Foundation donors directed thousands of grants to local nonprofits last year. Here's how one to My Mother's Voice made a difference, as featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Impact magazine.
During the pandemic, John Poswall and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall have given generously to causes they care about through their fund, The Poswall Family Foundation, including a grant to Women’s Empowerment that served as a matching gift to encourage others to support the job-readiness program for women experiencing homelessness. They've also given multiple grants to My Mother’s Voice.
My Mother’s Voice works to end generational poverty through early education and support for children attending Title 1 schools in Roseville. For years, its leader, Donja Garvey, and a small army of dedicated volunteers journeyed to Title 1 classrooms, read to young learners, and gave them books to take home.
Then the pandemic hit.
“The families we serve all have young children. When stay-at-home orders began, families that were struggling financially were now in crisis through no fault of their own,” said Garvey. Many parents lost their jobs and few had safety nets on which they could rely.
Her team mobilized to help. In addition to delivering books, they distributed diapers and personal supplies, clothes, and other essentials to the homes of families whose children they used to read to in classrooms. More than once, they provided rental assistance to protect families from eviction.
My Mother’s Voice distributed over 11,000 meals, too, thanks to a grant from the Poswall Family Foundation—and an inventive idea from John. He connected Garvey with a local restauranteur who happily agreed to prepare healthy, easy-to-deliver food for the families she serves, benefiting the families and bringing work to employees of a struggling business.
“When you bring good ideas and good people together, you can make a difference. With a respected leader like Donja and a little help from others, you can make it happen,” said John.