For 2020, Focus Grants are being awarded in two areas:
Project summaries for consideration by our membership can be found below.
- Three grants up to $15,000 each for Poverty, Housing, or Basic Needs
- Two grants up to $10,000 each for Children and Youth
Project summaries for consideration by our membership can be found below.
- There are 4 applicants in Poverty, Housing, & Basic Needs.
- There are 10 applicants in Children & Youth.
Mt. Tallac High School (LTUSD)
Amount requested: $15,000
Mt Tallac High School (LTUSD) is requesting $15,000 for our Tallac Transit Project to help us purchase or lease a vehicle to better meet the basic needs of our students, who primarily live in poverty, to ensure both academic, as well as, lifetime success. In order to be successful in the classroom we must help students meet their unmet medical and mental health needs. We are regularly transporting students to their providers due to families not having transportation nor being involved at all. Helping students get to school from unique (often transient) housing situations due to domestic vioence, homelessness, adiction, and foster placement is another challenge we face. Our school's focus on employment skills creates a need for transport to interviews and job searches. Our population is primarily interested in trade programs off the hill post high school and requires trips to visit these programs. All of these needs are currently being met in our own vehicles. The $15,000 requested would help us purchase a vehicle that would meet these needs on a daily basis. We take pride in letting students know that if they show up to school we will help them to break the cycle of poverty and move forward in their lives despite their individual circumstances. The Tallac Transit would be another way to show them that they are supported and VALUED as much as any student within the LTUSD community.
Bread & Broth is requesting $10,000 for its B&B 4 Kids weekend food program which supports food insecure children at the five K-8 schools in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District. Each Friday during the school year, the B&B 4 Kids food program provides each participating child wth food packs that contain 7 individual, kid-friendly meals - three dinners, two lunches, two breakfasts - as well as nutritious snacks, dairy products, and fresh fruit. During the 2019-2020 school year, an average of 175 children weeky participated in the program. These children are identified by teachers, counselors, and office staff at each school. With over 55% (and at two of our schools over 75%) of LTUSD students receiving free and reduced breakfasts and lunches during the school week, it is B&B's goal to ensure that these children have access to nutritious food over the weekend. The time from a child's last school lunch on Friday until that child's breakfast at school on Monday morning spans 68 hours.....our hope is to ensure that those hours are filled not with hunger, but access to nutritious food and snacks. Research shows us that there are huge and alarming issues for children in the classroom whose nutritional needs have not been met - shortened attention span, behavioral issues, decreased cognitive skills, more delayed social/emotional skill acquisition, and an increased chance for physical illness. Research also shows us that access to nutritional weekend foods make a student more alert and ready to learn each Monday morning. This year, B&B's Advisory Board voted unanimously to improve the quality of food in these backpacks, speciifically adding more protein; thus our "Push for Protein" initiative. Examples of kid-friendly but more protein-enriched foods include chicken and tuna (with single serving condiments), yogurt covered raisins, single serving milk, protein bars, and beef sticks. The contribution of $10,000 will assist us in purchasing food that addresses this initiative. Because Bread & Broth is an all volunteer organization, 100% of these grant monies will be used to purchase food.
Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra
"Hope Full Lunch"
Amount Requested: $15,000
Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra is requesting $15,000 for its Hope Full Lunch Project which will help feed the homeless of South Lake Tahoe every Thursday at the El Dorado County Library. Funds will be spent on Food: sandwich food, bread, water, cookies, packaged snakes. Materials: lunch bags, wax paper, napkins. We understand that once we start we cannot stop! We are asking for your help in buying food and supplies to pack the lunches. Women of the Moose and Soroptimist will be helping us prepare and serve, we are suppling the food. With your help we can make sure that our homeless will be feed every Thursday rain, snow or shine! Blessings, Pastor Diana
Tahoe Home Connection
"South Tahoe Tenant-Homeowner Matching Website Upgrade"
Amount Requested: $15,000
Tahoe Home Connection (TaHoCo) is requesting $15,000 to improve our website by developing a rental home onboarding, processing, and tenant-matching system. $12,000 would build out Phases 2 and 3 of our Website Plan and $3,000 would be used to advertise the new platform. Right now, 75% of homes in South Tahoe are owned by second homeowners, not locals. The majority of these homes sit empty for much of the year. While these homes sit empty, the local workforce are living in motel rooms, doubling up on small apartments, or are driving long distances into the basin. TaHoCo recognized this problem and saw that opening up more second homes as long term and seasonal rentals could be a cost-effective solution to the housing shortage. We launched our program one year ago and received an overwhelming response from 140 homeowners who expressed interest in renting their home part-time, seasonally, or full-time. Of those, 40 are now part of TaHoCo by self-managing or using a local property manager. Locals and homeowners continue to contact us every week. Our all-volunteer team has so far successfully matched five working families and two individual tenants with homes, for a total of 13 people housed. A major limiting factor for the success of the program, however, is that it takes a significant amount of volunteer time to manually match tenants and homeowners. It is challenging to find the right match between the needs of potential locals, the window of availability of the home, the size of the home, and other factors - especially for our seasonal workers. A more robust website will enable us to more effectively manage the project, provide better services, and add more programs to our arsenal in order to keep up with the growing demand. We are finalizing becoming a 501(c)3 and see greater buildout of our website as the best way to help us manage the large volume of homes and locals needing homes. We want to better manage our process by moving to online profiles that allow tenants and homeowners to find each other and offer access to rental listings.
Sierra Child and Family Services, Inversion Gym, Inversion Gym Booster Club, and Yoga Om are partnering to create a multi-modal approach to improve youth’s emotional, physical, and mental wellness. Partners will merge the following expertise to form this well-rounded program: SCFS: therapists and staff trained in child abuse prevention and child development; Yoga Om: certified yoga instructors trained in guided meditation and yoga; Inversion Gym: professional instructors trained in gymnastics, trampoline, and silks; and Inversion Gym Booster Club: parent volunteer organization with diverse skillsets to contribute. This $10,000 grant will fund the development of a collaborative wellness program which will be offered to an estimated 100 youth and estimated to impact 300 youth in one year. We will use a three pronged approach including increasing access to activities for all youth, prevention and resilience building, and providing activities to youth in foster care or in treatment for mental illness who are being served by SCFS: EQUITY: Fund discounted classes (sliding scale) so that children of families with low incomes can participate in gymnastics, trampoline, or aerial silks. PREVENTION: In light of recent damaging sexual abuse of hundreds of gymnasts in the headlines, we will hold targeted workshop events to provide education and empowerment to youth regarding body safety, self-esteem, assertiveness, boundaries, mindfulness, and a safety network. We want to reclaim the narrative about gymnasts--of being healthy, protected, confident, and surrounded by supported by adults to pursue their dreams. We will also incorporate guided meditation and yoga into gymnastics, trampoline, and aerial silks ongoing classes. RECOVERY: Fund SCFS identified foster youth or mental health consumers to attend classes. Body movement and awareness as part of age-appropriate comprehensive and holistic treatment planning for youth impacted by developmental trauma and other risk factors. Sierra Child and Family and partners through Yoga Om and Inversion Gym are very excited about this potentially powerful program! Thank you for your support!
Tahoe Neighborhood Table manages the Toys for Tots program in the South Lake Tahoe area. We are requesting $10,000 in order to purchase new toys for needy children in the South Lake Tahoe Area. To be distributed in the 2020 Holiday season.
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association seeks support to provide the Youth Backcountry Camp (YBCC) program at no cost to 12 local undeserved youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe (BGCLT). YBCC consists of 4-day backpacking expeditions that utilize experiential outdoor education curriculum to develop backcountry knowledge, personal confidence, leadership skills, and environmental stewardship in youth from the Tahoe Basin and surrounding communities. Youth participants are encouraged to utilize their senses and creativity to overcome challenges in a wilderness context. To expand this opportunity to those that could benefit most, the TRTA targets children underrepresented in outdoor recreation who face financial, cultural, and/or other barriers to participation. The TRTA hosts fully outfitted backpacking trips with partners from the social service sector at no cost to participants. These partners, such as the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, SOS Outreach, and Live Violence Free recruit the youth in their networks that will benefit the most from the YBCC experience yet who lack the resources to attend a backpacking trip or participate in a reputable outdoor education program. For the 2020 program season, the TRTA will host YBCC trips for seven partner organizations in local and regional communities, serving the impactful experience to at least 70 youth at no cost. At an expense of $800 per youth participant, the TRTA respectfully requests funding support of $9,600 from the Tahoe Women’s Community Fund (TWCF) to provide the YBCC program to 12 underrepresented South Lake Tahoe youth from BGCLT.
