The Power of Donor Advised Funds
In its first year of being established, a $2,000 grant was awarded from this Fund to the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington (ECCS) for their Community Services’ holiday gift program. The grant was recommended by Myra’s family after MSCF staff conducted an assessment of local pre-K through 3rd grade literacy needs. Coordinated during the winter season, the holiday gift program sees that all participating children, ages 12 and under, received a package of books specific to their reading level. In December of 2022, the Fund’s advisors together with MSCF staff representatives attended the set up for the holiday gift program, where they assisted the ECCS staff and volunteers in creating the packages of books the children would receive. This was an opportunity for the Fund Advisors and ECCS staff to connect with each other; for ECCS to see the legacy they are continuing with the grant from this Fund, as well as for the Fund Advisors to see the impact of the grant.
Over the years, the majority of funding for WSWEP has been provided by the donor advised fund in partnership with other grants from MSCF as well as other funders like the City of Bristol, the McPhee Foundation and the Farmington Bank Community Foundation.
In the WSWEP, students spend the first week in a classroom with the aim of learning career readiness skills as well as social and emotional skills. The subsequent six weeks provide each student with real-world, paid work experience at local work sites around Bristol. The work sites afford a range of skills with the sites ranging from Bristol Hospital, Bristol Housing Authority, Shop Rite, the New England Carousel Museum and many others.
Throughout the years of this program, students have demonstrated their ability to succeed in these jobs, learn new skills, and exceed expectations of their employers. Often, students are hired by the worksites they attended after the program has ended. Programs like this are critical to developing confidence in the students and opening their eyes to different career opportunities, especially when other programs like this become unavailable.