The Crusade is Turning Dollars into Opportunity for Kids
Throughout the year, the WHAS Crusade for Children raises money to fund schools and agencies that provide services to children with special needs. This year, the organization raised over $5 million, but the demand for grant funding is high. Selecting the grant recipients is tough — especially when they have a total of $13.9 million in grant requests and 236 applications for the year.
Dawn Lee, CEO of the WHAS Crusade for Children, says applicants apply starting in October, and in March and April a panel of 13 ministers meets in teams of three with each applicant for 15 minutes. “The grant process is very long and detailed. It takes 11 days to complete all of the 15-minute meetings,” Dawn says. After the meetings have been completed, the panel makes preliminary decisions based on the money that has already been raised.
Grant funding provided by the WHAS Crusade for Children enables hospitals to purchase innovative medical equipment for children who have special needs.
Next, the board of directors reviews and approves their recommendations, and the applicants receive their grant award letter the first week of July. The biggest satisfaction, Dawn says, comes from knowing that their contributions are keeping these agencies in operation and spurring their growth. “We are proud of partnerships that have actually started organizations. We are proud of our relationship with the Visually Impaired Preschool that has continued for so many years. The first grant was [used] to start their program, so here they are years later continuing to get support, and that is particularly special for us,” she says.