March brings lots of sunshine, longer days, and increased attention to Ipatse Futures, our technical assistance project in Brazil. The Pennywise team has been working with project leadership in the U.S. and in Brazil to determine the best way to approach the complexities of creating self-sustaining economic and environmental opportunities for the Kuikuro and other indigenous groups in the Xingu region of the Amazon. To date, we have been able to set up a GIS monitoring system for data collection and resource mapping and have trained local community members on how to capture information and upload it to the database. Next steps include completing the administration building the project is developing in Canarana (the city closest to the Kuikuro village) and helping the Kuikuro further develop their infrastructure as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). Pennywise directors will also be traveling to the Kuikuro Village in June. There, they will meet with the Kuikuro community, project partners and other key stakeholders to further develop project objectives, strategic partnerships and finalize intended outcomes.
As the Pennywise Foundation continues to grow, your support means more than ever to us and our incredible grantees. Last year was our biggest year yet! Thanks to your continued generosity, we will be able to deepen our commitment to critically needed projects in Brazil, Haiti, Nicaragua, Zambia, Anguilla and the United States. We look forward to keeping you updated throughout the year on all the work that is happening because of you. Thank you!
"Even the strongest blizzards start with a single snowflake." — Sara Raasch
Together, let us be the storm that brings positive change to the world around us. Peace and light from the Pennywise Foundation.
We hate how much time and and how many resources small nonprofits have to expend to raise money. That is why we are continuing our Giving Tuesday tradition with More with Less Small Grant Awards. For the third consecutive year we will make a few modest, unsolicited contributions to recognize the great work of our grantee partners. We hope this offers them a bit of relief from the grind of fundraising and a little more time to focus on the critical missions of their organizations.
This year please join us in celebrating Reproductive Health Access Project, Power Shift Network, and Steps to End Domestic Violence. These organizations are leveraging every penny to bring about enduring positive change!
Let's keep the spirit of giving going! Consider a Giving Tuesday gift to Pennywise to support this annual tradition.
As we await the results of an election that could have lasting impacts on women’s rights to choose safe legal abortions, we want to celebrate the accomplishments of one of our grantees that has been so effective working on the front lines of this struggle.
The Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) works with primary care providers helping them integrate abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care into their practices. One of the programs they run is the Reproductive Health Access Network. This 2,100 strong member organization operates in 46 states, Washington, D.C., and 12 other countries. Family physicians make up about 65-70% of the Network constituency, with a growing number of internal medicine physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants, adolescent pediatricians, and other specialties represented. Network members come together nationally and regionally at major conferences and also work on-the-ground in 21 states through “Clusters”, groups of practitioners working together to help provide a full range of reproductive health care services in particular areas. As the Network expands, its Clusters have been able to mobilize in new and exciting ways, pushing their community-based work to new heights. For example, the NYC Cluster recently hosted a physician who has provided medication abortion in Africa to speak to a crowd of at least 50. In Washington state, Cluster leaders invited experts to speak about the potential effects of the Title X “gag rule” in the state and in Massachusetts, Cluster leaders led a medication abortion clinical training.
Pennywise was attracted to RHAP’s approach because they are working to see that reproductive health care services are integrated into an existing system- primary care. This makes sense in so many ways. It is cost efficient, politically savvy and decreases burdens on individuals seeking services- particularly those in underserved communities and areas where barriers to obtaining these critical health care services are growing.
We hope that you will join us in supporting this life changing and life saving work.
At an historical moment in which environmental protections are being rolled back at an alarming rate and devastating natural disasters are becoming part of regular news cycles, Pennywise is proud to continue to support the Power Shift Network (PSN). PSN is an organization led by young people that works with other young people who are developing strategies to address the global climate crisis. PSN ensures that emerging leaders in climate change activism are connected and coordinated with the resources they need to be successful.
