Cottonwood Foundation Newsletter
Volume 8, No. 1   Archives

Table Of Contents
Cottonwood awards a record $21,000 in grants in fall 2001
Volunteer highlight: Twin designers create look and feel of Cottonwood
What is Cottonwood Foundation?
Give your support to Cottonwood Foundation!
Reports for the field

    Cottonwood awards a record $21,000 in grants in fall 2001

    Thanks to your support, Cottonwood Foundation was able to award a record number of grants this fall. Twenty-one grants of $1,000 were provided to grassroots organizations worldwide. These organizations are working for a sustainable future by meeting all of the following criteria: protecting the environment, promoting cultural diversity, empowering people to meet their basic needs, and relying on volunteer efforts.

    The 21 organizations were selected from 224 applications received for consideration this fall. Cottonwood Foundation’s ten-member grants committee and its board of directors devoted many dozens of hours to reviewing and discussing the applications. This fall grant round brings the total in grants awarded by Cottonwood Foundation in 2001 to $33,000, and the total awarded since the foundation was started in 1992 to over $153,000!

    Following is a listing of the 21 $1,000 grants awarded this fall. (Please note that organizations followed by "USA/[another country]" are based in the United States, but were funded for a specific project in another country.)

    Fall 2001 Grants

  • Association "Green Alternative," Republic of Georgia – for purchase of a computer, textbooks and school supplies for the Special Boarding School in Kojori, which serves 108 homeless and mostly orphaned children, as well as environmental awareness lessons and tree planting at the school.
  • Baligiyan Tribal Council, Philippines – for purchase of carabao (water buffalo) and a corn grinder by the village of Baligiyan, a Higaonon tribal community living in the rainforest of Mindanao, that is working to protect its land and environment through sustainable economic development.
  • Cambodian Land Mine Museum Relief Fund, Canada/Cambodia – for a landmine awareness and education center in Siem Reap, Cambodia to acquire land mine detection devices and basic tools diffusing mines, teaching land mine safety awareness to children and rural farmers, and covering transportation costs for Khmer volunteer mine clearers.
  • CECASEM – Centro de Capitación y Servicio para la Integración de la Mujer, Bolivia – to support this La Paz grassroots organization’s work to protect local forests in the communities of Cantón de Ilabaya through environmental training, forestation and reforestation, protection of water sources, and sanitation training.
  • Friends Service Council, Nepal – to support the construction of a community building on donated land in Makrahar village which will include a health center, community learning center, meeting and training center, and organizational office.
  • Goriber Asroy, Bangladesh – to help provide arsenic-free safe drinking water to affected communities in Kaligonj Thana by purchasing supplies for rainwater harvesting, sedimentation systems, household arsenic removing filters, as well as through community workshops, posters, field transportation and training.
  • Harvest of Hope, USA/Honduras – to help this volunteer-based organization to pay the salaries of two Honduran staff working in La Lima, who are teaching families in poverty how to grow vegetables organically in containers and small plots, with a primary emphasis on working with children in schools.
  • Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, USA/Tanzania – seed money for a new bicycle-promoting program in several Tanzanian cities, including Morogoro and Arusha, with grant funds to provide small bicycle dealers and local mechanics with needed, upgraded tools on generous terms.
  • Karatu School Project, USA/Tanzania –to support a volunteer teacher teaching environmental education and English in Karatu, Tanzania, and to begin establishing a working native plant nursery which can be used both as an educational tool and a means to revegetate nearby deforested ecosystems.
  • Maasai Heritage Preservation Foundation, USA/Kenya –to support the new Maasai Literacy Project in Kenya, a model project focusing on adult literacy, in which 200 adults will be empowered to improve themselves and their communities while strengthening their economic status.
  • MADRE, USA/Guatemala –to help purchase an industrial-sized loom and supplies for a women’s community weaving cooperative in Xemal, in cooperation with the new Mayan indigenous youth organization T’al Nán K’oi which is working to preserve Mayan culture and to promote community development.
  • Mangrove Action Project, USA/Thailand and Malaysia – to support a mangrove replanting project in which degraded mangrove forests in Thailand and Malaysia will be replanted by local and international volunteers, in cooperation with the Yadfon Association in Trang and PIFFWA in Penang.
  • Monacan Indian Nation, USA [Land Fund grant] – to assist the Monacan people of Virginia to acquire 17 acres of their ancestral land in the Bear Mountain area, including an cemetery belonging to their people, which is being donated to the tribe by its current owners in exchange for payment of $1,157 in back taxes.
  • Ogiek Welfare Council, Kenya – to support community-based workshops to assist the indigenous Ogiek peoples of Kenya’s Mau Forest to map their historical and present occupation and use of their territory, which will help in negotiations with the government for recognition of the Ogieks’ rights to their ancestral land.
  • Planet Drum Foundation, USA/Ecuador – for continuing activities in a revegetation project in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, including buying planting materials and salary for a local supervisor, as well as for helping to convert a local home to serve as a model for renewable energy use and energy conservation.
  • Project Mercy, USA/Mexico – to purchase second hand lumber, including used garage doors, windows, plywood, and other building materials, which will be used by U.S. and Mexican volunteers to build solid shelters for up to 100 "squatter" families living near Tijuana, Mexico.
  • Rural Education and Development Programme, Ghana – to assist a new grassroots community development organization in Sakumono-Tema, Ghana for purchasing Acacia and other trees for planting near village schools, tools for training and workshops, and for providing seeds of maize and vegetables for needy farmers.
  • Sahara, India – for planting 1,000 trees on the sides of roads to cover the entire village of Vardavalli, after which the saplings will be cared for by women’s groups and volunteers, with the grant covering the cost of saplings, planting/fencing, nursery raising and maintenance, awareness camps, and volunteer support for one year.
  • Trees, Water & People, USA/Guatemala – to expand a fuel-efficient stove training program to Santa Anita, an indigenous community in the Guatemalan highlands, and to specifically help build approximately 35 stoves for families who are currently using inefficient and unhealthy traditional open-fire stoves.
  • Yayasan Peduli Sesama (Sanlima), Indonesia – to support a workshop and social campaign on Timor Island focused on protecting the cendana (sandalwood) plant––an economically important local commodity which is becoming rare, including local radio spots, posters, and strategy development with local leaders.
  • Yayasan Riak Bumi, Indonesia – to purchase an outboard motor for the longboat of a community-based organization promoting sustainable development in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, which will assist with travel to local villages, with the remainder of the grant for general organizational expenses.

