Old Grant Update: Eagle Project

24 Nov Finished 2 Weeks Later

Way back in June we gave a grant to an aspiring Eagle scout for a project to revive the courtyard at Star of Hope Transitional Living Center.  Mr. Kimmel took a tired courtyard and gave it new life.  Check out the pic’s he sent us.  Congrats on a job well done!  We love getting updates from projects and seeing our good will in action.

May, June, and soon July Grants!

24 Jul

This summer has been busy!  We have been seeing more and more applications come in each month.  We have been struggling to keep up with you Houston!  We are very excited and please keep those applications coming in!  If you don’t win the grant the first time, don’t be shy!  Apply again if your project is not time sensitive.

The May grant was a tough choice!  We narrowed it down to Write Click and Yellowstone Academic Stars.  The trustees struggled a bit with two such awesome ideas, but ultimately Yellowstone’s Academic Stars won the vote!  Yellowstone Academy is a private PK3-8th grade school for children living in extreme poverty.  They were looking to use the $1000.00 to purchase trophies for academic achievement to be given at a school wide end-of-the-year awards ceremony.  Their goal is to give academic achievement the same (or better) recognition than sports and fine arts. You can learn more about Yellowstone on their website and check out our Awesome Foundation chapter page for deets on their project.

Write Click is a very cool project as well – if you have some time check our their website and fan them on Facebook.

On to June!  Oh my goodness, we had so many applications for June and we were so excited to learn about all the awesome ideas Houstonians have out there!  Keep ‘em coming!  June was incredibly tough.  We sat around my living room talking about each one and then voting.  Eventually we decided to help fund an Eagle Project by an Eagle Scout.  His plan is to revitalize the courtyard at Star of Hope Transitional Living Center.  We are looking forward to posting “before and after” pictures after his work is completed.

Close in line though behind the Eagle Project, after narrowing down through so many awesome ideas, were projects for a non-profit called Skills for Living and another non-profit ministry program, Emmaus Ministries Houston.  We strongly encourage you take a look at these two amazing non-profits and the work they’re doing in Houston.  It’s pretty amazing to see how caring the Houston community is when you take a closer look at us!

We’ll be deciding on July’s grant soon so stay tuned!  By the way, we only have a couple spots left open for trustees so if you want to become a part of Awesome Houston let us know what you can bring to the chapter! :-)

Filling in the knowledge gap

23 Apr

Hey y’all!  Been a while since our last update, but now it’s time to talk about February’s grant winner!!

February’s grant goes to an awesome program called “Evenings with Genetics” led by the Director of Genetic Outreach in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Susan Fernbach.

Susan has been involved in the care and education of families with genetic conditions for the past 28 years.  Evenings with genetics started a few years ago with a goal to dimish the knowledge gaps for families as well as, highlight local and national resources, and aid with family-to-family networking.   Many families struggle to understand not only the genetic evaluation process and the medical care issues, but also the social and emotional component of this information.

The grant money will go directly to a transmitter and headsets so that these programs can be simultaneously translated in Spanish for 2012, with hopes to also translate in Vietnamese in the future.  Susan explained in her application that “Houston has a wonderful multicultural community and we are trying to reach out to Spanish-speaking families as well. We have offered simultaneous translation to Spanish at many of our seminars with the expertise of medical translators.”  She also noted that currently they have to rent this equipment which is costly and not always available.  This grant will help them with making the translations a reality for each seminar.

To get a feel for what these evenings are like, a few of the Awesome trustees attended one of the seminars last week.  We had a great time speaking with those in attendance over light refreshments, and then learned a lot about childhood dental care and health.

Here we are with Susan delivering the money before the presentation, the money in a nice little Awesome envelope!

From Left: Susan Fernbach; Theresa Quintanilla; Karen Limmer, Andrew Limmer, and Allison Skidmore

Susan promised to keep us up to date on future seminars, but you can check it out on your own on the Baylor College of Medicine’s website: www.bcm.edu/eveninggenetics

Have an awesome idea?  Need some additional $$ for some aspect or the whole idea?  Apply!! Click the Apply button on our website and get started today.  You could be next month’s grant winner!!

Walk? What, In Houston?!

20 Feb

January’s grant goes to a young artist, Carrie Schneider for her project Hear Our Houston.  We couldn’t resist funding this unique project, especially for our city’s challenge in the “walking” department.   We all know that walking is unbearable in the hot summer months, but the rest of the year, except those two weeks of 30 degree weather, the city is a nice place to walk and take in the sights.

Well, with Hear Our Houston you can pick a place, a perspective, a subject, and get an audio walking tour from the Hear Our Houston website narrative by a local creative.  Oh and it’s FREE to download your chosen tour!

We met up with Carrie last Thursday to deliver the grant and to chat about her project.  Carrie explains each audio tour as a chance to “walk a mile in another person’s shoes.  Hear Our Houston is a hub of public generated audio walking tours that should be amplifying more of our city’s incredibly diverse and fascinating voices.  All sorts of folks record their thoughts, stories, memories, and knowledge while taking a walk.”

“In a place where walking is nearly a radical act, Hear Our Houston  is excavating some of our hidden gems, layering meaning into geography, preserving our oral history, and celebrating our common sense of space.”  What is so unique about Carrie’s project to us is that she’s creating an experience for the listener and strengthening the value Houston has to offer.  We also hope that those who take part in these audio tours feel a renewed love for the city and work to strengthen it’s neighborhoods to preserve for our future little Houstonians!

That’s great, but what do you get out it?

18 Jan

Over the holidays I saw many of my friends and family who I don’t see on a regular basis.  Of course the general discussion is just plain old catching up. “How is your job?”; “Are you enjoying living in Texas?”; “How hot is it really?”; “What have you been up to lately?”  Most of my family lives in the Northeast so of course the weather is always a hot topic, but this year I was excited to talk about Awesome and what we’re doing here in Houston.  While not a terribly large investment is required, and our efforts to make this happen have been pretty minimal, the conversation often lead to “So what are you getting out of this Awesome thing?”  Why would I want to give $100 a month to a stranger to do something awesome with it?  That’s your hard earned money you’re just giving away and not getting anything back on your investment.

Well, true.  We are not getting anything back monetarily, no rights to the idea, and essentially no credit for the grant.  What we are getting I believe far out weighs those returns: The chance to see an idea grow into something real.  Helping a noble cause with a project that may be otherwise unsurmountable.  Becoming more a part of our community.  Building our community in a new and innovative way.  I see the benefits in what we’re doing and it feels pretty amazing, so I get that out of it too!

While micro-funding and micro-lending aren’t necessarily “new” ideas, there aren’t that many people doing what we’re doing and in that respect it feels new and innovative.  And it’s working.  It’s working here in Houston, it’s working in other parts of the world and also if you check out www.kickstarter.com you can see it working there too.

What’s working?  The bigger picture is being realized.  Those creative, innovative, and intelligent ideas are getting funding and becoming a reality.  The bigger picture is that the sum is greater than it’s parts.  If we are able as a society to support awesome ideas (including the arts, sciences, and social good) and give them what they need to grow, we better ourselves as a whole.  We provide a better place for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors, our community.

Do you think we’re nuts for not expecting anything in return?  Let’s us know what you think about Awesome Foundation – Houston.

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