Food Shift was founded in 2012 as a project of Earth Island Institute. Food Shift focuses on rescuing surplus food that would otherwise waste away in landfills and utilize it to fuel their social enterprise kitchen. They address food insecurity and joblessness in their community through a catering program and job training program, which is designed for those facing high barriers to employment including homelessness, unemployment, disability, domestic violence, addiction and incarceration. Food Shift creates delicious meals for their catering and food donation programs, simultaneously imparting culinary skills and job-training to their kitchen apprentices while preparing and distributing nutritious meals to food insecure communities. Apprentices earn a livable wage while learning how to work in a professional kitchen, allowing for room to grow before stepping into the next role of their careers.
Food Shift is a UAIAI members recommended candidate charity.
Red String 2021 Grant Project: Grant funded Foodshift's COVID-19 Operations Together Program, Phase 2 that continues the work linking excess produce from wholesalers to frontline food assistance organizations. A year into the pandemic, families are still struggling to put food on the table. In the East Bay, over the past year, local food banks went from serving one in five county residents to one in four, serving over 9,000 families (compared to only 300 families prepandemic). This co-funded grant between Red String and Foodshift will underwrite at least 20 trips, which equates to OVER $41,400 in recovered food value delivered to families in need within the Eastbay surrounding communities.
Wrap the Kids hires homeless persons and gives them a second chance at making a difference by making handmade quilts to donate to children everywhere, but especially those who are sick or in need. The organization also gives back to the homeless community by providing free clothing, hygiene kits, food items, blankets and other much-needed support.
In the June 2020 Long Beach homelessness study, the city's homeless grew 7% from 2019 citing issues including job loss, loss of housing, mental health and substance abuse, and domestic problems such as divorce or domestic violence. The impact of COVID-19 is another factor contributing to the increase. Charities like Wrap the Kids are on the front lines helping the homeless stay safe and help prevent a potential outbreak of the virus in the unsheltered population.
Red String 2020 Grant and Project: Recognizing the sewing and quilting capabilities of Wrap the Kids and the need from many of Red String's charity partners for Personal Protection Equipment, Red String approached Wrap the Kids on funding a project to sew reusable masks that Red String could then donate to several other Red String charity partners: ACC MoW, J-Sei, and United Playaz. Red String also provided additional grant funds to help Wrap the Kids fulfill and distribute care packages that include PPE, hygiene products, food, bus passes and other necessities to help protect the health and safety of homeless persons and those in need living within the North Long Beach communities. Red String also sponsored over 25 families with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as well as Christmas presents for the children.
Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities (BMAGIC) is a network San Francisco neighborhood-based nonprofit organizations whose mission is to facilitate, coordinate and develop community resources and opportunities that support service providers and community members in Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP). BMAGIC was co-founded in 2004 by the Public Defender’s Office led by Jeff Adachi and BVHP community based organizations to create collaborative community building efforts that improve the quality of life of BVHP children, youth and their families.
Red String 2020 Grant and Project: BMagic's first Flagship Event program established in 2004 is an annual backpack drive providing disadvantaged and at-risk children and youth, ages 5-18, within the Bayview Hunters Point community, new backpacks filled with essential school supplies to celebrate the beginning of the new school year. The high cost of school supplies poses a challenge to many parents and the lack of adequate supplies impacts students' learning far beyond the first day of school. It is estimated that at least one in five children from low income families in the US start the school year without adequate supplies. Red String funded 100 backpacks and school supplies in support of BMagic's 2020 goal of distributing 2500 backpacks to children of poor and disadvantaged families within the Bayview District of San Francisco.
Educational Focus Program Initiative - Connections
Although middle and high schools are excellent in teaching many valuable skills, current academic curriculum doesn’t teach many aspects necessary for students to succeed and thrive in life and business, such as career choices, financial responsibilities and investments, collaboration, values, problem solving, and how to apply such abilities to the real world.
Results from a multi-year College and Career Readiness survey of 165,000 high school students conducted by YouthTruth, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, found that less than half of the students surveyed felt positively about their college, future career possibilities, and career readiness.
Red String 2020 Connections Initiative:Opening the art of the possible for children and youths is one of the strategic objectives of Red String's Education Focus Program. To deliver on this we are working to establish powerful new partnerships with Industry and proven Education nonprofit organizations to create, produce, and distribute online educational content that will open opportunities for students to innovate, to engage with, and to maximize their learning.
By offering educational content to multiple educational non-profit organizations, this project offers Industry companies a way to broaden their community outreach, brand exposure, and impact. For our partner charities, our goal is to create content that will reach and motivate students in a meaningful way, creating an environment to engage students to help them build a bridge between academics, life skills, and potential career paths.
EXP Future - Carson, California
Red String Partner Charity since 2021
Through partnerships with industry and educators, EXP prepares high school students for careers through career exploration activities, industry mentoring, paid summer internships, and college scholarships. EXP brings industry and schools together to solve problems and overcome obstacles so that students from under-served communities receive access to education, experience and opportunities.
By helping schools and industry work together, EXP is changing how society prepares students for life and bringing genuine opportunity to every young person they reach. During the 2019-2020 school year, EXP programs are serving more than 6,400 high school students in 10 Southern California high schools.
Red String 2020 Collaboration Project: Red String is proud to be collaborating with EXP to help them achieve their mission. In February 2021, Red String was a sponsor for EXP's Women in STEM virtual conference and led a panel discussion on Women in Aerospace as well as led a STEM Experience session, "Stems and Trees" teaching and providing students with tools on how to think about career readiness, development, and paths. Red String also joined with the Boeing Company to have virtual booths for the conference's virtual Exhibition Hall. Over 350 students from Southern California and elsewhere attended the event.
