According to a survey we conducted in January 2016, 81% of our beneficiaries are using a portion of their financial assistance to pay for job application related costs to help them obtain better jobs. Many are using their funds to send their children to school. Some are using the funds for medical or dental care. Others are using funds to expand or start a small business.
The Feathers Project is not long-term financial support but rather a defined period of financial assistance to help families in the greatest need get back on their feet after a health or job-related crisis and overcome it. 100% of the contribution goes directly to the family’s account. None is used for administrative purposes. Administration of the Feathers Project is fully underwritten by Civicom.
Through their donations, Feathers Project donors are helping improve the quality of life for their beneficiary families. Though a donation may appear small to the donor, it is immeasurably significant to the recipient.
The web meetings are facilitated by Feathers Project staff and employee volunteers who act as facilitators and interpreters. The translator is present to ensure messages from both parties are conveyed from one language to another accurately and immediately. At the web meetings both families see each other in their personal environment and learn about each other’s lives. The donor typically asks about what circumstances got the beneficially family in the place of needing assistance and how they plan to use the funds to elevate their current situation.
Since the beneficiary family is not in a place to give a ‘gift’ to the donor, the beneficiary family gives a symbolic ‘feather’ to the donor in exchange for a monthly contribution of financial assistance for a limited time. This exchange is called "The Ceremony.”
Before the ceremony the donor family sees Feather Project videos as well as a pre-recorded video showing the beneficiary family’s living situation and circumstances. Videos are captioned and subtitled for easier comprehension.
Transcriptionists, editors, Please.Do activity stewards, and account managers also join in with these groups to attend donor and beneficiary family introductions, help act as interpreters, and purchase supplies for family donations.
Volunteers also help run holiday events for the beneficiary families, organize financial stewardship sessions, gather gifts for kids, and generally do whatever they can to help donors get their beneficiary families back on their feet. When asked, almost 100% of the volunteers have said they will volunteer again.