Representatives from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation surprised a local nonprofit organization with a $10,000 check today – while on CBS Local 2’s Live Facebook Feed. The grant – presented to the American Outreach Foundation – is an offshoot of a partnership between the Berger Foundation and CBS Local 2, where each month, a local nonprofit receives a $25,000 grant. But this grant was unknown prior to the presentation.
“I’m not often rendered speechless, but this was quite a surprise,” said Victoria Llort, Vice President of the American Outreach Foundation. “We’ve been applying to the Coachella Valley Spotlight grant for quite awhile, and to see that our efforts have been recognized by such a staple in the valley, the Berger Foundation, means a lot.”
Last December, the American Outreach Foundation was among 108 local nonprofits that received a regretful letter that they were not selected to receive one of the monthly Coachella Valley Spotlight grants for 2018.
“It is so difficult to choose only 12 nonprofits to receive the Coachella Valley Spotlight each year from so many deserving nonprofit applicants,” said Catharine Reed, Program Director for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. “Now in our second summer of presenting surprise grants, this extension of our partnership with CBS Local 2 allows us to give even more in a very fun and exciting way!”
“Recognizing the work organizations, such as the American Outreach Foundation, do in our valley is so rewarding,” said Mike Stutz, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates CBS Local 2. “We are so proud to partner with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation in presenting the Coachella Valley Spotlight. Extending the program with these surprise $10,000 grants is truly a bonus for the community and makes for great television!”
The American Outreach Foundation was founded in 2007 with a mission to enhance the quality of life and freedom of mobility of those confined to the use of electric wheelchairs and scooters. The organization searches for contributions to provide these mobility devices to low-income seniors and veterans who are underinsured and cannot afford this type of assistance. Each device costs about $600, so the $10,000 grant will potentially mobilize about 16 people in need. On average, 80-100 electric wheelchairs and scooters are given annually to valley residents through the American Outreach Foundation. Plus, another 40-60 are serviced annually thanks to generous donations to the nonprofit organization.
“Since the inception of the American Outreach Foundation, the gifts of electric wheelchairs has affected thousands in the valley, through the ripple effect of touching the lives of recipients’ family members and caregivers,” said Oscar Llort, Founder and President of the American Outreach Foundation. “This unexpected grant will continue that momentum!”
“The American Outreach Foundation is filling a great need among our valley seniors and veterans by improving their quality of life from homebound to mobile,” said Reed.
To learn more about the American Outreach Foundation visit www.americanoutreachfoundation.com or call 760-674-4861. To learn more about the Coachella Valley Spotlight grant, go to cbslocal2.com, and click on the Coachella Valley Spotlight logo near the bottom of the home page. Grant applications for 2019 will be available at cbslocal2.com later this summer.