Long Beach Giving Project: Mini grants can make a big difference

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Inspired by Oprah’s “Big Give” and “Idol Gives Back,” Justin Rudd and the Community Action Team will give away $11,000 in goods and services. This is the third annual Long Beach Giving Project and the first time that project will be conducted with two rounds. (details at www.justinrudd.com/giving.html)

In round one, eight CAT volunteers vie to see who can make the biggest local impact. With two weeks and $1,000, the contestants must complete their challenge within Long Beach to make a difference locally. The contestants must use their leadership, creativity and resources to make differences in people’s lives—up to $250 at a time.

All “Gives” must be in goods or services, not cash. In previous years, for example, a participant bought prom tickets for a student who couldn’t afford them, purchased groceries for a family who was hungry; bought bus passes for someone dependent on public transit, and paid the electric bill of a senior citizen who was about to go without power.

Round two invites public participation by asking residents to submit their own Giving Project idea to make a difference in Long Beach. Give Projects will be accepted by email through Thursday. On Friday, eight finalists will be chosen to present their idea in the hopes of winning the opportunity to help a person or organization with a $250 mini grant.

Pitch the Giving Project

Although round one giving has already started, the time to make an impact in Long Beach Giving Project is coming to a close. This Saturday night, March 27, all 16 contestants, eight from each round, will face a panel of 25 Giving Project alumni. In front of a crowd of spectators, contestants from each round will have a chance to explain what they did or would do with the money allotted.

Round One Givers—Jeff Taylor, David Stuursma, Harry Saltzgaver, Emilio Rangel, Lisa Ramelow, Ryan Choura, Jessica Morales, and Elana Young—will have six minutes to explain their project. The winner will leave with $1,000 and the challenge to give it away as they wish.

Round Two Givers—chosen by a panel of volunteers and notified on Friday night—will have one minute to present their pitch the judges.

To participate in Round Two, submit your idea for the Long Beach Giving Project by email to Justin@JustinRudd.com with “Long Beach Giving Project” in the subject line. Submissions should be clear to mention “exactly who, what, when, where, how, why, and how much” in regards to whom their giving would benefit. And, be sure to outline how you would spend up to $250 to help a person or group of people in the Long Beach area. Don’t forget to include your own email and phone number, so you may be contacted if your idea becomes a finalist. In order to win, you must be able to attend the Saturday, March 27 Long Beach Giving Project event to present their 1-minute pitch to the judges.

Watch the Long Beach Giving Project Live

The public is invited to attend the Long Beach Giving Project dinner/presentations this Saturday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at Bay Shore Church in Belmont Shore. Admission is $5 per person at the door and free for those who have helped with three or more CAT events over the last year. Please RSVP to Justin@JustinRudd.com by Thursday.

For information about the Long Beach Giving Project visit www.justinrudd.com/giving.html.

Funds for the program are made possible, in whole, by the successes of the Community Action Team’s Long Beach Turkey Trot and the Haute Dog Parades. CAT generally focuses on projects and events for animals, youth, the environment, and learning.

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