A few highlights of their recent accomplishments include:
Pennywise resonates with Power Shift N’etwork's approach because they invest heavily in collaborations and the elements that make them successful. In the words of Power Shift’s Executive Director, “The effort that goes into making these collaborations possible is not always as eye-catching or “sexy” as the end products but it is critical to producing the results…Without the carefully facilitated planning tables, communication tools, micro grants or trust based relationships the work would not be possible.
We hope that you will join us in supporting the Power Shift Network and, through them, support the generation of leaders and the brighter future they can help to ensure.
On September 2 a devastating fire ripped through the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro and destroyed major pieces of Brazil’s scientific and cultural heritage. On Sunday, October 28th, the people of Brazil will elect a new President. The candidate favored to win is Jair Bolsonaro, a man who promised that if elected, “there won’t be a square centimeter of the country demarcated as an indigenous reserve." These are two among many serious threats to Brazil's native cultures. We must work together now to preserve the traditions of indigenous people in Brazil by protecting the ecosystems upon which they rely and providing economic opportunity and incentive in the process.
That’s why we created the Ipatse Futures Project. Dedicated to protecting, improving and sustaining the lifestyle of the Kuikuro community, its goals are to:
The vision for the project came from Kuikuro Chief Afukaka and all aspects of the project are conducted with oversight by Dr. Michael Heckenberger (Associate Professor, University of Florida) with a focus on generating sustainable income for the Kuikuro. The Pennywise technical assistance and planning program will provide ongoing support by creating formal partnerships between indigenous organizations, local government, foundations and other stakeholders. Together we will help to ensure sustainability for the Kuikuro for generations to come.
Pennywise was able to connect a local art teacher to our grantee, Roberto’s Kids, and the result was new shoes for kids in Croatia...
For the past few years the art teacher at the Richmond Elementary School (Richmond, VT USA) conducted a project involving her fourth grade students painting two pairs of matching canvas shoes the same way. The students got to keep one pair and the other was intended to be sent to a child somewhere else in the world, specifically somewhere where it might otherwise be difficult for the children to get new sneakers. The sneakers come with a letter from the child who painted them, offering the opportunity for kids from different cultures to create pen pal relationships.
The problem with this great idea was that it was more difficult to give the shoes away than the teacher had imagined. She needed help finding a specific location where children could benefit from the shoes and a plan for absorbing the shipping costs.
Happily, we had one in mind for her! Roberto’s Kids has an infrastructure through which they collect new and gently worn baseball equipment from the US and Canada and distribute it to underprivileged youth around the world. We figured they might also know what to with boxes of shoes- and they did.
For the second year in a row Roberto’s Kids was able to minimize costs by connecting with their partners and having the shoes included in already planned deliveries to communities in Croatia. Pennywise was able to offer funds for the postage to get the shoes to Roberto’s kids and they took care of the rest. We loved seeing the smiles when the shoes found feet!
Pennywise is pleased to help sponsor the 2018 International Restorative Justice Conference. taking place over the next few days at UVM in Burlington, VT.
The conference offers a rich blend of research, new knowledge and skills, and ways to achieve a restorative future through meaningful community leadership and relational values. We create the road to a more restorative world by working collaboratively across all elements of community to build new awareness and understanding of what it means to live and work restoratively, while simultaneously addressing harm and conflict through a restorative approach to achieve better outcomes for all.
At Pennywise we believe there is a critical need for criminal legal system reform in the United States and around the world. This is why we are excited to announce our partnership with the Center for Justice Reform at Vermont Law School (the Center), the Windsor and Chittenden County State’s Attorneys and Vermont Legal Aid to host two Expungement Days to educate Vermonters about how to remove old misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana offenses from their record.
The Center promotes groundbreaking approaches to restorative justice and we share their position that few things are quite as restorative as returning citizens to a clean record. Under Vermont law, when a conviction is expunged, the person may lawfully claim they were never arrested, prosecuted, or convicted of the offense. This means increased employment and educational opportunities and a renewed sense of dignity and respect for many Vermonters.
WE HOPE YOU FIND a lucky Penny Today.
Then consider passing a few along.