Near & Far Aid Makes Million Dollar Impact on Poverty
At Monday’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors, Treasurer Paige Fairbaugh announced a final grant total of $1,151,500 for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2018. Recipients include 106 of the county’s most effective agencies serving the impoverished and working poor. “Our granting guidelines and mission are designed to fund the programs that can make the biggest impact on the lives of individuals and families who struggle to make ends meet in Fairfield County, home to one of the largest income gaps in the nation,” said Joan Panagos, Chairman of Grant Reviews.
Of the 106 agencies receiving funds from Near & Far Aid, 46% service Bridgeport where the largest population of under-served individuals reside in the county. Stamford and Norwalk follow closely receiving 16% and 14% of grants, respectively. Funds are directed across the spectrum of poverty to assist families and individuals at risk or in crisis, educational opportunities for children and adults, job training and community health efforts.
With an eye toward the upcoming year, President Kim Meier encouraged board members to renew their commitment to the large volunteer base on which the organization depends. “Embrace and empower this talented force of volunteers,” she urged. “Our volunteers are our greatest asset; they are intelligent, creative ambassadors of our mission.” Near & Far Aid has retained its all-volunteer structure since inception. “With very little overhead we are able to grant nearly 100% of every dollar donated. Today’s donors demand this kind of return on their charitable investments and trust Near & Far Aid for our diligence,” said Meier. The creation of a President’s Council, new this year to the organization’s structure, introduces a senior level of experienced event volunteers to provide insight as well as steward the creative energy that is a result of a dynamic volunteer corps.
The organization added to Monday’s news with the announcement of three new board members. Mindee Blanco, COO of Barnum Financial, Pamela Einarsen, award-winning photographer and Lauren Kelly-Weiss, Managing Director of Cowen. All three women have extensive philanthropic experience in the region and will lend their professional skills to the Board of Directors.
N&FA President’s Council
L to R: Katerina Powers, Jen Agne, Lindsay Muldoon, Brooks Dibble, Kelsey Johnston, Venessa Dembowski
Near & Far Aid’s history of funding spans more than 60 years and since 2000, has granted over $18 million to community programs. Fundraising events include the upcoming Golf Classic, September 24, the annual Gala on March 1 and a spring Designer House Tour. For a current list of grant recipients and more information on our organization, including our events and volunteer opportunities, please visit nearandfaraid.org.