(Sample) Grant Proposal to <your foundation>
The Fort Worth HOPE Center is a nonprofit, community-based organization. Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2004, we have served low-income and unemployed families in Fort Worth and South Dallas since 2002 by providing food, educational programs, and medical referrals assistance, and building collaborative relationships with job training and job placement organizations for adults and their families in an effort to improve their overall quality of life. Our mission is to give children, individuals, and families HOPE for the future through food distribution, educational programs, social service collaboration, and coalition building to break the cycle of poverty in their lives and help families realize their dreams. We serve more than 105,000 people annually in South Dallas and Fort Worth. In one recent month we served over 10,000 individuals, with more than 50% of them children.
The values of The Fort Worth HOPE Center are to honor, love, and accept people just as they are; operate with integrity as good stewards of public trust and resources; know that the potential for success lies within the heart of all people; and recognize that everyone deserves respect and opportunities for a better life. Our goals are to provide (1) food for the hungry; (2) quality programs and services to help people develop positive self image and plans to realize their dreams; (3) educational programs, including GED, ESL, and computer classes; (4) job training and placement; (5) housing, health, and social services; and (6) dynamic children and youth educational programs.
We have more than 400 volunteers logging over 23,000 hours annually. We have expanded our volunteer base through having corporate volunteers come in and work as part of team building exercise. Both TJ Max and FedEx have not only donated dollars on a corporate level, but at the store level with over 50 volunteers having logged over 160 hours.
- Food, clothing, and household items for individuals living at or below poverty level through our Food Pantry and Resource Center
- Educational programs
- Youth programs
- Job training
- Job placement
- Dental exams
The needs of the youth are best exemplified by statistical data gathered from the school district where most of the youth live and attend public school. In a recent report, which examined six middle schools, roughly 85% of the combined student population are minority (African American, Latino, Asian), 60% are considered economically disadvantaged, 35% have limited English proficiency, 70% qualify for free of reduced lunch and less than 50% receive passing scores on state mandated tests. This statistical data is also indicative of the parents of the children of these same children. These figures must be improved in order for these students and their parents to receive academic and social success and break the cycle of poverty.
Our “School of HOPE” program is for low-income adults and children from low-income families. Adults learn basis computer, office, and job-hunting skills, and take classes to prepare for passing their GED test. Our education and computer programs are facilitated by means of the 25 donated computers, plus a server and network system that provides internet access in our computer classroom. All students get an email address, and learn how to prepare their résumé and online job applications. They learn Keyboard 101 and Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint).
We have received an additional 75 donated computers that we have distributed to two other nonprofit organizations needing computers for their programs, and we also reward our students with a computer at no cost to them when they graduate from our program. 65 students attended the last two semesters. We are accumulating more computers from corporations who are upgrading their computers so we can put them in the homes of our students after they graduate from The School of HOPE.
The community we serve has a high school drop out rate of over 50%, and the GED program is a must for our students to get into vocational schools. The Fort Worth HOPE Center partners with three vocational schools that send us potential students who apply to their school but don’t have their high school diploma or GED. They send those students to us for GED training, and then they go back to those schools to enter vocational programs.
The Keys of HOPE was formed in the fall of 2008 as a response to a Community Based Program authorized by the city of Fort Worth. The goal of the Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) was to (1) increase citizen participation in the CODE BLUE program, (2) to support the adoption of a prevention focus by the police department and the community, and (3) to provide a secure environment in which children can receive an education.
Upon researching, The Fort Worth HOPE Center discovered that the Maryland State Department of Education had release information which proved that after 4 years of music lesions, students scored anywhere from 40 to 50 points higher in both the verbal and math portion of the SAT tests.
In October of 2008, the program received approval of the funding from the CCPD. The first period started with four students, but grew through the funding to 24 students. The program taught students to play the electronic keyboard in an ensemble of 10 to 15 students in each group. The ensemble became a wholesome place where the students develop their talents in music and discover the importance of working as part of a group.
The Keys of HOPE is currently making plans for its second year of operation. The program is planning to increase the number of students participating in the program. In particular, participation by children of individuals who are currently incarcerated in prisons will be the focus for the next program period.
Our Funding Request
We invite <your foundation> to join us in our effort by providing a $5,000 grant for our Food Pantry and Resource Center that serves over 105,000 people in need in South Dallas and Fort Worth.
Each week The Fort Worth HOPE Center distributes food to families who live at or below the poverty level. We have a large population of disabled, and/or senior citizens on a fixed income who come to the The Fort Worth HOPE Center on a weekly basis. Without receiving the food we distribute, difficult choices such as a choice between purchasing foods or medication would have to be made. Many of the households we serve have children whose parents are in prison. Others are families who are in-between jobs and looking for employment. No matter why they come to us for assistance, we are here to give our clients encouragement, food for their families, and more.
