The winner of January’s LA Awesome Grant is the Free to Be Me Drum Circle – the life’s work of badass drummer and community organizer Sabina Sandoval: it’s a non-profit, all volunteer, charity group helping at risk kids, kids in grades K – 12, elders, people with special needs, and prison inmates by providing loving, educational drumming events. We go into convalescent hospitals where the residents can enjoy, and participate in, the music. We stimulate them by lifting their spirits and improving their motor skills. Our 1K Awesome Grant will go toward much needed repairs on her over 400 (!!!) drums, which Sabina carts all around LA hosting her enormous, infectious drum circles that lure participants in to let loose, feel the beat, and find their own rhythm. Sabina Sandoval is, indeed, awesome. Another thing that’s awesome – this grant pushes The Awesome Foundation over the $400,000 mark in grants given to awesome projects from over 60 chapters around the world!!!
Awesome Foundation – Calgary’s January 2013 $1,000 micro-grant went to Neil Egsgard with “Kensington Interaction,” a space built by Neil to showcase local knowledge and to connect community in the Calgary neighbourhood of Sunnyside.
This January, the New York City chapter has decided to fund a project that combines mental health awareness with telekinesis! Zachary Valenti’s “Uplift Yourself, Uplift the World” project will stage touring mindfulness carnivals on college campuses, where students will be able to learn about mental health resources and practice mindfulness. The centerpiece of these carnivals, which Awesome NYC is helping to fund, will be a large tower containing floating globes which rise or fall depending on the signal from an EEG headset worn by a student volunteer. So if you wear the headset and uplift yourself, you can quite literally uplift (a scale model of) the world! This awesome application of 21st-century technology will help draw traffic to the mindfulness carnivals, spreading awareness about mental health. Read more on our January project page!
January’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Ashley Cabecinha and Ka Lei Ku to support the hosting of speed-board-gaming events in Ottawa. Ashley and Ka explain that speed-gaming is “like speed dating, but less awkward and way more fun.” The premise is straightforward: “Show up, sign in, grab a drink and snack, and mingle while you wait for peeps to show. Once everyone’s arrived, you’ll randomly be assigned to a table. One of our ‘Game Genies’ will teach you a game that’s short and sweet, and you’ll have about 30 minutes to play it with your new friends. Once the hourglass runs out, you get a few minutes to grab another drink and snack, and the cycle continues — you move to a new table with a new game and new people!” “Board gaming is so hot right now,” say Ashley and Ka. “We know — we’ve been to ALL the board gaming nights in town. They’re fun, but something is missing: facilitated interaction. We’re also throwing in some crazy delicious snacks, and a little liquid courage to help everyone play nice. We both love food, so we hate it when people offer food at an event, and it’s mediocre, or offer… read more →
Are you ready to usher in the new year with some Awesome? Join us at 6:30PM, Thursday, 17 January at the Kingston Yacht Club for our January Pitch Party! Pitches kick off at 7:00PM, so grab a drink and head upstairs to claim a seat before then. Spread the word, and make sure you RSVP on the Facebook Event so we know you’re coming! Everyone is welcome, and the event, as always, is free. Stick around after the event, because we’ll be having Awesome Hours after the $1000 no-strings-attached microgrant is given away. What are Awesome Hours? They’re like office hours, but way more fun. It’s a time for anyone to sit down with trustees, volunteers, past winners, and like-minded people to talk about anything – the Awesome Foundation, a pitch idea you’ve had, getting involved, or just chat about whatever’s on your mind. We’ve also got a special surprise for you during the event, so we’re extra excited this month! We’re also welcoming guest trustee Bryant Tong for the month and are looking forward to having him participate. Awesome Kingston has been around for over a year in the Limestone City, having held its inaugural pitch party in November 2011. Since then, we’ve funded some… read more →