TWCF was proud to introduce our newest grant category, The Inspiration Grant. For 2020, this grant awarded an organization up to $40,000 and was open to any non-profit serving the South Shore of Lake Tahoe (that did not receive funding in our last cycle).
Project summaries for the 9 proposals submitted for consideration by our membership can be found below.
Project summaries for the 9 proposals submitted for consideration by our membership can be found below.
2020 Inspiration Grant Proposal Summaries
The new Boys and Girls Club building will be an inspiration for our community. Born out of a public/private/non-profit partnership, the building will be a symbol of what can be achieved when our community comes together to ensure that the needs of our children and our families are met. The building will guarantee that the Club remains a part of our community and is able to continue to provide a safe, fun and educational place for children to be when school is out but Mom and Dad are still at work. Having our own building will provide security, independence and the freedom to serve more kids in more ways. The Tahoe Women’s Community Fund has forged the path in so many ways for our region. Through this grant, you have the opportunity to be the first community group to donate to the building and to set a precedent for others to follow. Your support will be integral to the project and will be appropriately and prominently acknowledged on our donor wall. Funding from the TWCF Inspiration Grant would be used specifically to purchase the sound proof partition wall dividing two of our break-out spaces. While it may seem a little thing, the wall is central to the flexible and versatile space that we are creating in the new building. It will enable small group activities such as homework when pulled across, and large group activities like dance when pulled back. It will also enable a wider variety of programs to be offered to all age groups. The cost of the wall is $40,000 inc taxes. A considerable sum for a wall, but we are ensuring that all aspects of the new building are safe, well-constructed and durable. We hope to buy once and buy right. Our principal benefactor is Lisa Maloff, our Angel of Tahoe and the Lady of the Lake. Lisa has given so much to this community that supporting one of her projects, and ensuring that it is successful, is just one way in which we can thank her for her generosity.
Training Responsible Adults In Life Skills (TRAILS) at the Lake is requesting $15,325.00 from the Inspiration Grant in order to enhance our organization’s capacity building for the future success of our mission. TRAILS works with adults 18 and over who qualify for services through Alta California Regional Center. We serve the South Lake Tahoe area and have some clients in Alpine and Nevada County as well. Money from the grant would go towards hiring financial, legal and other consultant professionals, in order to create a more effective and efficient system and to ensure that the organization is keeping abreast of ever-changing compliance laws and best practices to maximize its direct services.
With the founders recently retired and the organization operating a new and larger facility, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care (LTWC) seeks operational funds in three main categories. Any amount of funding would be greatly appreciated to support any or multiple of these categories. Medical equipment in the form of an exam light for onsite veterinary care ($2k). LTWC hopes to reduce its reliance on local vets for relatively basic medical examinations and will decrease unnecessary and sometimes dangerous (for the patient) travel through increasing it’s onsite capabilities. An exam light will assist veterinarian Kevin Willits when diagnosing and caring for injured wildlife on site. Food for an increased number of wildlife patients ($12k = 70% of annual budget). The new Al Tahoe facility more than doubled LTWC’s capacity to care for wildlife. Feeding our patients is one of the most basic necessities, especially orphans in need of round-the-clock feeding care. Salary for part-time staff ($12k = 1 part-time). As part of the new facilities expansion and the recent retirement of the organization's founders, LTWC plans to increase staff capacity to 5 employees. Salary to fund one of these part-time positions will help LTWC meet it’s patient, education, and facility needs.
