employee volunteers standing with sign

2020 HDR Foundation Grants

Large Grant Cycle

Good Grief | Princeton, NJ

Good Grief provides unlimited and free support to children, teens, young adults, and families after a family member's death through peer support programs, education, and advocacy. A grant for $80,100 will renovate space to accommodate more families and add a kitchen that can feed up to 75 people. The programs in that space will address the needs of the whole person by equipping families with coping strategies and communication skills and promoting good mental and physical health.

HDR Sponsor: Rich Smith | Lawrenceville, NJ

Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands | Omaha, NE

This $50,684 grant to the North Omaha Boys & Girls Club will help transform an outdated learning center into a new STEM Innovation Center. The Boys & Girls Club’s approach is to shift youth — who are born digital natives — from simply consuming technology to empowering them to become the makers and drivers of technology. The new facility will help them create technologies and innovations that will better the world around them and improve their community.

HDR Sponsor: Shawn Howell | Omaha, NE

Well Aware | Karagite, Kenya

Based in Austin, Texas, Well Aware funds and implements life-saving clean water systems to drive economic development and empower communities in East Africa. This $29,850 grant will build a rainwater catchment system for the Mirera Primary School — the largest primary school in Kenya. The project will help improve the health of the nearly 3,000 students who have suffered from effects of poor water quality resulting from high fluoride and the proximity of latrines near the water source and storage.

HDR Sponsor: Kristi Shaw | Austin, TX

Community Grown Gardens | Grosse Ile, MI

Community Grown Gardens provides inclusive education opportunities, engages community, and addresses food insecurities through year-round urban agriculture on Grosse Ile — the largest island on the Detroit River and most populated island in Michigan. This grant for $25,813 will fund the purchase of materials to install a solar photovoltaic system to provide a sustainable energy source and teaching tool for students. The funds will be used to purchase the solar panels and batteries necessary to power the farm, automated roll up sides for the growing houses, lights, outlets, grow lights and heating pads.

HDR Sponsor: Lara Syrocki | Ann Arbor, MI

Wyoming Indian High School | Ethete, WY

A grant for $22,963 will help enhance the robotics program at Wyoming Indian High School – Fremont County School District #14. The funds will be used to purchase laptops, CAD software, building materials for robots and to support outreach to expand the program into other schools. Through the robotics team, students learn an engineering approach to problem solving, coding, teamwork and the importance of community involvement.

HDR Sponsor: Roberta Wells | Lander, WY

Ollie Webb Center | Omaha, NE

The Ollie Webb Center enriches the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through support, programs, and advocacy. To facilitate programs virtually during the pandemic, a grant for $40,192 will fund the purchase of 40 tablets, 15 laptops and virtual curricula for clients. Supported with new technology, the programs will continue to cover workplace skills, career planning, social emotional learning, independent living and other core subjects.

HDR Sponsor: Dan Kammerer | Omaha, NE

Bio-Med Science Academy | Rootstown, OH

A grant for $72,211 will fund “Mobile Makercarts” for 300 students in second through fourth grades at Bio-Med Science Academy — the only STEM school in the United States housed on an academic health center campus and one of few located in a rural area. Part of the “STEM is on the Move” program, each Mobile Makercart is designed to support a specific part of the engineering design process, including an Imagination Station, Creation Station, Deconstruction Station, and Presentation Station, in addition to an Investigation Station in every classroom. Through the academy, students will experience integrated learning within the framework of a balanced curriculum of the sciences, arts and humanities.

HDR Sponsor: Jake Stremmel | Cincinnati, OH

Amos Rehabilitation Keep | Port Aransas, TX

As the largest permitted sea turtle rehabilitation facility in Texas, the Amos Rehabilitation Keep, or ARK, rehabilitates sick and injured marine turtles and marine birds from the coastal zone of Mustang Island and St. Joseph Island. This $40,000 grant will replace four large rehabilitation tanks to house and rehabilitate large turtles, such as the endangered Loggerhead sea turtle and the critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle. Through the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute College of Natural Sciences, ARK also provides capacity during mass stranding events such as hypothermic cold stunning events.

HDR Sponsor: Christine Magers | Corpus Christi, TX

Seeds Feeds | St. Louis Park, MN

At Seeds Feeds, the mission ranges from hunger relief to self-sufficiency through urban agriculture education, workforce development, community engagement and entrepreneurial opportunities. A grant for $29,887 will purchase materials, supplies and equipment to implement a half-acre Educational Urban Courtyard Farm inside the St. Louis Park Middle School. The farm will supplement fresh food to students and their families, with one out of three students on a free or reduced meal plan during COVID-19.

