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Five Grants to Families Turns Individual Generosity into High Impact Aid

RWM’s Special Assistance funds are the result of two generous gifts from people who recognized our close connection to the poorer families in the Coachella Valley. Both gifts specified that the funds should provide direct help to families.

RWM designed the fund to act as a bridge so families facing severe financial issues can get back on their feet and/or can access other available means of support. In addition, the fund can help students take advantage of a unique educational opportunity. 

Following is a partial list of grants:

  • Palm View Elementary School, Faith Zapata earned a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, a national recognition of special student. While many of the expenses were paid by the Spelling Bee organization, RWM and Palm View teachers worked together to cover the out-of-pocket cost of taking part in the competition. We are proud of Faith and RWM Volunteer Charmaine for this wonderful achievement.  A first for one for a Read with Me student and tutor! 

  • A teenage girl was homeless and couldn’t afford to finish high school. One of our staff who knew her brought her into their own home. We arranged for a counselor and provided funds for her books, clothes, and an iPad. She is now attending Cosmetology School on a scholarship. 

  • A fifth-grade girl died of an inoperable heart malfunction and the family was unable to afford burial expenses. We were able to work with another foundation to negotiate and pay the expenses.

  • On two occasions, the fathers and breadwinners died unexpectedly leaving their wives and children unable to pay rent and utility bills. We covered these expenses to give the families time to get back on their feet. 

  • A mother who could not find work had to move to Irvine to earn the money needed to support her family, leaving her 20-year-old daughter to take care of the younger children. We paid the landlord her rental payments to keep the family from being evicted.

Throughout the fund’s short experience, teachers and administrators at the elementary schools we serve have identified the children and families in need and we appreciate their contributions.

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