Clean Up the Cayes (CUTC) is requesting $40,000 to support its 72-mile “Clean Up the Lake” SCUBA-enabled litter cleanup of Lake Tahoe which will remove submerged litter from the nearshore lakebed and promote littering education and environmental stewardship through a short educational film showcased at two community events. Regarded as a national treasure and deemed an EPA Priority Watershed, Lake Tahoe’s waters are foundational to the Tahoe Basin. Despite its protected status, pilot cleanup dives led by CUTC and their partner, Tahoe Dive Center, removed nearly 1000 pounds of litter from just over 1 mile of nearshore lakebed along Lake Tahoe’s eastern shores. This newly discovered expansive litter problem beneath Lake Tahoe’s clear blue waters has the potential to contribute to microplastic, and organic and inorganic toxin accumulation in Lake Tahoe, not to mention its detraction from the aesthetic beauty of the lake. CUTC is committed to not only removing submerged trash from all 72-miles of Lake Tahoe’s shoreline, but also using the results of the circumnavigational cleanup to educate visitors and local communities alike about littering and litter accumulation in the lake via educational films, community awareness events, and a local art installation. This work will result in a cleaner lake for years-to-come by removing litter and educating the public about littering and environmental stewardship in the Tahoe Basin. Funding from TWCF will be spent on (1) Five miles of SCUBA-enabled lakebed litter removal along Lake Tahoe’s south shore including concurrent film documentation, and data collection by the Desert Research Institute and the Tahoe Environmental Research Center ($25,208); (2) Production of a short (10 min.) cleanup dive educational film ($6,398); and (3) Two community showings of the educational film, one each in north and south Tahoe, including a Q&A with CUTC and their partners ($1,500). CUTC will provide in-kind matching totaling $44,322, including donated filming equipment, watercraft and safety equipment, a 25% match on salary and wages, and lawyer fees. Additional support for the 72-mile Clean Up the Lake project includes community donations, pledged support from Tahoe Fund, and grant funding from the NV Division of State Lands.
Tahoe PAWS a Emergency/Disaster Community Animal Response Team is requesting $15,000 for its Trailer/Eqiupment/Supplies Project. Funds will be spent to purchase a pre-owned trailer to be used as a mobile office and storage for equipment & supplies. Any unused portion will go towards the cost of DMV & Insurance fees, along with necessary equipment/supplies, such as medical equipment, pet supplies. Tahoe PAWS works jointly with agencies and organization in the Tahoe basin to promote the safety and well being of all domesticate animals - and wildlife when possible. We work to assist people and animals effected by disaster with evacuation, temporary sheltering, medical care, reuniting animals with owners, or adoption services for unclaimed pets. We utilize volunteers, who are certified in disaster preparedness training, including local Vetrinarians & Vetrinarian Techs.
Tahoe Arts Alliance (TAA) requests $40,000 to host the Tahoe MuralFest 2020 this September. This multi-day event will celebrate Tahoe's history and strong environmental ethic and help revitalize the US50 corridor. During the 4-day festival, spectators will watch as the artists paint 10 new murals from Harrison Avenue to Sierra Blvd. Additional activities include booths, tours, talks, and live music. Funds will be spent on painting supplies, artist stipends, scaffolding, permits and promotional materials. TAA is targeting the Al Tahoe and Sierra Tract neighborhoods because of their large resident populations, the new bike paths that facilitate mobility, and their proximity to local businesses. This project will transform the area into a walkable outdoor gallery, promote year-around diversified tourism, and deepen civic pride in the arts and culture. Cities across the US have embraced mural projects including, most notably Reno. The organization responsible for those murals - Art Spot Reno - has been lauded for their design-focused mural aesthetic and has helped Reno's art scene become nationally recognized. To host MuralFest, TAA will partner with Art Spot Reno, which has extensive connections with world-renown artists. They also have experience working with non-urban communities. Last year, they helped raise over $90,000 and create 40+ murals in a 4 day event in Elko, Nevada. Elko Daily reported, “Elko Mural Expo is a hit with locals.” TAA's mission is to connect, promote and advocate for arts & culture, thereby creating a dynamic arts identity for the education, enrichment and prosperity of South Shore residents and visitors. TAA believes - and a growing body of research affirms - that mural projects are positively identified with social, cultural, economic, and mental health impacts. Tahoe Arts Alliance needs $40,000 to install a minimum of 10 murals in pre-identified locations. We have already spoken with many of the building owners and they support the project. If awarded, TAA will leverage the $40K to attract additional donors, enabling us to expand beyond 10 murals. A MuralFest, at this scale and on this timeline, will not be possible without the support of TWCF.
