanctuary, and now run the Equine Displacement Awareness and Education Project. They provide education, advice, and resources to help current horse guardians care for their own animals and prevent unnecessary killing.
Lakota Friends' Circle is a collaboration by Anne Fields, Jerome and Theresa High Horse, and others who provide assistance to the Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Pine Ridge is one of the poorest communities in the U.S., with around 80 percent unemployment, gravely substandard housing, and widespread poor health. Lakota Friends' Circle has provided food, solar powered lanterns, educational supplies, sports equipment, emergency aid for utility bills, car repairs, gas, plus more than a ton of donated clothing.
Shelby Kretz along with partners Aditi Bansal and Shelia Maina launched 1girl in Columbus, Ohio to inspire low-income middle school girls to become successful leaders through a professional development program and individually designed real-world projects. 1girl encourages both participants and college-aged facilitators to develop skills and experience that will help them become future leaders, and is soon expanding to Toledo, Dayton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Findlay, Akron, Athens, and Kent, Ohio; and Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Filmmaker Richard Fleming is producing a short film adaptation of Stephen King's short story, Popsy, which challenges the audience's perception of the emotional intelligence of animals by depicting humans as a kind of livestock, and showing the impact of meat consumption as a luxury rather than sustenance. Richard was inspired by the overwhelming disconnect in the American culture toward food and the factory farming practices that accompany it.
Kalindi Sadat and Daniel Twite founded Nature for Life Conservation Initiatives (NALCOI) to restore degraded forests in the Kamuli District of Uganda, where once-forested areas are disappearing at an alarming rate. NALCOI also engages local communities in massive tree planting both on district forest reserves and private plantations. In addition to restoring these regions, the group works to promote climate justice, environmental conservation and protection, water, sanitation and hygiene.
Perpetua Kamami is also passionate about sustainability, and founded the Indigenous Trees Planting Project in Kiambu County, Kenya to conserve forests and protect biodiversity. As a result of deforestation, the area experiences seasonal weather pattern changes, a decrease in river water volumes, and an increasing threat to the loss of national economic assets in tourism, energy and agriculture sectors. The project is making indigenous tree species available to community groups, teaching the public about the importance of rare and endangered species including traditional medicinal uses.
Congratulations to our grantees this week for their outstanding work.
These are just a few examples of what a little seed money can do when put in the hands of someone with a vision and a plan to change the world.
2014 is our second year of daily giving, a practice we recommend you take on in your own way. You'll understand how the simple practice of daily giving has the power to transform.
The Pollination Project makes $1,000 grants every day, 365 days a year, to individual changemakers. Please go to our website at www.thepollinationproject.org for funding guidelines and application.