HDR Sponsors: Scott Zilka and Michelle Bissonnette (retiree) | Minneapolis, MN

RETI Center | Brooklyn, NY

This $64,100 grant will retrofit an old shipping container into a “GigaLab” — a STEM space for young adults to develop technical skills while learning about sustainability, renewable energy and resiliency. The Resilience Education, Training and Innovation Center weaves together businesses, workforce and community development organizations, and educational institutions to drive innovation and job creation in urban climate resilience and sustainability in New York City and beyond. The Gigalab will provide participants a baseline understanding of energy and electricity, career pathway training and mentorship.

HDR Sponsor: Julie Stein | New York, NY

Small Grant Cycle 2

Arizona Sustainability Alliance | Tempe, AZ

A USD 19,930 grant to the Arizona Sustainability Alliance will fund the purchase of solar panels, battery storage and additional materials for Maya’s Farm, a zero-emissions, energy-independent farm in South Phoenix. Through community supported agriculture, the organic farm produces vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs for local markets, restaurants and schools. The nearly 7-acre facility is dedicated to growing healthy food and educating underserved community.

HDR Sponsor: Trevor Root | Phoenix, AZ

Latino Center of the Midlands | Omaha, NE

Latino Center of the Midlands enhances the lives of the Heartland Latino community by supporting the education and development of youth and adults, promoting comprehensive engagement of families in all facets of their lives, and by fostering leadership through a variety of services and activities. This USD 15,000 grant will support the Siembra Salud (growing wellness) program, a home-based gardening and nutrition education program for families. The funds will be used to purchase sustainable garden bed materials, soil, soil amendments, gardening tools, curriculum learning packets and family lesson manuals.

HDR Sponsor: Jose Labrador | Omaha, NE

Summerbridge Louisville | Louisville, KY

Summerbridge Louisville prepares and supports talented underserved middle school students for greater academic success and increased confidence, emphasizing math, reading, writing and critical thinking skills. This USD 6,000 grant would purchase 20 Chromebooks for low-income students to use during the six-week summer virtual learning program, which has heightened importance to mitigate academic decline following non-traditional instruction during the spring 2020 semester. The grant will allow each child to have a laptop during the program.

HDR Sponsor: Ameerah Palacios | Louisville, KY

Young, Black & Lit | Evanston, IL

This USD 15,000 grant to Young, Black & Lit will fund the purchase of books for the “Lit Year” program to all Evanston elementary schools. Each kindergarten student will receive 15 books throughout the school year that they will take home for their personal libraries — totaling 11,000 books for 750 students. The organization’s mission is to increase access to children's books that center, reflect and affirm the experiences of Black children by partnering with individuals, organizations and schools throughout the Chicagoland area.

HDR Sponsor: Andrea Roncek | Chicago, IL

Girls Inc. of Omaha | Omaha, NE

This USD 12,200 grant to Girls Inc. of Omaha will provide computers, tablets, cameras, video software, and art materials for two STEM education classes serving 50 girls. Using stop-motion software and modeling supplies in a Claymation studio, girls will produce animated explanatory videos about mechanical and natural processes, such as how a bridge carries a load or how a food web sustains an ecosystem. In the coding lab, girls will progress through several computer-coding projects, each building on previous code blocks.

HDR Sponsor: Ann Williams | Omaha, NE

Big Sky Science Education Enhancement | Billings, MT

Big Sky Science Education Enhancement provides hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities to increase youth interest in careers in technological, engineering and scientific fields. This USD 8,187 grant will provide computers and rockets to expand the Rocket and Rocket Engineering Design camps into a computer-aided rocket design camp using computers and RockSim software. The Rocketry program has grown to include 10 camps annually, with more than 200 participants between the ages of 10 and 18.

HDR Sponsor: Kristopher Kenney | Billings, MT

Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council | Redlands, CA

More than 5,000 Girl Scouts have taken part in environmental education, STEM programs and camping sessions at the 191-acre Skyland Ranch Camp. Using a USD 9,000 HDR Foundation grant to the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council purchase native plants, shrubs and vegetation, girls will identify and install native vegetation that will thrive in the current terrain. Through the implementation of Project Restore, girls will learn about protecting the earth's natural resources and actively take part in environmental research, cleanup projects, and tree planting.

