Taft's Red Rhino Fund awarded four non-profit organizations grants totaling $7,135 during Morning Meeting this week, the culmination of a months-long process designed to support groups working to impact the lives of children in the Greater Waterbury community. Percussionists from Bravo Waterbury!, an organization that received grant dollars from the Red Rhino Fund last year, performed in Bingham Auditorium during the ceremony.
Founded in 2007, the Red Rhino Fund is an endowed, charitable fund run this year by an eight-member student board with two faculty advisors. At its core, the Fund's mission is an extension of the school motto, Not to be served, but to serve. The board works to create positive change in the Greater Waterbury community for children, especially those who are underprivileged, by awarding monetary grants and promoting local organizations in support of education, literacy and the arts. Along the way, they gain solid perspectives on both the mechanics and importance of philanthropic work.
"Our group is successful due to the culmination of many students working hard and in unison," Red Rhino Fund Board President Hanna Murphy '18 explained during Morning Meeting. "Serving on the board has not only given each of us the opportunity to experience philanthropic work, it has also allowed us to see how our hard work helps other students."
In September, the Board set a budget for the academic year, which included grants and marketing costs on one side, and income generated through events like Denim Day, an annual badminton tournament, and the Spring Fling on the other. Grants Committee Chair Raveeno Douglas '18 led the initiative to identify and evaluate grant recipients, largely through site visits.
"Though the work of the majority of not-for-profit organizations are consistent with their specific missions, we find that an organization is best evaluated through actual site visits," said Douglas. "We wanted to be able to observe the educational impact on the lives of the youth in the greater Waterbury area."
In making their awards, the Red Rhino Fund board considers things like the breadth of an organization's reach and how they plan to spend the grant dollars. They extend their own reach by adhering to a policy that prevents any organization from receiving a Fund grant in two consecutive years. The 2018 grant winners are:
Congratulations to all of the honorees.
Watch the full Red Rhino Fund Morning Meeting video here.
Learn more about the Red Rhino Fund here.