Table Of Contents
Cottonwood awards $23,000 in grants in fall 2003
Board members speak out
What is Cottonwood Foundation?
Give your support to Cottonwood Foundation!
Reports from the field
awards $23,000 in grants in fall 2003
Thanks to your
support, Cottonwood Foundation has awarded 23 grants of $1,000 each to
grassroots organizations worldwide that are working for a sustainable
future. These grant recipients were selected from 228 applications in
a very competitive process.
This brings the total grants awarded in 2003 by Cottonwood Foundation
to $41,000, a new record! Cottonwood Foundation’s grants committee
and board have worked hard to identify and fund those organizations where
your contributions will make a significant difference.
Following is a listing of the 23 $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.)
- African Blackwood
Conservation Project, USA/Tanzania
– to construct a small building in Tanzania in a nursery for the
endangered mpingo tree to be used for storing equipment and to provide
shelter for volunteers.
- Center for Ecosystem
Survival, USA/Costa Rica
– to purchase critically needed acres to complete the acquisition
of the Rincon Rainforest into the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa
- Center for People’s
Agricultural Plan for the 21st Century, Philippines
– to construct a children’s learning center in the village
of Mercedes, purchase environmental books and educational materials,
train four volunteer para-teachers, and for a child feeding program.
- Centre for Indian
Knowledge Systems, India
– to assist farmers in Sukkankollai, Tamil Nadu to make, use and
sell organic plant-based biopesticides by building a workshop, purchasing
vessels for biopesticide preparation, and buying a grinder and gas stove.
- Cultural Survival
- Wangurri Garden Project, USA/Australia
– to build a shed for training materials and tools for this Aborigine
community garden, and to set up a more efficient method of supplying
water to the site using a water pump and hose.
- Entebbe District
Wildlife Association, Uganda
– to purchase stones, bricks, pipes, clay, metallic bars and fuel
to construct energy saving stoves for 20 schools and 35 households in
- ETAPAS, Mexico
– to help build a needed community water system for the indigenous
Tzeltal community of Nueva Tierra Negra located on the outskirts of
the Lacondón Rainforest in Chiapas.
- Friends Service
– to complete a community building, including purchasing cement
for ceiling and wall plaster, stone for floor concrete, sand for plaster
for the floor and ceiling, installations of doors and windows, electric
wiring, and paint.
- Goriber Asroy, Bangladesh
– for a water pipeline to supply critically needed arsenic-free
water to the 528 households of Jattrapur village.
- Institute for Transportation
and Development Policy, USA/South Africa
– to help mobilize at least 25 volunteer HIV/AIDS outreach workers
in South Africa, train them in bicycle operation and maintenance, and
supply them with good-quality bicycles.
- Jeevan Rekha Parishad,
to provide tribal people with vocational training in banana and papaya
cultivation and commercial kitchen gardening, including supplying seeds
and saplings, purchasing a diesel pump, and establishing a nursery.
- Juvenile Education
and Awareness Project, USA/Guatemala
– to purchase building materials for construction of an elementary
school to serve 150 Mayan children in Chajul, Guatemala, including concrete
blocks, metal roofing, nails, and wood.
- Maasai Heritage
Preservation Foundation, USA/Kenya – to install two water
tanks to provide needed access to clean water for the Maasai Mara people
living in Talek, Kenya - one for the daycare center and the other for
- Monarch Butterfly
Sanctuary Foundation, USA/Mexico – to support the NGO
Alternare in Mexico in its work to train campesino families to improve
their standard of living while protecting the forest ecosystem of the
Monarch Butterfly Reserve.
- Nabichakha Women
Group, Kenya – to set up nutrition gardens for growing
vegetables and other crops for subsistence food and to provide income,
including purchase of vegetable seeds, watering cans, hoses, tools,
and training in nutrition gardening.
- Palawan Conservation
Corps, Philippines – to construct a biogas plant for
a youth dormitory which will provide gas for cooking purposes, and to
build additional pig pens which will supply manure for biogas, fertilizer
and offspring to be distributed to youth.
- PermaLot, Czech
Republic – to help pay for this grassroots organization’s
community water system including a water-well powered by a solar pump.
