Written By Tim Hauserman
This is the first of four posts about what the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation does to better the North Tahoe-Truckee region and how you might get involved with their efforts
What is it that makes a community? A dictionary (remember those) would say it is a group of people sharing the same place, interests, and attitudes. But hopefully, it is more than that. A truly effective community is composed of people who desire to work together to make the place they love better. This desire for community improvement has been a part of American culture before there was a United States of America.
While Benjamin Franklin is known as an inventor and a great compromiser that brought disparate forces together to bring the US Constitution to fruition, he was also a steadfast promoter of community, and a believer in the power of small groups of people working together to improve the well-being for all those who reside in the community. In 1727, Franklin formed a group with just a dozen friends that called themselves “the Junto”. They spent the next several decades creating a better Philadelphia. They established a library, hospital, school, fire brigade and an insurance society. They did it by gathering the forces of those who had the wherewithal to contribute, either financially or with their volunteer efforts.
Though the location is different and many of our essential businesses are already established, the mission of “the Junto” is the same as that of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation (TTCF). They are on the front lines of the effort to bring more desperately needed affordable housing to the region, assist families in need, and create a more fire resilient Sierra. Through collective giving, TTCF seeks to fill the gaps in what the government and individual donors can provide. Through programs such as Give Back Tahoe, the Emergency Response Fund, the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, and community scholarships, donors with a passion for the same cause can pool their resources to make their donations go even further.
Want to be like Benjamin and help your community? Here are a few ways to dive in:
Give Back Tahoe is a one-stop shop that provides the opportunity to learn about, volunteer for, and provide funding to the great variety of local nonprofit organizations in our community. Want to help rescue animals? Build trails? Feed the hungry? Provide rewarding opportunities for kids? Go to givebacktahoe.org and you will find an organization, or perhaps several, that need your help.
TTCF’s Emergency Response Fund was created in 2020 to help nonprofits who are directly serving our community members as they face the impact of Covid-19. Local businesses have always been big supporters of our area’s nonprofits, but Covid has left many businesses struggling, leaving them with fewer resources to give. At the same time the need in the community for the services of non-profits has increased and this fund is an attempt to fill that gap. Donate to the Emergency Response Fund
The Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund was established in 2006 with a simple premise: find 1,000 women to donate $1,000 each to establish an endowment to help our communities in perpetuity. More than 1,300 women answered the call, and the result is over $750,000 in grants to local non-profit organizations over the last 15 years. Learn more or become a Queen.
TTCF’s Community Scholarship Fund helps local high school seniors achieve their dreams of higher education. The online platform makes it simple and easy for students to apply for multiple scholarships out of the $1M+ available in awards. There is always a greater need than the funds available, invest in TTCF’s Community Scholarship Fund and support deserving students.
Whether you experience the satisfaction of giving by supporting a cause through collective philanthropy, spending a day with folks cleaning up the Truckee River, or volunteering to make the lives of children better, true community is found when we discover how much better it is to give than receive.
Bio: Tim Hauserman is almost a local since he has lived in North Tahoe since he was two years old. He is a freelance writer who wrote the official guidebook to the Tahoe Rim Trail and runs the Strider Glider program at Tahoe XC in Tahoe City