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Financing Hope with Modest Needs

By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
(Page 2 of 3)

Taylor states, “He sent us pictures of the ramp when it was finished! With a small investment, this family was able to have an accessible van; there was no need to spend thousands of dollars for a handicap accessible van.”

Another story is that of a young student in New York who wanted her brother to be able to leave their second story apartment despite his mobility issues. The problem was getting a stair lift that would make coming and going from the apartment easier. Taylor recalls, “This situation presented a particularly difficult dilemma. The stair lift was $15,000, well above our capacity to help. I called the young lady and challenged her to raise $14,000. If she could do that, Modest Needs would pay the remaining $1,000.” The young lady did just that – she raised $14,000 from individuals, businesses and other foundations and Taylor delivered on his promise that Modest Needs would pay the difference.

Giving Guidelines:

Of course there are limits to the types of assistance that Modest Needs can provide. The typical grant is $380 and always less than $1,000. “Beyond $1,000 and we feel the need is no longer modest,” Taylor says.

There are three categories of grants that Modest Needs makes:

Self-sufficiency grants – prevent an otherwise self-sufficient person or family from entering the cycle of poverty when a financial burden arises due to a small emergency expense.

Back-to-Work grants – provide self-sufficiency to willing individuals who may be limited in returning to the workplace by a small expense. Examples of these grants are purchasing special tools or paying licensing fees that may be otherwise out of reach.

Independent Living/Quality of Life grants – assist those who are not able to work, yet these individuals want to continue living independently despite a small need or unexpected expense that no other organization can meet.

Individuals who desire help from Modest Needs must first fill out an online application. If it is approved to move further through the process, staff at Modest Needs will contact the individual for written documentation of the request. For example, if the need is for a specialized piece of medical equipment, Modest Needs will ask for copies of pricing for the equipment from the vendor where the equipment will be purchased. Once the documentation is approved, the request is placed on the Modest Needs website.

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