HDR Sponsor: Lisa Reece | Riverside, CA

Bags of Fun | Centennial, CO

While 6-year-old Gabby Krause courageously battled brain cancer, her mother packed bags filled with toys, games and puzzles to give her a chance to be a kid while she was in the hospital. Before Gabby died, her wish was that all the children in the hospital could have their own Bags of Fun to bring moments of joy, learning and silliness during treatment. With fundraising events limited during COVID-19, this USD 20,000 grant will provided 60 Bags of Fun to children in palliative care.

HDR Sponsor: Laurie A. Christian | Englewood, CO

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope | Lexington, KY

This USD 9,372 grant will fund surface renovation for the outdoor therapy arena and adjoining horse paddocks at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope. There, individuals with physical, cognitive or behavioral disabilities participate in therapeutic activities with the horse, resulting in improved health and quality of life. The project will include developing and installing a new water drainage system, refurbishing the arena's surface footing and spreading additional gravel/geo-textile fabric in adjoining paddocks to help reduce water accumulation.

HDR Sponsor: Ross Guffey | Lexington, KY

Eddy House | Reno, NV

An estimated 800 homeless youth camp on the river banks, parks and outlying areas of Reno, Nevada. Eddy House works with homeless and at-risk youth to develop life and job skills necessary for sustainable independence. This USD 20,000 grant to Eddy House will be used to purchase a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to conduct outreach and transport staff and homeless youth clients to five shelter facilities.

HDR Sponsor: Mark P. Smith, Reno, NV

Sleep in Heavenly Peace – Omaha Chapter | Omaha, NE

The mission of Sleep in Heavenly Peace is to build and deliver beds to kids who do not have a bed of their own to sleep in. This USD 17,500 grant will be used to build 100 handmade bunk beds for kids in Douglas and Sarpy County, Nebraska. Each USD 175 bed includes a frame, new mattress, bedding set and pillow, giving children a safe and comfortable place to lay their heads.

HDR Sponsor: Jessica Kaiser | Omaha, NE

Special C.H.E.E.R.S. | Houston, TX

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey flooded much of the Special C.H.E.E.R.S. occupational therapy center in Houston, including their barn, office, storage facilities and playground — which was destroyed. This USD 20,000 grant will replace the playground with adaptive play equipment at the facility, which is used in therapy for children and young adults with physical, developmental and emotional challenges. The center’s multi-faceted approach to building functional living skills also includes educational learning laboratories and animal therapy with horses, dogs and chickens.

HDR Sponsor: Jeremy Blevins | Houston, TX

Africa Strong | Uganda

This USD 13,000 grant to Africa Strong will help build a new kitchen at Rwemiyenye Primary School in southwestern Uganda. Staff currently use an open-fire wood-burning stove to prepare three meals a day, seven days a week for 80 students, teachers and staff. The renovation will create an eco-friendly kitchen that improves safety and air quality in the school, benefiting the health of students and teachers.

HDR Sponsor: Ned J. Bagniewski | Omaha, NE

Small Grant Cycle 1

ACE Mentor Program of Chicago | Chicago, IL

The HDR Foundation’s USD 9,000 grant will cover materials for the ACE Mentor Program of Chicago Summer Design-Build Program, a seven-week workshop in which high school students engage in a community design project that exposes students to opportunities in architecture, construction and engineering. Working virtually this summer, up to 15 students will collaborate with mentors from the architecture, engineering and construction industry to design a shade structure and outdoor mechanics stations for Blackstone Bicycle Works, a community bicycle shop with STEM education programs for young people.

Centro Cultural Guanin | La Piedra, Dominican Republic

A grant of USD 15,000 from the HDR Foundation will cover 75% of the cost to purchase and retrofit a vehicle to be used to transport residents of rural La Piedra to a larger hospital’s emergency room when immediate medical attention is needed. Centro Cultural Guanin is a nonprofit in La Piedra that works with young people and their families to build stronger communities in desperately poor areas.

HDR Sponsor: Joe Wittman | Bellevue, WA

COVID-19 Grants

Feeding America | United States

A USD 150,000 contribution will be made to Feeding America, which provides food assistance to more than 46 million people in the U.S. through its partnerships with 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Donations to its COVID-19 Response Fund will be used to keep local food banks stocked throughout the pandemic.

Direct Relief | Worldwide

A USD 150,000 donation will also be provided to Direct Relief. This organization works in the U.S. and internationally to equip doctors and nurses with lifesaving medical resources. Donations to its COVID-19 Fund will support the delivery of personal protective equipment — masks, gloves and isolation gowns — to healthcare organizations on the front lines of the outbreak.