Since 2002, NWEA its focus on re-engaging out-of-school young people ages 16-29, who have encountered significant barriers to completing their high school or college education.
Provides personal attention, mentorship, technical assistance, and moral support to low-income young people navigating post-secondary education.
Connects low-income young people with information and resources, and support them in creating an individualized plan to meet their higher education goals.
Advocates for and with low-income young people, and empower them to develop their own voices as they pursue their higher education.
Provides financial resources that help low-income young people access higher education and meet their basic needs while in school.
Red String 2021 Grant Project:As a result of the pandemic, the use of remote learning has fundamentally changed how education is delivered. According to a 2021 RAND report, one in five U.S. school districts plans to offer fully online learning even after the pandemic ends. The pandemic also exposed the digital divide among students. Closing this divide requires reliable internet, adequate devices, and digital literacy skills. Even in the greater Seattle region — one of the country’s leading technology hubs — a significant digital divide persists, particularly for low-income families. To help support one of Northwest Education Access' greatest current needs, this Red String grant funded the purchase of 10 laptops that students can use to help them with their education needs.
United Playaz is a violence prevention and youth development organization that has worked in San Francisco for 25 years. UP is an organization working within San Francisco helping children and youth break the cycle of juvenile crime, violence, and poverty by providing a comprehensive range of services including In-School Violence Prevention, After-School Programs, Case Management, After-Care & Re/Entry services, Diversion, TAY Academic Enrichment & Workforce Development, Street Outreach, and Civic Engagement opportunities and Recreation to prepare vulnerable youth for higher education, employment, and healthy living within a safe, nurturing, and collaborative environment.
Red String 2020 Grant and Project: Providing children and youth a safe haven and a place to go after school to help them learn, grow, and develop is not only a worthy cause, it is, in many poorer neighborhoods, a necessary one. For over 25 years, United Playaz has been a consistent "home" that most of their kids lack in other facets of their daily lives. Red String's grant funded United Playaz to provide a young person from the neighborhood with a part-time job working as a support staff at their SOMA Community Learning Hub which is providing in-person pod care during the school day for children and youth enrolled at Bessie Carmichael Elementary and Middle School. In addition, Red String provided 50 PPE masks to United Playaz to help keep their staff, volunteers, and program participants safe during the COVID-19 health issue. Red String also sponsored 10 families with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as well as Christmas presents for the children.
Since 2006, Jubilee REACH has worked within the Bellevue, WA community to build community and transform the lives of students and their families, Partnering with the Bellevue School District Jubilee Reach has strived to create solutions that improve not only the individual child's life, but solutions that strengthen families and the community. In March 2020, Jubilee Reach initiated their Groceries for Families program in response to the emerging food security issues facing families in the Bellevue and surrounding communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently they in coordination with 25 community organizations and hundreds of volunteers are providing over 700 families with food, hygiene products, and supplies.
Red String 2021 Grant and Project: To help support one of Jubilee Reach's Groceries for Families' greatest needs, Red String's grant funded the purchase and distribution of a weeks worth of perishables for approximately 500 families.
J-Sei provides family activities as well as assisted living for seniors including bilingual staff and culturally sensitive care to help promote independence, safety, and well being. J-Sei provides a culturally sensitive small assisted living facility for elderly adults and a community center offering educational and wellness classes, cultural events, home delivered and congregate meals, a food pantry, case management, a caregiver registry, and transportation. Over the years, J-Sei has expanded its services and programs to include families and younger generations. For many home bound fixed income older adults, the combination of financial, health, and food insecurity makes them especially vulnerable when an unexpected life event occurs. During a pandemic, it could be deadly. Social isolation, while beneficial for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, also tends to have negative effects on the physical and mental well-being of older adults.
J-Sei was a UAIAI members recommended candidate charity.
Red String 2020 Grant and Project: Since the start of the pandemic, J-Sei home delivery program has seen an increase in home-bound elderly adults wanting to participate in their home meal delivery program, from approximately 80 pre-COVID to over 120 (J-Sie's current kitchen capacity). There is currently a waiting list. The co-funded grant between Red String and J-Sei funded delivery of more than 1,000 nutritious meals to home bound older adults. Red String also funded the purchase of a professional food processor to increase J-Sei's capacity to produce and delivery hot meals.
The Tomodachi Bento Lunch Program is a all-volunteer secular program run under the Orange County Buddhist Church that deliver’s hot, culturally sensitive meals to homebound elderly adults in Orange County and surrounding communities. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TBLP has experienced a 2x increase in participants, from 40 to about 85 home-bound seniors.
Red String 2020 Grant and Project: Red String funded delivery of more than 100 nutritious meals to home bound older adults to help improve for their overall well-being especially during this unprecedented time. In January 2021 Red String also funded purchase of special New Year rice cakes to be delivered as part of TBLP's special New Year meal delivery service.
Since 1971, Kimochi has provided culturally sensitive, Japanese language-based programs and services to 3,000 Bay Area seniors and their families each year. Services include transportation; referral and outreach services; health and consumer education seminars; healthy aging and senior center activities; social services; congregate and home delivered meals; in-home support services; adult social day care; 24-hour residential and respite care.
Red String 2021 Grant and Project: Accessible transportation services are critical for enabling older adults to live independently. The vast majority of older adults choose to age in place in their homes and communities. Successful community living requires access to medical and other essential services. While the health impact of reduced access to needed medical services is obvious, social isolation due to lack of transportation can have an equally negative effect on health and mental health. Red String's grant funded transportation services providing over 100 rides for seniors to and from medical appointments, shopping, recreational, Kimochi’s Nutrition Program and Adult Day Program, and the San Francisco Japantown community at-large.