Camp Dream Street Mississippi has been named one of 18 leading Jewish organizations committed to fostering inclusion of people with disabilities in one of two new supplements to the Slingshot Guide. The supplements are each focused on a specific issue area and were released today alongside the ninth annual Slingshot Guide, Slingshot 2013-14. This supplement, along with one focused on groups positively impacting the lives of women and girls, will help further expand the ability of the selected organizations to carry out their missions, as well as expand the resources available to volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that, through their innovative nature, will ensure the Jewish community remains relevant and thriving.
Selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 83 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life, the Guide notes that Dream Street Mississippi “uses creative methods in its approach to offering physical activities for campers who have physical challenges, while providing a high-impact, hands-on program for Jewish teen volunteers. Dream Street is unique in that it is volunteer led and cost-free to participants.” Organizations included in this year’s disability and inclusion supplement were evaluated on their innovative approach, the impact they have in their work, the leadership they have in their sector, and their effectiveness at achieving results.
“Dream Street Mississippi is proud to be among the 18 organizations included in this brand new supplement for meeting those standards,” said Scott Levy, Dream Street Mississippi Chairman. “The organizations included in Slingshot’s disability and inclusion supplement are helping to break down barriers and build opportunity for engagement for those with special needs – both within and beyond the Jewish community – as never before.” Dream Street Mississippi is thankful that Slingshot has chosen to highlight disability and inclusion as it expands the scope of its Guide, and we are honored to be among the many innovative organizations that have benefited from the Slingshot Guide over the last nine years.
Will Schneider, Executive Director of Slingshot, which publishes the Guide each year, added, “The introduction of the disability and inclusion supplement is an important milestone in the work of Slingshot. All too often, the discussions about disability and inclusion take place quietly only among impacted families and those who advocate on their behalf. We hope this Guide will inspire those who are already part of the discussion, while also bringing new voices into it. It only makes sense to give these organizations the recognition they deserve and in doing so, also boost their presence among volunteers, donor and activists. The Guide is the framework for a community that through the collaboration that results from inclusion in the Guide, becomes something significantly more effective than what each of the individual organizations can achieve on their own.”
Being listed in the Guide is often a critical step for selected organizations to attain much needed additional funding and to expand the reach of their work. Selected organizations are eligible for grants from the Slingshot Fund, a peer-giving network of young donors with an eye for identifying, highlighting and advancing causes that resonate the most with the next generation of philanthropists. Furthermore, the Guide is a frequently used resource for donors seeking to support organizations transforming the world in novel and interesting ways.
About the Slingshot Guide
The Slingshot Guide, now in its ninth year, was created by a team of young funders as a guidebook to help funders of all ages diversify their giving portfolios to include the most innovative and effective organizations, programs and projects in North America. The Guide contains information about each organization’s origin, mission, strategy, impact and budget, as well as details about its unique character. The Slingshot Guide has proven to be a catalyst for next generation funding and offers a telling snapshot of shifting trends in North America’s Jewish community – and how nonprofits are meeting new needs and reaching new audiences. The book, published annually, is available in hard copy and as a free download at http://www.slingshotfund.org/.
About Camp Dream Street, Mississippi
Dream Street is a five day, four night camping program for children with physical disabilities. The camp is held on the grounds of URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp in Utica, MS and is sponsored by NFTY’s Southern Region. Dream Street was founded in 1975 with the mission that all children, regardless of their abilities, must be offered the chance to have fun, to make new friends, to achieve, to be accepted for who and what they are, and to learn from the challenges of group life. Both the children and the staff at Camp Dream Street benefit from the life-changing experiences the camp has to offer. Dream Street is a place where children with physical disabilities are given the chance to be children – not “special” children, not children with disabilities, but just children. For more information, visit www.dreamstreetms.org