Winter Newsletter 2010
2010 has been an incredible year for The Palette Fund and as we reflect upon finishing up our first full year of grant making, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Throughout the year, we have had the opportunity to work with the most wonderful partners and I am truly thankful that as the Executive Director, I have been able to not only work in honor of Rand’s legacy, but to also serve as a colleague to so many inspiring individuals and organizations.
This year, the Palette Fund granted over $800,000 to organizations working in the areas of Nutrition and Wellness, Patient Navigation, HIV/AIDS and Queer Youth. The organizations we are funding are offering innovative programs, high impact solutions to real problems, acting as models in their communities and are, or are becoming, leaders in their fields.
In 2011, we plan to continue to refine our focus so that our contributions are put to the best use. We have set goals in each of the three areas in which we will be providing support:
Nutrition and Wellness: We continue our focus on educating target communities on how nutrition plays a vital role in health and wellbeing. These communities include underserved youth, school lunch programs and people affected by illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. Programs supported by the Palette Fund will work with children, parents, teachers, community leaders, patients, caregivers and practitioners, empowering them with practical tools and vital knowledge.
Patient Navigation: Our goal is to make this invaluable and yet frequently absent resource available to all who are diagnosed with an illness. Through Palette Fund grantees and partners, we will raise awareness about this emerging field, with a particular focus on underserved communities and individuals diagnosed with life-threatening illness, specifically cancer and HIV/AIDS.
Queer Youth: We remain focused on leadership building and educational opportunities as we continue to support scholarships and programs that enable Queer Youth to build the confidence, skills and networks that will help them to play key roles in communities, companies, organizations and public service. In 2011, there will also be a new push to look at programs that work directly with runaway and homeless Queer Youth, an often over-looked problem that is growing, misunderstood by the public and under funded as a result.
In conjunction with Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, we will work over the next 6 months to assess the needs of homeless youth among the lesbian, gay and transgendered communities, and create a plan for meeting the need nationwide. Cyndi Lauper recently said, “I am deeply honored that The Palette Fund has partnered with The True Colors Fund. I look forward to creating solutions together that can help address the growing number of kids being thrown out of their homes or running away out of fear and despair. I am very hopeful that through our collaboration we will be able to make a significant impact in these young people’s lives.”
As we saw this year with so many tragic suicides of our youth, we also remain committed and deeply concerned with the issue of bullying. We have hope that by supporting the development of leaders in the youth community, such as through our grant with the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) Ambassador Program, we can help stem the tide of verbal, physical and psychological violence. A young GLSEN Ambassador recently wrote “Every day when I go to school I see people looking at me, and calling me names, and even going as far as to shove me. Fortunately I am strong enough to handle this and still function…but unfortunately some kids can’t.” His mother goes further, “[this program} saved and changed him. He’s not the same young man he was two years ago. GLSEN has given him new confidence, purpose and life.”
This is the kind of partnership that makes us so proud, so grateful, and so close to the person Rand was every day of his life; confident and living with purpose, pride and compassion.
I want to close by acknowledging our dedicated Board of Directors, our Advisory Board of world-renowned experts, my colleague Ruth Fehr whose passion, talent and commitment to nourishing all who cross her path is truly inspiring, and all of the hard-working organizations who leveraged our support to make a real difference in the lives of so many.
Thank you all, our Palette Fund family, for your support and sense of shared humanity. And thank you Rand for giving us the gift of The Palette Fund and enabling so much hope in this world. Through the work of The Palette Fund, Rand’s light still shines just as bright and for that we are eternally grateful.
With Love and Light,
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