We are building a network with many food providers to provide food for our clients and their families. We accomplish this through the coordination of resources, both private and public, that provide food for local distribution. We operate out of an 80,000 square foot facility, which includes a 50,000 square foot Food Distribution Center, and Central Dallas Ministries is now a major distribution partner for us in Dallas.
Most of our food is donated from local commercial food companies. The Fort Worth HOPE Center picks up food from various commercial food vendors daily, sometimes exceeding more than 40 pallets of food, or 20 tons, weekly, and distributes the food to the families at The Fort Worth HOPE Center’s warehouse and two locations in Dallas so that food can reach families in need. We currently provide families with enough food to feed a family of four for seven to ten days. The food given to each family would cost the client over a hundred dollars a week in a retail situation. For each of the last two years, the Fort Worth HOPE Center has distributed in excess of $2.5 million of food products. We give our clients certain foods in excess of their weekly requirement, thereby allowing them to share food with others. This has not only expanded our reach, but sharing with others has also given the clients a sense of empowerment. Any overage that is donated to The HOPE Center through our corporate venders can sometimes be taken to Tarrant Area Food Bank. Tarrant Area Food Bank will issue a credit, which is applied towards purchases.
We partner with the Tarrant Area Food Bank and purchase food through a maintenance program at very little cost. Through purchases from the Tarrant Area Food Bank we have been able to offer our clients a more complete balanced diet. Dairy items make up a large portion of the purchases from Tarrant Area Food Bank. In addition to our purchases, we are often able to receive USDA items at no cost.
We have a focus on feed children. We are reaching out to feed children in low-income apartment complexes and children whose parents are incarcerated. We have located approximately 800 families in our service area taking care of children whose parents are incarcerated. Many of these children live with grandparents who are on a fixed income and cannot afford the financial load of caring for additional children. Many of these homes suffer from severe food insufficiencies. We also are going into low-income apartment complexes on a weekly basis to provide food for families in need, where the highest concentration of poverty is located. There is severe hunger among children is in those apartments, and we distributing food every week.
Our goals and projected outcomes are:
1) To develop a system of coordination of food resources.
- Improve efficiency of food distribution.
- Strengthen ability of community to meet local needs, and coordinate resources.
- Increase partnerships with food-related organizations.
- Increase the number of community members who are able to eat healthy.
2) To develop evaluative research methods in which food-related needs and resources are identified and community successes are documented
- Enhance the ability of the community to respond to the needs and coordinate the resources in the neighborhood.
The Fort Worth HOPE Center utilizes System for Tracking and Retrieval software from ACS Technologies for data management and to document the utilization and effectiveness of our programs. We strive to provide holistic services to our clients, and reach many people in a variety of settings. The information gathered about clients who visit each of our programs provides us with an annual internal snapshot of the work we do and the people we touch through our various outreach services.
Our collaborative relationships include United Way of America (FEMA), Tarrant Area Food Bank, Feed the Children, Battered Women’s Foundation, GRACE, Central Dallas Ministries, Abundant Life Ministries, and League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). The HOPE Center works with Texas Workforce Solutions and is employing teenagers through their summer work program. We also have partnering ministries in more than 100 churches in Fort Worth and South Dallas.
Orlando and JoAnn Reyes are the founders of The Fort Worth HOPE Center. Orlando and JoAnn were both born into poverty; Orlando from a Los Angeles housing project, and JoAnn from a cotton farm in Tennessee. Together, Orlando and JoAnn have worked for over 15 years in the inner city, providing affordable housing for low-income families. All four of their children have college degrees and have very successful careers. Their life is an example of the cycle of poverty being broken!
Orlando received a scholarship in gymnastics, and worked his way through Bible College and Seminary by teaching gymnastics. Now Pastor of Without Walls Church of Fort Worth, an inner city church, he preaches a message of love and faith that gives HOPE to families as they break free from poverty. JoAnn won a partial college scholarship by winning a Science Fair in Tennessee. She worked her way through college and graduate school, graduating with a teaching degree in Biology and Chemistry, and a Master’s degree in Education. She taught school in the inner city schools of Fort Worth, and was Minister of Education for Without Walls Church of Fort Worth for 11 years, during which she also taught in women’s conferences in Nigeria, Hong Kong, Philippines, and Ukraine. JoAnn has also written and published several books and learning series.
JoAnn Reyes is the President of The Fort Worth HOPE Center, and Orlando Reyes is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the HOPE Center.