Local Community Programs Receive Grants from the Giving Circle of the NWA Hispanic Leadership Council

The NWA Hispanic Leadership Council (NWA HLC) and its Giving Circle celebrated local community programs and awarded grants to support their mission.  Once again, the Giving Circle increased the amount given versus last year, for a grand total of $10,000.  The recipients of the awards were Down Syndrome Connection of Northwest Arkansas; The Jones Center for Families and Hispanic Women’s Organization of Arkansas.  Additionally, two schools in the Rogers School District were granted awards for their programs: Rogers High School and Elmwood Middle School. A small reception was held at Exchange Bentonville to recognize the work local organizations do in improving the life of Hispanics in the region as well as to recognize the power of individual philanthropy.  The event counted with the participation of representatives from nonprofits, as well as leaders in education and community advocacy.  

A $2,500 grant was given to Down Syndrome Connection of Northwest Arkansas.   “There are many Spanish-speaking families who have children or loved ones with Down syndrome in NWA, and we desperately want to serve this population,” said Karen Howell, representing the organization.   “We have four separate programs for those with Down syndrome: Pals, Play Pals, Stars, and Club 3-21. Members are assigned to a program based on their age. We would like to create a new club geared toward people who primarily speak Spanish,” she added.

Judy Patterson from Elmwood Middle School shared they plan to use the award to fund field trips and activities for their Student Success Team (SST) Incentive Program, which targets students that have difficulties with school attendance, grades, emotional or physical needs.  “Our intended outcome is to continue to support, reward, and love these students, and prepare them to be successful high school students as well as successful adults. We also hope that they can forge relationships with the member of the SST, and will actively reach out to us for assistance for anything, and most importantly, we want them to know that someone cares about them,” indicated.

A giving circle is a group of people who pool their resources in order to collectively contribute to issues they deem important to their community. Giving circles provide individual donors the opportunity to make their contributions meaningful by leveraging their resources with others and enhancing the impact of their giving. “Giving circles offer members a forum to learn about community issues alongside like-minded individuals and become more informed philanthropists”, said Gabriela Velasco, Director at the NWA HLC and a Giving Circle member. “We received applications from organizations that have programs focused on education, entrepreneurship and other disciplines.  It is amazing the work being done by these organizations, with such commitment and love,” she added. This is the fourth year the NWA HLC Giving Circle award funds and has been able to grow the awards as more committed individuals seeking to make a difference in our community join in.  “Philanthropy is for all, and we are proud of the generosity of our members. We look forward to continuing growing our Circle to support more programs,” added Gabriela.

The Giving Circle of the NWA Hispanic Leadership Council invites members of the community to become part of the Circle by making annual or recurring donations here.  Members of the Giving Circle have the opportunity to determine where their funds will be utilized, and their donations may be tax deductible.  Nonprofit organizations with programs serving the Hispanic community in Benton and Washington counties are invited to apply for the annual grants each year, when applications open in the Fall.

Additionally, the NWA Hispanic Leadership Council invites local nonprofits to become Community Partners and host an intern sponsored by the NWA Hispanic Leadership Council.  The Internship Program places students at organizations willing to provide a meaningful work experience to the interns. The interns will receive a stipend from the NWA Hispanic Leadership Council.  For more information about the opportunities for Community Partners and interns, visit www.nwahispanic.org


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