- Planet Drum Foundation,
– for a revegetation project on the eroded hillsides of Bahia
de Caraquez, including expanding a greenhouse, purchasing hoes and a
wind-up reel for watering, wages for tree-planters, and purchase of
- Porters’ Progress,
– to run daily English language classes and weekly Empowerment
Meetings for porters in Lukla, Nepal, pay for one staff working 1/3rd
time, and to contribute towards rent and general office operating expenses.
- Project Mercy, USA/Mexico
– to construct basic homes built of used garage doors for those
in immediate and emergency need of housing in the outlying neighborhoods
- Rainforest Information
– for a rainforest protection project in the Philippines, including
raising and distributing seedlings to help surround and protect virgin
forest and training Higaonon tribal members in permaculture and building.
- Red Cliff Land Recovery
Project, USA – to support land acquisition by a Native
American tribal organization on the Red Cliff Reservation in northern
- Sanchuan Development
Association, China – for general operational expenditures
for a Chinese nonprofit organization working to promote equitable and
members speak out
Foundation’s board is made up of 11 committed volunteers who
firmly believe in Cottonwood Foundation’s goals. Each board
member brings unique skills and experiences. Read below to learn why
Cottonwood is important to each board member.
Pictured, left to right: Suzanne Wisniewski, Jan Lucke,
Sarah Hannigan, Craig Miller, Jeff Washburne, Paul Schmiechen, Laura
Van Tassel, Paul Moss, Lucinda Pepper, Karen Grabau. Not pictured:
My interest in the Cottonwood Foundation was a direct result of my
volunteerism experiences in other countries. I initially felt that
I would be able to stay connected to those incredibly valuable experiences
though serving on the Cottonwood Foundation and learning about new
initiatives worldwide. Since beginning my service on the board in
1998, that interest has never wavered. In addition to the ability
to continually learn about initiatives that are making the world a
better place to live, I have been able to serve with great group of
dedicated and knowledgeable board members.
– Jeff Washburne
Making a difference in my community is important to me. I firmly believe
that positive change that begins at home can eventually affect a great
many people. In the process of discovering how my actions can contribute
to the greater good, I became involved with the Cottonwood Foundation.
Cottonwood has provided me with a vehicle for making a difference.
Working collaboratively with the inspiring group of volunteers that
make up the Foundation, I am able to support positive change in our
– Lucinda Pepper
The Cottonwood Foundation is a constant reminder that a little time
and a little money really can go a long way to making a difference
in the lives of people across the world. I’ve enjoyed working
with the Cottonwood Foundation for the past several years because
I’m surrounded by a fantastic group of people devoted to ensuring
that Cottonwood grants make this world a better place through its
simple goals of giving to organizations who protect the environment,
volunteer their time, promote cultural diversity and become empowered
by what we have to offer.
– Suzanne Wisniewski
I am thrilled to be a new member of the Cottonwood Foundation’s
Board of Directors. I am especially pleased to be a part of an organization
that contributes to the success of projects that are rooted in the
intersection of community involvement, environmental protection, promotion
of cultural diversity, and personal empowerment. I believe that where
these things come together, important and sustaining change is possible.
I look forward to working with the Cottonwood Foundation to help thoughtful,
committed citizens make great change in their communities.
– Sarah Hannigan
My work with the Cottonwood Foundation has been a wonderful reminder
that the world CAN be a friendly place. It is so encouraging to see
organizations around the globe who are striving for goals like those
of Cottonwood, to hear how they hope to make them happen, and to see
how Cottonwood is able to make a significant difference. It has been
a wonderful opportunity to learn about what is going on in the world
around me and to support the work that Cottonwood has been doing for
– Laura Van Tassel
Being involved with the Cottonwood Foundation has provided me with
the opportunity to feel like I am making a difference in ways that
helps to empower others. It has been a rewarding experience to be
involved with the organization and to work with a great group of people.
– Karen Grabau
I feel privileged to work with Cottonwood Foundation as it provides
a way that I can respond to some of the many problems in the world
and help to make a concrete difference. I really respect our board
members and their ability to make good decisions about how grants
are awarded, and their commitment to the organization. It’s
an important part of my life to help to support Cottonwood in its
– Paul Moss
Working with Cottonwood Foundation gives me the opportunity to assist
sustainability efforts around the world. And what could be more rewarding
than providing resources to help communities build water systems,
prevent forest lands from being overharvested, buy sewing equipment
so that women can earn better wages and build community centers to
bring people together? I find this work fulfilling on many different
levels. Knowing that I am directly helping people is personally rewarding,
working with a dedicated group of board members makes me part of an
effective team, and spreading the word about our work builds networks
of interested and caring people.
