Many Hands is a women’s grantmaking organization committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of Washington, DC area women, children, and families in socioeconomic need and to helping its members become well-informed donors. Since 2004, including the more than $300,000 in grants we announce today, Many Hands has granted more than $2.5 million to 43 nonprofit organizations.
This is our 13th grant cycle, and our second that has taken place fully in the shadow of COVID. The pandemic has both highlighted and intensified the vulnerability of hundreds of thousands of DC area residents. Unemployment soared; a quarter of a million people became newly food insecure; and more than a year of school closures caused an increase in learning gaps by income and race. Life expectancy fell by more than a year, with much larger drops for Black and Latino Americans. But the pandemic also brought us stories of heroism, creativity, and resolve. Thousands of individuals and organizations threw themselves into the fight and reinvented the way they do business to continue serving communities facing unprecedented needs.
All 108 of our grant applicants this cycle exemplify this creativity and resilience in service to our community. All of our lives are enriched by the exceptional women and men working in and with their communities to advance opportunity, empowerment, and equity across our region. We are honored to partner with the four organizations that are receiving this year’s grants, and equally humbled to have had the chance to learn more about all of the organizations who took the time to educate us about the work they are doing.
We are deeply grateful to Many Hands’ members and friends for making our grantmaking possible, both as donors and as volunteers. Of our 260 members, more than 80 joined a Focus Area Committee (Economic Empowerment, Education, Health, or Housing) this cycle, and many others served on the Financial Review Committee, Membership Committee, and Racial Equity Working Group. Many Hands would literally not exist without the generosity, dedication, perspectives, experiences, and skills of the remarkable women who comprise our membership.
Last week we were thrilled to have our first in-person Annual Meeting since the start of the pandemic, where we were able to hear live from all four of our grantees. More than 75 members and their guests joined us in person for the meeting and almost 50 more joined the livestream. All members were invited to vote to determine which of the four grantees would receive the 2022 Many Hands $100,000 Impact Grant.
Join them – and us – now to support our 2023 grants. And please help us spread the word about the power of collective giving. Our members are our greatest ambassadors – share our emails, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or send a friend this link to our website.
Together we make a difference.
2022 MANY HANDS IMPACT GRANT ($100,000)
The mission of My Sister’s Place (MSP) is to shelter, support, and empower survivors of domestic violence and their children, while providing leadership and education to build a supportive community. For over 40 years, MSP has been an innovator in changing lives by providing care through hotlines, domestic violence shelters, and continued aftercare to help survivors build independent lives. As one of DC’s oldest domestic violence shelters, MSP has served as a cornerstone of the District’s response to this pressing public health issue since 1979.
MSP is unique in offering a full continuum of care, from emergency shelter through transitional-to-permanent housing. MSP’s experienced team of case managers and residential counselors provide clinical counseling, case management, and comprehensive services to empower survivors to recover and thrive. MSP also provides training, case consultation, and advocacy to engage communities to prevent violence and abuse.
In January 2020, MSP launched the Fresh Start Fund in response to the need for one-time financial support to help ensure families are not at risk of losing their homes and their stability because of a financial barrier. The Fresh Start Fund has helped many families with one-time payments, such as security deposits, items clients need for their new homes, car repairs, educational opportunities, job certifications, grocery and household supply costs, and more. Many of these expenses are not covered by the government grants that fund the transitional housing programs MSP provides. With the Many Hands $100,000 grant, MSP anticipates serving approximately 150 survivor families during the critical time of need when they are fleeing domestic violence and facing homelessness and/or further victimization.
The Many Hands grant will go to the Fresh Start Fund to be allocated directly to MSP clients.
2022 MANY HANDS PARTNER GRANTS ($67,000)
The mission of Beacon House is to provide children in the Edgewood neighborhood of Northeast Washington, DC, with a safe, nurturing, and life-expanding community in which to increase their academic achievement, discover their talents, and grow into healthy adults who achieve their greatest potential. Beacon House, located in the Edgewood Commons affordable housing complex, provides afterschool education and youth development services to nearly 400 children, ages five to 18, annually. Their programs focus on closing the education achievement gap, and thus improving the economic trajectories, of Black and Brown children in Ward 5 for whom generational poverty is most persistent. The Many Hands grant will provide unrestricted funding.
The mission of Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) is to create opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals in the greater DC region to build financial security, savings, and wealth for the future. CAAB believes that supporting women (who make up two-thirds of CAAB’s clients) to achieve economic stability is critical to the health and well-being of women and children in DC, and provides a host of financial programs, coaching, and advocacy to achieve their goals. CAAB focuses on credit-building as a key financial wellness strategy because having subprime credit has a steep cost. CAAB applied for a Many Hands grant to support their DC Builds Credit program, a fund that allows them to administer a small dollar credit building loan to women designed to increase their credit scores. The Many Hands grant will provide unrestricted funding.
The mission of Nueva Vida is to inform, support, and empower Latinas whose lives are affected by cancer, and to advocate for and facilitate the timely access to state of the art cancer care. Nueva Vida is founded under the belief that no physical, financial, or structural barrier should block the care of any person. For more than 22 years, Nueva Vida has worked tirelessly to ensure that care is affordable and accessible, providing outreach, education, preventive cancer screening, patient navigation, and mental health support to medically underserved and economically disadvantaged Latina women throughout the Washington, DC area. Nueva Vida serves more than 1,000 women and their families each year by addressing the cultural, linguistic, and psychosocial barriers they face. The Many Hands grant will provide unrestricted funding.