Up By Their Bootstraps
Springfield’s Alliance to Develop Power has been chosen to compete for a possible $150,000 in prize money with 73 other nonprofit groups that create jobs in their own communities. The JobRaising Challenge is sponsored by Huffington Post and the Skoll Foundation; prizes of $150,000, $30,000 and $20,000 will go to the organizations that can raise the most money from supporters.
The Alliance to Develop Power, which started out in Springfield as the Anti-Displacement Project, serves low- and moderate-income people in Western Massachusetts in many ways. Working from a temporary office because the roof had blown off its headquarters, it furnished aid to people displaced by the tornado that struck Springfield in 2011. It organizes legal help for people who are cheated on wages. It owns and manages 770 units of cooperatively controlled affordable housing. It runs a landscaping and home improvement company, United for Hire, that helps maintain ADP housing but will also work for anyone needing those services. It organizes summer lunch programs for children, “financial stability” classes and food pantries. The group estimates that its assets and enterprises inject $20 million a year into the region’s economy. It’s also planning a small chain of grocery stores that will specialize in selling produce from local farms and vendors.•
Donations to help ADP win the contest and garner more money for its community enterprises can be made online at http://www.crowdrise.com/alliancetodeveloppower-jr, and can be as little as $10. The fundraising phase of the competition ends March 1.