FELH Game Changers: Next Generation United

How NGU has made a difference for FELH from 2019 to today.

Next Generation United is a giving community of young leaders stepping up to ensure a brighter future for Buffalo and Erie County. The group at the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County’s signature event – Pitch 10 – forever changed the trajectory of For Every Little Handprint. 

The event featured three-minute pitches from 11 nonprofit organizations and awarded $20,000 in grants to the top three nonprofit organizations selected by the audience. For Every Little Handprint was blessed to finish in first place, winning $10,000 and solidifying our ability to serve the youth of Buffalo. 

The funds were used to expand our School Supplies Program, almost doubling the number students served from the first to second year, and kickstarting FEMpower, our mentorship program for eighth grade girls. Funds were also used to outfit our office for hosting future creativity workshops.

One of the beautiful aspects of the Pitch 10 event is the connection it makes between the featured nonprofits. At the event, Executive Director Olivia Larson was introduced to Major Annette Locke of the Salvation Army. As a result of Major Locke’s generosity, For Every Little Handprint secured an office space in the facility on Main Street by the medical campus. This development was crucial for the organization, giving us a space to organize our School Supplies Program, meet with families, and host volunteers. In the future, we hope to host creativity workshops and the summer sessions of FEMpower in the space.

The support of NGU did not end at Pitch 10. They are truly committed to supporting the organizations they connect with from the moment their relationship begins. This year, due to the pandemic, school looked a lot different than usual for students in Buffalo, both at public and private institutions. For Every Little Handprint held our traditional School Supplies Program, supporting 52 students in the area with individualized supplies. However, we received additional support from NGU to address the gap between the students we were able to serve and those whose families indicated a need for supplies.

Abigail Best, the Giving Communities Coordinator at the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, arranged a school supplies drive for FELH by utilizing Amazon wishlists. NGU’s efforts and generosity provided dozens of school supplies items for students in need during this unprecedented time as school switches back and forth between in-person and online instruction. Thank you NGU for your commitment to supporting FELH and youth in Buffalo!