South Lake Tahoe Moose Lodge
Amount Requested: $3,000
South Lake Tahoe Moose Lodge 1632 is requesting $3000 for its 18th Annual Kids Fishing Derby provided free for all children in the South Lake Tahoe area up to the age of 16, includes grand prizes, raffle prizes, hot dogs, chips, and drinks. This annual event attracts approximately 300-350 children and their families each year. Funds will be spent on the purchase of fish to stock Lake Baron in Tahoe Paradise Park for the event. The Lodge is stocked each year (last year at a cost of $6400) with triploid rainbow trout weighing from one to approximately five or six pounds. Food and drinks were donated by Lira’s Market for the first 15 years, and by Holiday Market in 2018 and again in 2019. We will request the support of Holiday Market again this year. Grand Prize Bank Certificates are donated by El Dorado Savings Bank. 300-400 raffle prizes consisting of toys, puzzles, and games are purchased by the Lodge (300 for the 2019 Derby) and are awarded to the children via raffle tickets provided free to each registered child, who then chooses his/her prize. Every child receives a prize. Professional fishing guides from Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters donate their time to help set up fishing poles and help children fish. The 18h Annual Derby will be held on September 20, 2020.
The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) is requesting $9,580 to fund our South Lake Tahoe Children & Youth Naturalistic Intelligence Development Project. This project includes funding for K-6 in-school environmental education programs for five South Lake Tahoe schools and local geology field trips for all Lake Tahoe Unified School District (LTUSD) 4th graders. These programs are summarized below. Since 2010, TINS has provided hundreds of Tahoe classrooms with hands-on, place-based supplemental science curriculum. These Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-aligned programs are interdisciplinary in nature, building skills in writing, reading, math, and science learning. Students and teachers remember TINS programs throughout the years for our ability to build on prior knowledge, emphasize key concepts and vocabulary, and facilitate engaging learning activities. TINS seeks $6,029.94 to facilitate in-school programming to every K-6 student at Bijou Community School, Tahoe Valley Elementary School, Sierra House Elementary School, Lake Tahoe Environmental Magnet School, and South Tahoe Middle School. In addition, TINS has developed several NGSS-aligned field trips for K-12th grade. In particular, TINS seeks $2,902 for the facilitation of our newly enhanced Geology of the Sierra Nevada field trip for 4th grade students in South Lake Tahoe. This trip to Emerald Bay teaches students how the Sierra Nevada were formed and provides firsthand experience with glacial and further geologic processes that shaped the Tahoe area. TINS prides itself as a high-quality environmental education provider. Part of maintaining academic caliber requires TINS staff to perform regular maintenance of school programs. This maintenance includes regularly updating programs to comply with changing Next Generation Science Standards, specializing programs to fit teacher’s needs, including the latest scientific findings, and implementing changes based on continuous program evaluation. To fund these maintenance needs TINS seeks $649.35. The combination of in-school and field trip experiences provides unique opportunity for interactive learning and outdoor exploration that awaken children and youths’ curiosity of the natural world, inviting them to become engaged in their natural surroundings. TINS programs are based upon studies that support this type of hands-on, place-based experience for engaging all kinds of students and cultivating a community of responsible environmental citizenship.
