Clubs and Organizations
May 24, 2017
The Kerry Jon Walker Fund (KJWF), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping humanity and supporting those affected by poverty, has been selected as one of 100 local nonprofits to receive a $100K grant from The Cummings Foundation. The Boston-based organization, which facilitates local student participation in Rwanda community service programs abroad, was chosen from more than 500 applicants for their exceptional mission and dedication to developing students into global citizen leaders. KJWF leaders will be recognized at a Grant Winners Celebration amongst fellow Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant recipients throughout Greater Boston's nonprofit community, an honor bestowed amongst the Foundation's $170M in grants given to date to local nonprofits alone.
"We're just awestruck with excitement at the vast opportunity that this grant provides to our mission," says Mikey Walker, KJWF Founder of Hull. "The ability to help more students, to provide greater service, and to make a difference in the lives of our Boston students and their peers abroad just became exponentially greater. We're so grateful to the Cummings Foundation in our parallel resolve to serve and give." The grant funding allows KJWF to amplify its mission of supporting and educating youth in need, enhancing their lifetime potential.
KJWF provides opportunities for financially challenged urban teen students to travel abroad in charitable service. Last summer alone, KJWF sponsored students from both Snowden International High School and Madison Park High Schools in Boston on a fourth mission trip to Rwanda, where they served 500 orphaned teens at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. While providing service to this Rwandan community, the Boston teens, most never having never traveled out of the country, gained a new understanding of the developing world.
Founded in 2010, enhancing the education of youth is at the heart of The Kerry Jon Walker Fund's mission. Amongst its accomplishments, KJWF provided 3000 lbs. of books, maps and educational materials, as well as school uniforms, to village schools in Guinea, West Africa. The community ranks amongst the poorest in the world, home to the region's most deprived children.
Cummings Foundation's annual $100K for 100 grant program benefits nonprofits from 35 communities across the Commonwealth in 2017. The place-based initiative aims to give back to the region where it maintains ownership of commercial buildings, all of which are managed at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founding in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages more than 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.
"Nonprofit organizations like The Kerry Jon Walker Fund are vital to the communities where our colleagues and clients live and work," shares Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation's executive director. "We are delighted to invest in their efforts."
This year's diverse group of grant recipients helm from diverse causes, including homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention and food insecurity. These causes are paralleled in both the Foundation and Fund's missions, with the common connection of service. Both organizations serve Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, a community of highly vulnerable youth, many of who were orphaned after the 1994 genocide. KJWF's mission trips, as well as the Foundation's support of the Village's professional skills program and collaboration with Partners in Health, support needy youth in surviving their traumatic start in life to grow into health, self-sufficient adults, engaged in rebuilding their nation.
This summer, KJWF provides opportunities for five new students to create global objectivity previously not in their vision, on the Fund's fifth mission trip to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. The Boston-based students will serve and bond with their orphaned peers abroad, African teens who once survived daily conditions that lacked clean water, electricity and reliable food sources. Mission students are considered from schools in Boston districts, enhancing their potential to grow into strong citizen leaders.
To learn more or support the Kerry Jon Walker Fund, visit www.thekerryfund.org.
About The Kerry Jon Walker Fund
The Kerry Jon Walker Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping humanity and supporting those affected by poverty, promotes sustainable programs to improve health, education, and economic opportunity for those in need. The Kerry Fund's current mission programs provide financially challenged Boston teens with opportunities to engage in community service trips to aid orphaned teens at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. To learn more or support the Kerry Jon Walker Fund, visit www.thekerryfund.org, or follow the Fund on Facebook.
About Cummings Foundation
Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester. With assets exceeding $1.4 billion, it is one of the largest foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities, in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. For more information, visit cummingsfoundation.org.