Mini-Grants at Work 2018

- Posted by Publications Committee in BeFriending CreationMeetings Taking ActionMini-GrantsNumber 3ResourcesVolume 31,  | 2 min read
Whittier Friends' new garden
Whittier Friends' new garden

QUAKER EARTHCARE WITNESS offers grants to Friends’ organizations who want to enhance their physical/spiritual relationship with the Earth. We offer matching grants of up to $500 and you can apply anytime.

We support projects which:

  • Improve your immediate environment
  • Involve, inform, and educate
  • May reduce carbon footprints
  • Create opportunities to improve and learn about your own local ecosystems
  • Enrich your local community
  • Set examples and inspiration for others
  • Provide spirit-led, meaningful work and create fun for all participants.

Here Friends share on how mini-grants were used in their communities. Take a look:

Whittier Friends Meeting

Whittier Friends Meeting in Springville, Iowa installed a rain barrel system and built a pollinator garden. Kathleen Hall, Whittier Clerk of Peace and Social Justice, writes:

The garden preparation and planting are going well, thanks to the work of many members and attendees, who have planned, plowed, purchased, planted, and watered. We have also purchased a long hose and several stores donated materials to build a barrel stand. Several people have also shared their plants with us.  The bed is between  two old tree stumps, and we have driven holes in them for possible bee homes.
We are pleased with the participation of Whittier members and attendees, the community response, and the location near a busy road. We hope others will see it and be inspired to build their own pollinator gardens.

Monteverde Friends School

Rick Juliusson, co-director of Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica, shared earlier this year:
In the wake of Tropical Storm Nate, we are so grateful for the support we received from Quaker Earthcare Witness. One grant enabled us to build a new septic system for our teacher house, after the old one literally sank into oblivion during the storm. That work was, understandably, done with great urgency as teachers from the three apartments were forced to use neighbor’s facilities (including my house) or chamber pots for a while.  The teachers (and neighbors) are much relieved (pun intended) to have a fully functioning system once again. Thank you!

The second grant has enabled us to improve our water storage and rainwater catchment systems. Not only is this a valuable environmental step, but we learned during the storm that it is important for survival. For a week after the storm we were collecting water from roadside ditches and mysterious springs that found their way to the surface.  With support from QEW and also a local community foundation, we now have water tanks at the teacher house and at the school that collect and store water to be used in emergencies; and in the case of the teacher house, to be used regularly instead of taxing the local water system.  There is still a bit of work to be completed on this project—we are about to purchase the submersible pump to create enough pressure for the second floor of the teacher house to use the rainwater, and we are still addressing the school’s piping system to ensure we can easily switch to tank water when the main water is shut off.

Again, thank you so much for your timely and compassionate support.  We are now better prepared for future storms, and providing valuable education to the community about sustainable water practices.