South Tahoe Futbol Club
"Girls in K-need: A Knee Injury Prevention Program for Adolescent Females"
Amount Requested: $3,000
South Tahoe Futbol Club is requesting $3,000 for its Girls in Knee-d ACL injury prevention program, designed to drastically reduce the risk of ACL destruction in Tahoe’s female youth athletes. Hello members of the South Tahoe Women's Community Fund, I am Maddy Monroe, a Junior in high school, and I drafted this idea after several years involved with the club and after witnessing several ACL injuries amongst my family and fellow athletes. Girls in Kneed would help young female athletes, a group of about 150 female volleyball and soccer players who are at risk of knee injury, develop a familiarity with exercises and habits preventing them from falling victim to an ACL tear. Phase one of the program revolves around education. In this phase, groups of coaches and athletes will learn how ACL tears occur, what makes females so susceptible to these injuries, and the best practices to fix the growing issue. The total cost of trainer employment and facility rentals will cost an estimated $1,250. Phase two will focus on the implementation of training, where trainers will attend the practices of the soccer and volleyball teams involved, and successfully teach them to perform a warm-up designed to strengthen their hamstrings--thus--reducing their risk of injury and provide take-home exercises the girls can do on their own. Trainer pay and equipment will cost an estimated $1400. The final phase will be a follow-up stage where unpaid, student trainers will check in on the teams and make sure that they are still tenaciously doing their exercises, as well as answering any question girls, coaches, or parents could have. The expenses during this phase will come from an estimated $200 in facilities fees. During this program girls will learn how to protect themselves physically from ACL tears, making it less likely their active lifestyle will be completely destroyed by such an injury. The program will stretch through the fall soccer and volleyball season into the postseason, and help adolescent girls in the Tahoe area avoid an injury that could completely end their career in athletics.
Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe Foundation
"SISLT Community Softball Field Renovation Project- Home of Girls Softball"
Amount Requested: $10,000
Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe (SISLT) is requesting $10,000 to pay for bleachers for its Community Softball Field Renovation Project, which will renovate the dilapidated softball field at the South Tahoe Middle School, and provide amenities commensurate with the adjacent boys’ baseball field with the aim to provide gender parity for the girls’ teams. Approximately 1,200 youth will benefit between the youth softball leagues and middle school physical education classes. It has been 50 years since improvements have been made to the softball field at the middle school. The existing infield is sinking in the center with its base layer no longer providing support, and both the infield and outfield are rutted and uneven. The conditions are a liability to the athletes for injuries (requiring hospital visits last season) and prohibitive for competitive play. The girls in this community deserve better. SISLT has been saving for over a decade to fund a legacy project, and has allocated $325,000 to renovate the softball field. The investment will make the field playable with superior conditions, but SISLT’s available funds do not cover all the necessary facility upgrades. The projected expense to purchase three sets of bleachers to be placed behind home plate and along the first and third base lines is $27,900. The $10,000 grant would cover a sizable portion of the bleacher cost with the remaining balance funded by SISLT. The softball field has one-third of the seating capacity for spectators as the boys' baseball field. Surprisingly, its ancient spectator seating is located within the parking lot with no fencing separation, making it unsafe and subjecting spectators to exhaust fumes from vehicles coming through the lot. The new spectator seating will accommodate 183 spectators. Additionally, new fencing will be erected to enclose the field, spectator seating, dugouts (to be built in the renovation), and gates to allow the leagues to collect fees at tournaments, providing revenue to improve softball programming. The empowerment girls receive from playing softball aligns with SISLT’s mission to improve the lives of women and youth.
