Hello Neighbor receives $300,000 from the Walmart Foundation to expand national Hello Neighbor Network

Significant grant will directly impact young community-based nonprofits around the U.S. in their work with refugees and immigrants.

December 15, 2020

PITTSBURGH, PA: Hello Neighbor is thrilled to announce that we have received a significant grant from the Walmart Foundation! This $300,000 grant will support the expansion of our national network of grassroots nonprofits supporting refugees and immigrants: the Hello Neighbor Network.

Organizational leaders apply to the Network as Hello Neighbor Network Fellows and participate in an intensive 10-month leadership program. Over those ten months they receive education, accountability partnerships, and work on an independent project that is meaningful to their nonprofit.

The Network’s mission is to provide these organizations with a supportive peer network, education, skills and resources to better fulfill their own missions and to elevate grassroots voices in the ongoing conversation around refugee and immigrant inclusion in the U.S. The Network supports nonprofits through the most challenging time of their growth and development, getting them over the hump during which between 30-50% of small businesses and small nonprofits fail (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Hello Neighbor and Hello Neighbor Network Founder and CEO, Sloane Davidson says of the grant:

“It’s an honor to have the Walmart Foundation recognize the work of the Hello Neighbor Network and our members. We know that change starts right at home in our own communities and are excited to be able to create a stronger sense of belonging for refugees and immigrants that are rebuilding their lives as our newest neighbors.”

After a series of interviews last month, the Hello Neighbor Network will include more than a dozen new members across the nation going into 2021.

Fereshteh Ganjavi, Founder of Elena’s Light in North Haven, Connecticut, will join the class of 2021 Fellows. She says:

“When I first came as a refugee to the New Haven area with my mother, I never imagined that one day I could have my own nonprofit and be a part of other communities and networks such as Hello Neighbor. Refugees like myself are always looking for keys to open the door to opportunity - and I believe I have just received such a key via Hello Neighbor, and now, I will be able to help many others like myself find their own way.”

Each incoming Fellow in the Hello Neighbor Network has a like-minded mission to create community and serves 50% or more of their populations as refugees and immigrants. For decades the U.S. has been a leader in refugee resettlement with grassroots nonprofits playing an integral role.

In a 2019 Hello Neighbor study, 100% of responding refugees said the support of a local grassroot organization made their community feel more welcome. Meaningful belonging within a community has enormous positive effects.

This grant will add to the support of other Hello Neighbor Network funders including: USA for UNHCR, The Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, The Benter Foundation, The Good People Fund, and The Harnisch Foundation.

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