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Hope with Modest Needs
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Financing Hope with Modest Needs
By Cheryl Ellis, Staff Writer
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
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.
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
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
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.