SOS Outreach requests $10,000 to provide program scholarships to high needs local kids to participate in the SOS Mentor Program. SOS removes financial barriers for youth (ages 8 - 18) to access costly outdoor activities and diversifies outdoor participation in the community. While the outdoor access is the initial point of entry, youth progress from the Learn-to-Ride (5-day introductory program) to the Mentor Program where they work with dedicated mentors, peer groups, and community leaders over a period of four years. Funding will specifically support SOS’ highest need youth to ensure progression from the introductory Learn-to-Ride program to Mentor Program. In particular, this funding will support youth from South Lake Tahoe School District’s McKinney Vento Program and youth from the Douglas County Wilderness Probation Program. The cost to SOS Outreach per participant for the Mentor Program is $1,000, and we charge families a $150 fee-for-service. The difference of $850 is left to be fundraised from SOS’ local communities of operation. With $10,000 of support, 12 ($850 x 12) of these local kids, with high needs, will be able to transition from the introductory program to the long term Mentor Program. This investment will directly impact low-income youths' ability to participate in programs by enabling SOS to provide a low-cost fee for service to local families and providing additional scholarships to families with greater financial needs. For South Lake Tahoe programs, over 67% of families report low-income. Beyond financial challenges, youth present risks and challenges as part of a pre-program risk assessment. These risks encompass social, physical, emotional, and familial challenges. For South Lake Tahoe programs the most commonly reported challenges for kids include low income, low self-esteem, and single-parent household. Additional commonly reported challenges to include no friends, bullying, no academic goals, low school commitment, no school focus, family conflict, and little to no physical activity. These presenting risks are indicative of social isolation in youth. SOS’ Mentor Program uses an intentional curriculum that connects youth with a positive, social peer group, and integrates youth into the overall community through service projects, leadership panels, and skill development workshops.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Sierra
"Defending the Potential of Youth"
Amount Requested: $10,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Sierra (BBBS) is requesting $10,000 for our Defending Youth Potential project. With this funding, BBBS will design a deliberate marketing approach to recruit well qualified volunteer mentors. We will then be able to serve a minimum of 10 at-risk children, some of whom have been on our waitlist for several years. BBBS will strategically match the children (Littles) with caring mentors (Bigs) who become friends and positive role models. The children and their mentors will be supported and monitored by degreed professionals throughout the length of the relationships. The goal is to positively impact the children's self-confidence, school performance, behaviors, and inter-personal relationships, so they have an improved chance to grow into responsible and productive adults. The focus of BBBS is, and always has been, children and youth. However, the vulnerable children served by BBBS, identify in literally every focus area of this year’s Tahoe Women’s Fund grant: poverty, housing, and basic needs; mental health and wellness; and education and literacy. BBBS provides services to children, ages 3-18, who face adversity and daily struggles in their lives due to factors beyond their control. Although not restricted to low income families, the majority of our children come from families who are among the 27% of residents in this area who are living 200% below the poverty level. Many of these children characteristically face challenges associated with low self-esteem and self-confidence, struggles in school due to lack of focus and/or attention from a support system, are susceptible to substance abuse, and retreat or self-isolate due to neglect from their social structure or family situation. BBBS mentors provide the necessary support and guidance that enables a child to live to their fullest potential.
High Fives Foundation
"B.A.S.I.C.S.: Being Aware Safe In Critical Situations"
Amount Requested: $5,000
High Fives Nonprofit Foundation is requesting $5,000 for its B.A.S.I.C.S (Being Aware Safe In Critical Situations) program which is designed to promote safety and awareness through world-class education and video presentations to outdoor action sports enthusiasts of all ages, particularly young athletes. The prevalence of catastrophic injuries in the winter sports community is evident as is the need for revolutionary educational content. Providing mountain safety education early on is crucial to achieving our goal of reducing the number of life-changing injuries within our community. Funds will be spent on the production and distribution of five brand-new safety presentations, public service announcement (PSA) style, in brief commercials that run approximately 90 seconds each. The goal is to create short, shareable, easily-digestible PSAs that are both highly compelling and engaging. The videos feature famous skiers and snowboarders such as this year’s spokesperson Cody Townsend, a Squaw Alpine local, telling their own stories while promoting injury awareness. Our campaign leaders act as role models for young athletes and create an atmosphere of fun while staying true to our mission. The PSAs are lively, compelling, and entertaining for young viewers but speak to a broad audience as well. These presentations can be shared across different social platforms, media players and presentation formats and we travel the nation to give in-person presentations to schools and organizations. We want to make mountain safety education as accessible to as many individuals and groups as possible. In addition to High Fives’ already impressive online and digital marketing reach with well over 500,000 views of our PSAs thus far, we will be giving five presentations to children and youth in the South Lake Tahoe area during this grant cycle. The schools we have chosen to present the B.A.S.I.C.S program at are: Bijou Community School, Sierra House Elementary, South Lake Tahoe High School, South Tahoe Middle School, and Tahoe Valley Elementary. By visiting these schools, we have the opportunity to reach upwards of 3,400 children and teach them lifelong skills to stay safe in the mountains.