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Handspring foundation awards its first grants

Fri Jun 29, 2001 - 2:34 PM EDT - By Marcus Adolfsson

Handspring announced earlier this week that the Handspring Foundation, a fund established in March of this year to support organizations and programs dedicated to creating positive change in their communities, has awarded its first round of grants.

The Handspring Foundation selected five nonprofit organizations to receive the grants, including: the Emergency Housing Consortium in San Jose, Calif., Via Rehabilitation Services in Santa Clara, Calif., Laura's House in San Clemente, Calif., the Dance Institute of Washington in Washington, D.C., and the Greater Muchinjike Orphan Home Trust in Zimbabwe.

Additionally, the Handspring Foundation announced the launch of its Product Donation Program to provide nonprofit organizations with Handspring Visors and the Handspring Volunteerism Campaign.

"Handspring employees expressed a strong interest in addressing issues surrounding children and youth at risk, so we dedicated this first round of grants to nonprofit organizations that serve children in necessary and effective ways," said Gisela Bushey, worldwide manager of the Handspring Foundation. "We hope that these grants will have a positive impact in our local community and in other communities as far away as Africa."

The Handspring Foundation awarded $10,000 to the Emergency Housing Consortium of San Jose, Calif. for general support for staffing and residential services of Our House, a 16-month transitional living program for runaway, homeless, and foster care youth who age out at 18 and no longer receive community services.

Via Rehabilitation Services of Santa Clara, Calif. received a grant of $7,500 for operation support to expand the services provided by the First Step Early Intervention Program, a series of early intervention services for children with disabilities or developmental delays. Funds will be used for staffing, equipment, program materials, diagnostic and assessment tools, and other program needs. The Handspring Foundation awarded $7,500 to Laura's House of San Clemente, Calif. to fund the Children's Learning Center and sustain Laura's House's efforts in providing direct services and child abuse and domestic violence prevention education to children experiencing the effects of domestic violence, as well as providing education and life skills that will be useful once the children leave the shelter.

The Dance Institute of Washington, D.C. received a grant in the amount of $5,000 for operating support for their year-round dance education program targeting high-risk youth in Washington D.C.'s historically poor neighborhoods since 1987. The grant will go towards dance and production training, workshops, journal writing and performance opportunities. The Handspring Foundation awarded $15,000 to the Greater Muchinjike Orphan Home Trust of Murewa, Zimbabwe. The grant will be used towards programs serving children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic, including HIV/AIDS education and awareness programs, expansion of the children's food program, self-sufficiency projects, and school fees for the orphaned children.

In addition to the quarterly cash grants, the Handspring Foundation is launching its Product Donation Program, whereby qualified nonprofit organizations are invited to apply for Handspring Visor Deluxe handheld computers. The organization is required to utilize the Visor Deluxes in an innovative way that will create meaningful solutions to critical local and global community concerns. Qualified organization will focus on pre-K through 12 education and issues directly related to children and youth at risk, international humanitarian relief, arts and culture, health and human services, environmental protection, alleviating homelessness, or people with disabilities. The Handspring Foundation will donate up to 50 Visor Deluxes per selected request. The Handspring Foundation will make product donation decisions on a quarterly basis, and the deadline for the first round of requests is August 1, 2001.

Handspring is also kicking off an additional component to the Handspring Foundation, the Handspring Volunteerism Campaign. The campaign will include company-wide volunteer and fundraising activities on behalf of local organizations, facilitating individual and group volunteer activities internationally, and quarterly presentations for Handspring employees regarding issues of interest.

"This campaign is being developed in response to the overwhelming number of requests from Handspring employees for individual, group, and company-wide volunteer opportunities and stems from a very community-oriented culture at Handspring," continued Bushey.

The Handspring Foundation was funded in June 2000 with 45,000 shares of pre-IPO Handspring stock. The fund is administered as an Advised Corporate Foundation of the Peninsula Community Foundation. The Handspring Foundation is governed by the Employee Advisory Group, a committee of Handspring employees. The committee is responsible for evaluating requests and making formal grant recommendations in accordance with the foundation's charter, which is to reflect the values, orientation and commitment of Handspring to be exemplary corporate citizens within the global community and to serve as a catalyst for change through charitable contributions and employee volunteerism. Grants are reviewed on a quarterly basis, and the deadline for the second round of grants is August 1, 2001. The Handspring Foundation has also established an employee product donation program that allocates Handspring Visors for distribution to qualified nonprofit organizations with established Handspring employee involvement.


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