    Volunteer highlight: Twin designers create look and feel of Cottonwood

    Scott Andre started volunteering in 1994 and Paul Andre started in 1992. Both have been instrumental in creating the logo, letterhead, annual reports, and the new web site for Cottonwood—basically its entire visual identity. Their countless hours of work are a testament to their commitment to Cottonwood.

    Scott and Paul Andre

    Their beliefs were shaped early by their mother who was, and still is, involved in local poverty issues through her church. While in college, both Paul and Scott were involved in peace and justice work. They have also traveled to many distant places. Paul has been to Jamaica to help reconstruct a school that had been destroyed by hurricane Hugo. He also spent some time in the boarder town Juarez, Mexico and in rural Georgia. In 1993, they traveled together to Central America and did some volunteer work in a small Guatemalan village, and also worked with a Peace Corp volunteer in Honduras. Scott said it was there that he realized that a small amount of money can really make a difference.

    Why do you both donate your graphic design talents to Cottonwood Foundation?
         PAUL: I really like Cottonwood’s broad and holistic focus on trying to make sure that each of the organizations that they give money to are protecting the environment, promoting cultural diversity, empowering people to meet their basic needs, and relying on volunteers. I agree with their approach and ideology and think that in the long run it will make them more successful.
         SCOTT: I think I can offer a lot more value by donating my skills rather than money. Cottonwood is one of just a few groups that I do pro bono work for each year. Cottonwood is super easy to work with. They are organized and Paul [Moss] is so appreciative of the work that you do. I just think too that a group that’s small can benefit from having a look, an image that makes them look serious; more than something that’s just run out of someone’s house.

    What has been your inspiration behind your graphic design that you’ve created?
         SCOTT: I think it’s important that an organization’s look remain as consistent as possible. It gives the perception that it is a stable organization. I try to keep the look consistent. But also, to keep it fairly mainstream in terms of its appeal. But I also think that I’ve also tried to make it more sophisticated as I go along. I think that reflects the changes in the organization. It’s really fun work. I think it’s really valuable but also I get to try something new every year.
         PAUL: In doing the Cottonwood web site, I wanted to make it accessible to as many people around the world as possible; making it straight forward and readable.

    Which piece of work you've created for Cottonwood are you most proud of and why?
         SCOTT: I like this last annual report. We had a better quality printing donated and I could do more with it. And we went up to a larger format. It gave the impression that the organization is growing.
         PAUL: I was pretty happy with the web site. At that point I hadn’t done any web sites and it was good practice. It was fun to do something that you knew would be viewed all over the world.

    What do you hope people will get from your design work for Cottonwood?
         PAUL: Design is important to me in a broader sense than just graphic design. I think a lot of our world’s problems are a result of poor designs; either how government designed or an economic system or distribution system for food and other resources. I think a lot of big problems can be solved by making adjustments, sometimes small adjustments to design; by taking a closer look at the design.
         SCOTT: I want people to know that Cottonwood is a professional and solid organization. That it’s a progressive and savvy organization.

    What is Cottonwood Foundation?

    Cottonwood Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization, run entirely by volunteers and with no paid staff, that provides small grants to grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable future. Since it was started in 1992, it has awarded 188 grants totaling over $153,000. Eleven members currently serve on Cottonwood Foundation’s board of directors.

    Cottonwood awards grants to organizations that combine all of the following: protecting the environment, promoting cultural diversity, empowering people to meet their basic needs, and relying on volunteers. Support of such groups makes it possible to really make a difference in creating a better world.

    Cottonwood Foundation is proud that more than 90 percent of its expenditures go directly for grants. Less than 10 percent of all expenses are used to cover administration (such as postage, printing, supplies and postal box rental). The Foundation relies on donations of space, graphic design, computers, telephone, fax, and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor to operate!

