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Simple Heroes

Dec 31, 2008 04:00PM, Published by Super Admin, Categories: In Print




Anyone who has witnessed a homeless child receive a warm winter coat, or an elderly woman be helped up the stairs by an individual far more agile, knows that simple acts of kindness are indeed heroic. Uncomplicated but generous acts of heroism prove that each of us have transformative special powers.

Because seemingly insignificant action can have a life-long impact, there is the Simple Heroes Initiative, which encourages community residents to support underserved foster youth by providing them with basic needs they have been denied. In order to connect these individuals with resources, the Initiative was established in 2008 in conjunction with Generation Fate, a nonprofit also dedicated to assisting local foster youth.

After meeting with countless social workers, foster parents and foster children, Generation Fate’s Founder and Director Nick Cunningham continually heard the same story. “I was told that there were little things foster children missed out on like high school prom, extracurricular activities or driver's education courses because of a lack of resources,” he explains. “I knew there were resources in the community, but there was just no conduit to put two and two together.”

Until, that is, the Simple Heroes Initiative, which predominately serves Placer County youth, but continues to branch out and assists children throughout the greater Sacramento region and Yolo County. In 2007, the year Generation Fate was founded, the organization was openly exploratory and unsure of how to effectively reach the targeted demographic. “This mentality does not make it easy to get funding from larger foundations and organizations,” admits Cunningham, who adds that because Generation Fate’s mission, at that point, lacked focus, the organization did not receive crucial monetary funding to support the Initiative or its beneficiaries, forcing the team to identify alternative ways to operate and help others on a shoestring budget. Consequently, individual donations were responsible for 80 percent of overall revenue.

“During the process our eyes were opened to the vast amounts of people in our community that were ready and willing to help these children,” Cunningham says. “And with the network of volunteers and supporters that slowly built up, we have been able to connect with and help hundreds of foster youth.” Assistance comes in different ways, which might be a new pair contact lenses or a computer, to art supplies or admission to an exhibit.

“Some foster youth do not experience much of a life outside of the system, and allowing them to play baseball, go to prom or attend a class field trip gives them something positive to attach to; it brings a little balance into their often chaotic lives,” Cunningham explains. 

Among the ambitions of Generation Fate, Inc., and its organizers and supporters, is to secure long-term monetary funding and to create models of the organization that can be scaled and duplicated in other communities.

To learn more about Generation Fate, Inc., and the Simple Heroes Initiative, upcoming fund-raisers, and how you can help, please visit the organization online at generationfate.org and/or simpleheroes.com, email nick@generationfate.org, or call 916-987-2889.

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