Nonprofit duo aims to raise $40K for programs in Germantown, Kenya and Nicaragua – Aaron Moselle

By | April 4, 2014

At first blush, Face to Face Germantown‘s new partnership with The Endeleo Project may seem a bit strange.

For nearly two decades, Face to Face has offered a bevy of human services to the neighborhood’s poorest residents.

Who they are

The beloved nonprofit serves hot meals, provides health counseling and runs summer programs for kids, among other things.

Before teaming up with Face to Face, The Endeleo Project had focused its efforts on supporting a supplemental educational program in Nicaragua and a community school in Kenya.

But talk to Mary Kay Meeks-Hank, Face to Face’s executive director, and Endeleo co-founder David Hersh, and the match makes more sense.

“The truth is, there are as many issues in East Germantown as there are internationally,” said Meeks-Hank.

What they hope to do

Hersh said his New Jersey-based nonprofit was drawn to Face to Face because Germantown, like communities in Nicaragua and Kenya, has an “educational void” that needs attention.

Last summer, Germantown High School and nearby Robert Fulton Elementary were two of the 24 public schools that closed in the city.

More generally, though, Hersh and others at Endeleo liked the “dignity” and “integrity” with which Face to Face treated the people they served.

“It’s about building connections with other human beings that may be not be as fortunate as we are,” said Hersh.

Mission specifics

Endeleo will work with Face to Face on two fronts: Fundraising and program development.

Endeleo uses Crowdrise.com, a charity-focused crowdfunding platform, to raise money for its trio of partners.

Through the site, Endeleo aims to get people to sponsor others participating in endurance events, such as The Philadelphia Half Marathon last week or Challenge Atlantic City, an upcoming triathlon.

The organization hopes to raise nearly $40,000 for its projects in Germantown, Kenya and Nicaragua this year.

Educational goals

Up to $20,000 of that total would go to support a pair of educational summer programs and a soon-to-be re-launched afterschool program at Face to Face, which serve students from ages six to 12.

Endeleo will also work with Face to Face to make the outcomes for their educational offerings easier to track and, therefore, easier to show grant-makers what their dollars would go towards.

“We’re a blip in the day. To, in some way, strip away all of the other variables in a person’s life and say, ‘This intervention caused this,’ it’s very challenging,” said Meeks-Hank. “Cause and effect is hard to do. What we can say is that our intervention was a positive over no intervention.”

Face to Face’s partnership with Endeleo is expected to continue for years to come.

“Big one-off grants are awesome … but they are generally focused on what the grantmaker wants to fund,” said Hersh. “Our only condition is that what you’re going to do is going to expand educational opportunity.”

Parental reaction

For parents like Rodney Howard, anything that keeps Face to Face’s educational programs going strong is a big plus.

A single father with two sons, he has turned to the organization for years to make life a little easier.

“It wasn’t for those programs I’d be completely overwhelmed and I’m sure my children wouldn’t be doing as well as they are now,” said Howard.