    Give your support to Cottonwood Foundation!

    Your much appreciated contribution can be allocated to one or more funds:

    General Fund: Supports all aspects of the Foundation’s charitable activities and administration

    Endowment Fund: A permanent fund providing the Foundation with investment income

    Land Fund: Supports grants to indigenous peoples’ organizations for repurchasing their land base in order to preserve their culture and environment

    Please send contributions made out to "Cottonwood Foundation" to Cottonwood Foundation, Box 10803, White Bear Lake, MN 55110 Phone: (651) 426-8797, Fax: (651) 426-0320


    Thank you! Your contribution is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

    Reports for the field

    These are excerpts from some of the reports and correspondence recently received by Cottonwood Foundation. The reports help to demonstrate how your contributions to Cottonwood Foundation are making a difference!

    Altai regional public organization of the Kumandin people "Istoc", Russia

    " We send a final account of using the means, received from your fund. Many thanks for your support. It was our first experience of our organization with an international fund.

    On the 8th of May 2001 we received a computer and a photocopying machine. It was time of undoubted success for our organization. The differences, which this grant has made, are very considerable. [Several paragraphs were included on specific activities enabled by this equipment, including training, access to e-mail/internet, publishing 300 copies of a bulletin, working with partner organizations]

    One more very important difference is that the prestige of our organization has been considerably enhanced after the receipt of the grant. We can say with proud that our organization has become the first non-governmental organization in the town which had received the grant from American fund. The news of the transferring grant was received with great inspiriting not only by the members of our organization but also by other town NGOs. At every meeting and presentation, taking place in our region we announce of the support of your Fund. As public organization in our town are poorly equipped (only our organization can connect with Internet), so representatives of other town organizations are able to use e-mail and Internet.

    In opinion of our members there were solved very serious problems of our organization such as – technical equipment and communication. In connection with the above- stated we can tell that the receipt of the grant from Cottonwood Foundation has made such differences, which will be come the basis for further fruitful cooperation, the results of what we can observe just now.
    Altai regional public organization of the Kumandin people "Istoc", Russia

    "We feel that Benton Furniture Share had a successful year. First, we must tell you that the $1,000 grant from Cottonwood Foundation was responsible for the delivery of 44 items of furniture. (Our cost per item was $22.61) Another way to look at the results of your contribution is to say that your $1,000 translated into $2,200 worth of furniture for families in need, or that it potentially kept more than one ton out of the landfill. We continue to be grateful for the Cottonwood Foundation’s support, and proud that we were selected for funding from such a large number of applicants. Again, thank you for your support."
    Benton Furniture Share, Oregon/USA

    Global Children, New York/Cambodia

    "The Cottonwood Foundation grant in the amount of $1,000 awarded to us in April of 2001 had and continues to have a tremendous impact on Global Children’s Environmental Awareness and Hygiene Education Project in the Basac Squatter community of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This project was developed and operated in conjunction with Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development (CVCD), a grass-roots Cambodian run organization. These funds helped to purchase necessary equipment including hoes, buckets, rakes, brooms and garbage carts and provided one month’s salary to our Project Director. This equipment has been essential to the large volunteer community clean-ups as well as the everyday transport of garbage to the specified area in the community from which PSBK, the government waste management company, now successfully collects rubbish. Prior to implementing this program this squatter community of 10,000 residents had no means of collecting garbage, had no garbage service and had no education about environmental and hygiene issues.

    Large community volunteer clean-ups have been held periodically throughout the year to help on a large scale cleaning the community. Children, fathers, mothers, community leaders, monks and CVCD volunteers have all participated in these events. The equipment we now have has been essential during these times and is also used on a daily basis to help households keep their personal space and their common space clean.

    These education sessions have been the foundation for change in the habits of the community and the equipment purchased using the funds from your grant have been the vehicle allowing this community to improve its environmental and living conditions. Your contribution will have a long-term and lasting effect on the lives of thousands of children and families. Thank You so very much for your assistance, we are extremely grateful!
    Global Children, New York/Cambodia

    High Country Community Green House Project, Colorado, USA

    "The last six months have been packed with learning experiences for the HCCGP! We hosted five different events at this site and even conducted a site visit here that led to our group’s nomination for the NOVA Award, for groups in Boulder County doing pioneering work in their communities. The grant from the Cottonwood Foundation provided us with a remarkable "getting our foot in the door" experience. As you can see from the enclosed attachment [detailed budget attached], the cost of implementing the garden was just over $900. All of which came from the Cottonwood Foundation grant.

    The most important thing that came about from the Cottonwood Foundation grant was a sweeping sense of legitimacy and a great morale boost! Everyone within the organization is deeply grateful and touched by your faith in our group. Thank you again for your support and from the High Country Community Greenhouse Project, we wish you all the best and blessings for the future."
    High Country Community Greenhouse Project, Colorado/USA

    Cottonwood Foundation Contributors Update
    Executive Director: Paul Moss
    Editor: Laurie Gustafson

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