– Paul Schmiechen
There are many challenges in today’s world and seemingly endless
calls for volunteer support. I think it is important for everyone
to find a way to use his or her talents in a volunteer capacity to
make the world a better place. The compound effect of this is how
great social changes take place. For six years, Cottonwood Foundation
has been my way of making the world a better place by helping grassroots
organizations achieve their visions of a sustainable community –
where people can meet their basic needs, protect the environment,
cherish cultural diversity and promote volunteerism. I have found
nothing more rewarding than this.
– Jan Lucke
Serving on the Cottonwood board allows me to feel connected to the
movers and shakers of the world. The grant applications are filled
with so much hope and passion for the progress a small grant could
help them make, and I love that Cottonwood can often fuel their fire
by helping turn dreams into reality. I feel directly connected to
many of the recipients, feeling hinged to their work and depending
on their success for positive change. I believe that the small grant
from Cottonwood helps produce this positive change, and that their
change is making the world a better place.
– Karissa Huntington
Cottonwood Foundation represents my ability to share with and honor
all other living beings on the earth. I have been lucky and blessed
to be part of such a unique and meaningful organization. It is heart-warming
to have such a positive influence on the future.
– Craig R. Miller
What is Cottonwood
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 267 grants totaling over $234,000. 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
Board of Directors
Karen Grabau, Secretary
Laura Van Tassel
Jeff Washburne, Chair
Craig R. Miller, Vice Chair
Paul Moss, Executive Director
support to Cottonwood Foundation!
Your much appreciated contribution
can be allocated to one or more funds:
General Fund: Supports all aspects of the Foundations charitable
activities and administration
Endowment Fund: A permanent fund providing the Foundation with
Land Fund: Supports grants to indigenous peoples organizations
for repurchasing their land base in order to preserve their culture
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.
In their own words
are some representative excerpts of some of the grant reports recently
received by Cottonwood Foundation. These help to demonstrate how your
contributions to Cottonwood Foundation are making a difference!
the past year, Benton Furniture Share distributed an average of 120
items per month to low-income households, or to non-profit agencies.
The furniture was valued at well over $100,000 per year. We accomplished
this on a budget of about $40,000. Cottonwood Foundation’s contribution
assured the delivery of nearly 40 items of furniture to the most needy
in the county and provided an important piece of our ongoing funding
picture. Our thanks to the Foundation for its support.”
— Benton Furniture Share, Oregon, USA
"First I, on behalf of HEARDS & Narigapalli village people,
convey my sincere thanks and gratitude to you for your heartiest cooperation
and help in our Community Drinking Water Programme. With the implementation
of Community Drinking Water Programme in Narigapalli village the people
are able to fetch water from pipes which is free from all kinds of pollution
and becomes safe for consuming. Water drawn from pipes are expected
to be clean which frees them from contagious diseases and saves the
time and energy of vulnerable in walking a mile to get good water. The
people of the target villages are very happy to utilize the water. The
beneficiaries had been trying, since 25 years to get a water source
and to build a water tank. After drilling the bore well and construction
of the ground level water tank the beneficiaries dream has been fulfilled.
We are glad to work together with you in a spirit of partnership and
we are hopeful to have continuous support with your agency in future
also. Thanking all of you at Cottonwood Foundation once again.”
— Health Education Adoption Rehabilitation Development
Society (HEARDS), India
of Peace from the province of Kalinga, Philippines! First, I would like
to thank you so much for your generous donation of $1000 U.S. which
is being use to help our Indigenous peoples in their educational and
health needs. Although, we initially requested for educational purposes
but we had to use some amount for health needs to save lives of affected
children by cholera and dysentery epidemic plus so many skin infections.
There is still amount left that we can use to buy chalks and blackboards
for one elementary school, remotely located 8-12 hours hike from the
road. The community members requested for such. Thank you for partnering
with us in our small effort to make this world safer and better place
for our Indigenous indigent youth and other children.”
— International Association for Transformation, Canada/Philippines
Cottonwood Foundation Contributors
Laurie Gustafson, Editor
Paul Moss, Executive Director