Between Horses and Humans (BHH) is requesting $15,000 to help children, living in the South Lake Tahoe area, who are struggling with emotional, social, behavioral and/or personal issues, using the rider/horse relationship. The funds will be used for the care and maintenance of the horses, instructor fees, and miscellaneous expenses such as insurance and licensing. Between Horses and Humans is a 100% volunteer run non-profit therapeutic horsemanship facility that provides classes free of charge to all students. The horse teaches the student successful interaction skills that can be used in social settings, in a fun and non-threatening environment. Horses do not respond to anger, aggression, impatience or frustration. Neither will they respond to shyness, timidity or indecisiveness. Horses will respond to and therefore teach the student behaviors that can be translated into their everyday life such as, calm assertiveness, firmness with fairness, compassion and inspired leadership. Our lessons focus on helping children develop decision-making skills; make positive choices; learn to trust themselves and others; develop patience; build their self-esteem and confidence; and develop a more positive attitude. Many of these children are considered ‘at risk’ and come to our program because they suffer from anxiety, depression and mental disorders that are risk factors for suicide. Parents, whose children ranged in age from 7 to 17, participated in our 2019 Parent Survey. Eighty-five percent of the parents reported an improvement in their child’s anxiety and/or depression, and 88% reported an improvement in family issues, since working with the horses and instructors at BHH. Parents also noted significant improvement in the areas of lack of follow through, aggression/anger, and difficulty making decisions. Ninety three% of parents noticed improvement in their child’s self-esteem and life in general. Our participants are referred to us by school counselors, private therapists, and organizations, such as, Tahoe Youth and Family Services, Tahoe Women’s Center, SOS (Tahoe), Live Violence Free (Tahoe), Tahoe Women’s Services, and CASA. The program currently serves more than 50 children and young adults each week at a cost of approximately $70,000 a year.
Mountain High Recovery Center (MHRC) is requesting $40,000 to establish an outpatient substance use treatment center in South Lake Tahoe. With over 40 years of combined professional experience in the field of substance use treatment, the co-founders of MHRC envision developing an organization that provides healing and recovery of all individuals, families, and communities affected by the misuse of substances. MHRC believes that treatment should be local, affordable, and individualized to each person’s story. The funds received will be spent on infrastructure development of the organization including obtaining office space, staffing costs, marketing, certification to access reimbursement through private insurance and Medi-Cal, and DUI program application fees. Within the first year of operation, MHRC anticipates providing substance use assessment, case management, and individual and group counseling services to at least 150 individuals and begin developing partnerships with various community leaders and organizations. MHRC will also pursue certification as a DUI program provider with El Dorado County and the California Department of Health Care Services as soon as possible.
3Strands Global Foundation is requesting $40,000 for its Employ+Empower program (E+E) which will serve at least 20 survivors of human trafficking and at-risk youth (e.g. foster youth, homeless adults and youth, formerly incarcerated, etc.) in the South Lake Tahoe area. E+E, an evidence-based initiative, fills the need for a trauma-informed employment program empowering survivors and those at-risk to lead a safe, economically stable life, free of exploitation. Economic vulnerability and lack of resources are two of the leading causes of exploitation, and many of those we serve struggle with the basics (e.g. driver license, social security number, job training, appropriate clothing, etc.). We help each client meet specific needs to ensure they have the opportunity to find employment and achieve independence. We imagine a future where youth are not subject to exploitation, but rather they have a pathway to a healthy, financially stable future. We see these vulnerable individuals having access to healthcare, mental health services, job training and sustainable employment. E+E does this by assessing individual barriers to employment and breaking down said barriers by assisting with items such as transportation, childcare, mental health services and more. This individualized approach helps victims and survivors of human trafficking become productive and confident citizens providing positive economic influence and reducing homlessness among vulnerable populations. This individualized attention is also how we achieve a 90-day retention rate in excess of 80% among our existing clients. Funds will be used to establish a Social Worker in South Lake Tahoe who will be the primary point of contact for clients. He/she will serve as the focal point for our collaborative efforts to provide all the services these youth need to find employment, achieve economic independence and avoid exploitation.