They gave me an opportunity, and I thank them for it every day because now I can provide for my son, but do it the legal way.
DeAndre Jones is a young man from Baltimore’s east side who grew up in the grip of poverty, crime and a culture of homicide. He now proudly holds a steady job and is on a path to sustainable self-support through Humanim’s DETAILS Project, a grantee of The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
DETAILS is "precision deconstruction and innovative reuse" enterprise in which crews strategically demolish houses to make the materials available for resale, reuse, and repurposing. You might say the buildings are given a second chance, much like the lives of those involved in the projects. DETAILS provides jobs and training for people like DeAndre who have trouble finding employment.
Everybody is keeping score of the validity and significance of their life in some way. I’m keeping track by the number of jobs I have the opportunity to create.
Just down the street from DeAndre’s work site lives Zoe, who loves to read. She describes her single most favorite book as “all princess books” and thinks reading is great because it makes her “imagination bigger.” But Zoe’s elementary school wasn’t equipped with the books and environment that would nurture her love of reading.
Reading opens up her mind, she thinks she can do anything.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation revealed the latest chapter of the Baltimore Library Project by unveiling the new school library at Henderson-Hopkins, Zoe’s school, along with three others in Baltimore City. The libraries are not only equipped with quality books for multiple school reading levels, they are designed to be a place where kids get excited to hang out and read. The project is a multi-year, collaborative effort to design, build, equip, and staff elementary and middle school libraries in high-poverty neighborhoods where many students face academic challenges—much to the delight of young readers like Zoe.
DeAndre and Zoe each have a story that resonates with the community and allows each of us to celebrate their victory in overcoming crisis and reaching new opportunities. It is through these stories that we begin to paint a bigger picture of the heart & mission of the Weinberg Foundation and displaying true change in action.
The Foundation’s diverse and extensive grant making brings in approximately $100 million per year to support nonprofits that serve low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, and is one of the largest private foundations in North America. But they are intentionally modest, even intimate—supported by about only 30 staff members at its Baltimore headquarters and are inherently not self-promoters.
The Weinberg Foundation understands the power of showing the memorable and relatable stories about their grantees and the people they serve that collectively represent their mission.
We don’t ask Weinberg to support our day-to-day, we ask them to help us grow. Without their investment, we couldn’t have even competitively bid on this.
To borrow on an old video storytelling guideline, they say it, and they prove it. With our help, with each video, The Harry and Jeannete Weinberg Foundation makes their mission statement come alive, in a way that is both compelling and universally relatable.