for December 6, 2022
We are excited to announce our 2nd 2022 Fall Grant Recipient!
Thanks to our generous Legacy Giving Circle donor community, National Angels is receiving a $30,000 grant towards their Foster Care Community Center!
Initiative Description: National Angels is seeking funding to convert a recently purchased church into the Foster Care Community Center in Buda, Texas. National Angels’ mission is to walk alongside children, youth and families in the foster care community by offering consistent support through intentional giving, relationship building and mentorship.
The center will serve as a safe gathering place for the local (Central Texas) foster care community. Here we will lead volunteer trainings and offer free programming, events, workshops and celebrations like: birthday parties, spring break and summer camps, fall festivals, adoption celebrations, holiday parties, parent night outs, etc. Our goal is to create a flourishing space, built for everyone, that thoughtfully cultivates a sense of belonging through hope, community, empowerment, curiosity and transformation!
The Foster Care Community Center will also serve as the headquarters for National Angels. Over the past few years, Austin Angels has expanded into a national organization through the launch of regional chapters in other states. Currently, we have 21 regional chapters in 15 states across the country and are serving approximately 2,285 children/youth and 775 caregivers in our programs nationwide. We are honored that others have seen the effectiveness of our programs and wanted to bring the same impact to their communities. Our growth plan is bold with a goal of opening an additional 32 chapters, reaching approximately 15,000 children, youth and caregivers, in the next five years. Austin Angels and National Angels remain closely connected. We operate under the same EIN and share an office space, which will be utilized for both Austin and National events.
In addition to the programmatic support that we will offer children, youth and families, we will also train and equip future regional chapters, case managers, board members and emerging leaders of National Angels.
The vision of National Angels is to reach and serve every single child/youth and caregiver who experiences foster care in the country by 2050. Our north star is to change the statistics and this project will greatly increase our capacity to do just that!
Our motivation is to ensure every child feels a deep sense of belonging and care, every youth reaches their fullest potential and achieves their dreams and every fostering family feels seen and supported along their journey. The Foster Care Community Center is the next step in making our dream a reality.
Initiative Impact: Feedback and measurement is a critical component of our organization. We believe the Foster Care Community Center will be a place of radical transformation, healing and belonging.
Children/youth who experience foster care will have placement instability, setting them back developmentally. In adulthood, they are disproportionately undereducated, incarcerated, homeless, living in poverty, trafficked, and have a high incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. National Angels is working to change these statistics and outcomes. Our programs, which utilize the evidence-based Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) model, help improve placement stability, heal trauma, reduce the incidence of risk factors and change outcomes for children and youth.
Currently, we have program evaluation partnerships with The University of Texas – Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing and The Stand Together Foundation. By combining the research from our partners at UT and measurement tools from Stand Together Foundation, we have crafted 21 comprehensive measurements for both clients receiving our services (children, youth and caregivers experiencing foster care) and volunteers/mentors. Some of those measurements include: Program Experience, Preparation for Adulthood, Resource Needs, Caregiver Stress, Caregiver Support, Caregiver’s Relationship with Youth, Caregiver Continuity, Caregiver Commitment & Parent-Child Relationship, Youth Stress and Support, Youth’s Social & Emotional Wellbeing, Youth’s Peer Relationships, Normalcy, Caregiver Perception of Child’s Increased Confidence, Relationship with Birth Family and so much more.
Additionally, we will track and measure the effectiveness and impact that is created by each regional chapter, board member and team member nationwide. Our network will be equipped through the Angels Way curriculum and a principle based management philosophy during in-person onboarding, training and development.
We see the Foster Care Community Center as a place to continue our work towards ensuring that every child, youth and family in the foster care community has healthy, affirming and lasting relationships. While virtual connections can aid in cultivating community, our experiences have shown us that nothing compares to the benefits of physically gathering. We deeply believe in the impact and ripple effect that will come from the ability to provide in-person support to the foster care community and our network.
Initiative Sustainability: As we look to the future of the Foster Care Community Center, we are fortunate to have the support of several deeply invested partners. The Spry Family Foundation has been a long-time supporter of National Angels and has generously provided the seed capital necessary for the purchase of the building. HomeAid is a leading nonprofit developer of housing and programmatic facilities for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, operating through a network of 19 Affiliates in 13 states. Their Austin chapter has committed to providing design and renovation services, allowing us to save 60% of the costs associated with the renovation. Wilsonart is a global manufacturer and distributor of High Pressure Laminates and other engineered composite materials used in furniture, office and retail space, countertops, worktops and other applications. They previously donated materials for our former office space and have committed to making another large in-kind donation for the Foster Care Community Center. The Michael Hsu Office of Architecture selected us as their 2022 Design For All grant recipient, providing $20,000 worth of pro-bono design services. They have offered to continue working with us on cost savings as we move forward with the permitting and renovation process. We were also selected as a recipient of Chick-fil-A’s True Inspiration Awards and will receive a grant ranging from $30,000-$200,000. The final award amount will be announced this November. Cushman & Wakefield, a global commercial real estate services firm, has generously offered to donate office furniture from their Austin location. Several of our partners have expressed interest in assisting with various pieces of the project, including a glass supplier, window manufacturer and interior designer. These partnerships will offer significant savings that will allow us to focus on the most important needs for the building. We are creating a capital campaign that we plan to launch early next year in effort to solicit support from our long-time donors and new supporters. We are also seeking other grant opportunities from a variety of foundations that align with our values and work.