If Dreams Came True We Wouldn’t Need Grants

Dream Factory at South Portland

“Fairy Godmothers” and a student representative from the Dream Factory pitch South Portland students for a JOY grant

With tiaras on their heads and wands in hand, the volunteer Fairy Godmothers of the Dream Factory made a compelling case to the assembled JMG classes of South Portland High School and Memorial and Mahoney Middle Schools about why they should be awarded a JOY grant. The Dream Factory grants “happiness, inspiration and hope” to critically and chronically ill children and their families and told the audience of about 100 students that they were currently working with a South Portland family to make a dream come true.

The 100 or so JMG students who gathered at South Portland High School’s new lecture hall have $4000 in grants to award this spring and asked six organizations to pitch their causes for funding. Other requests came for furniture for play and therapy at the Center for Grieving Children; scholarships for classes through Kids First, serving children of divorcing parents; scholarships for participation at The Telling Room, guiding students, particularly those from war-torn countries in writing their powerful stories; summer job stipends for teens learning valuable employment skills at the Boys and Girls Club; and supporting Make-A-Wish Foundation for children with life-threatening medical conditions.  Each organization’s representative made a compelling case for a grant.

JOY South Portland High School 2014

Students from South Portland High School and Memorial and Mahoney Middle Schools assemble to hear pitches from six area nonprofits for JOY grants.

The brief presentations and videos will help the JMG students determine how to award their grants.  After seeing the pitches and asking questions, each school will discuss and determine their preferences for funding.  Making good grants is tough work – with or without a magic wand!