Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Mackenzie & volunteers with her nonprofit Code Read spread a love of reading and provide kids in low-income communities with books of their own at home. Code Read partners with schools, and students earn “book bucks” from teachers for good behavior which they can then use to purchase books from Code Read.
- How many people participated in your service project? 12
- How many hours did you and other participants spend on the project? 25 hours
- What did you learn from this experience? I learned that providing books for children in need inspires them in many ways. The students who participated were enthusiastic and eager to earn books. The kids that we provided for were very proud to pick out books they could call their own. I received thank you notes from the students and was surprised to read that several kids wanted to come up with their own ideas of how they too could help others. I also learned that achieving a goal to help others is very possible. A year ago Code Read was only a vision, and now we have donated almost 4000 books to nearly 2000 kids.
- How will your project continue having an impact in the future? I hope that the kids we give books to will see a new door opened for them, and will continue to love reading for the rest of their lives. I also hope that the teachers will see an increase in the reading levels of their students. If Code Read inspires just one child to read, then I will consider Code Read a success. It is my hope that we will continue to serve 3-4 elementary schools, in low income communities, per school year.
- Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went. After we incorporated and were approved as a nonprofit, we began to seek funding to help acquire new books. Our goal was to provide books for kids in 2 elementary schools during the 2016-17 school year. Karma for Cara was instrumental in helping us attain over 2000 books. We were granted 1000 books from the Molina Foundation but we knew in order to provide 2 books for 1800 total students, in 2 elementary schools, we would have to purchase additional books. We were fortunate to be embraced by First Book from which we can purchase books for less than $1. per book. With the grant from Karma for Cara were able to order an additional 510 books!
- How was the Karma for Cara microgrant helpful in the completion of your project? The microgrant from Karma for Cara helped us meet our goal of acquiring enough books so that over 1800 students could each take 2 new books home. In addition to purchasing books, receiving the grant helped validate that what I set out to do was indeed worthy. We have applied for MANY grants and receiving support is incredibly rewarding.