April 2022 Newsletter

April 2022 Newsletter

April 2022 Newsletter

Welcome to the April 2022 edition of the Daniels Foundation Newsletter. In this issue, we explore the following topics. Click on the links to read the articles!

Foundation Focus: Mental Health, Girls Ages 10-14! For fifteen years now the Daniels Foundation has strategically focused on girls, ages 10-14…  Click here to read more…

The Second Born of Generation 2! Jeanne Hopkins, daughter of Clarence and Janet, was the second born of the G2 generation of the Daniels family (Norman, who preceded her, died when he was 5 years old)…  Click here to read more…

Community Boat Project Port Townsend, Washington! My involvement with the Community Boat Project started in 2010, after Joan and I moved to Port Townsend. A neighbor suggested I might like the program… Click here to read more…

Grant Spotlight: Provision Ministry!
You need to know the name Thomas Slicklen to understand Provision Ministry, as he is the President, Founder, and driving force and visionary behind their work… Click here to read more…

Foundation Focus: Mental Health, girls ages 10-14

For fifteen years now the Daniels Foundation has strategically focused on girls, ages 10-14. We offer three-year grants worth up to $225,000 for proposals which help girls thrive during what most experts say is a very challenging stage in a young girl’s development.

Coming out of the Covid pandemic the statistics on girls’ mental health have been shocking. Even before the pandemic the statistics were grim, driven in large part by social media, increased bullying (physical and virtual) and intensifying peer pressure. The pandemic, with its attendant isolation, has driven rates of depression, suicidality and acting out to much higher levels.

This is compounded by the fact that many girl-serving agency staff members are also younger, and thus they too have suffered from the same isolation. Being younger, they also face challenges around effectively responding to girls who reach out to them as trusted adults; they haven’t had the training and life experience to know how to respond effectively, especially when they are experiencing many of the same emotions.

The Daniels Foundation has awarded a three-year grant to Worcester State University’s One Circle: Engaging Middle School Girls in Identity, Culture and Wellness. This grant brings together the Latino Education Institute, the Southeast Asian Coalition and the Heartwell Institute to focus on mental health wellness for Asian and Latina girls. The program utilizes a mindfulness-based stress reduction framework to increase deep listening skills and compassion in a safe space for girls to openly express feelings. Of considerable additional interest is that the target populations, Latinas and Asian girls, both demonstrate significant family/cultural resistance to recognizing mental health issues, meaning that these girls tend to not see their parents as trusted adults for assisting their mental health.

In addition to 90 girls per year, the program will train 30 adults per year in the mindfulness stress reduction program and also engage the girls’ parents in a program to increase their mental health awareness and tolerance.

The Foundation also received a dynamic mental health proposal from the Worcester Education Collaborative (WEC), which simultaneously submitted a planning grant. We responded to their proposal, which had considerable merit that could benefit from added planning. In a follow up conversation, we worked together to identify our concerns and encourage WEC to address them via the planning grant process. The Foundation will receive their planning grant materials as part of the September quarterly agenda, and if our concerns are addressed their modified grant will a strong (though not guaranteed) contender for the 2023 Strategic Grant.

The Second Born of Generation 2


Jeanne D. Hopkins
1912 – 2012

Jeanne Hopkins, daughter of Clarence and Janet, was the second born of the G2 generation of the Daniels family (Norman, who preceded her, died when he was 5 years old). Born in 1912, the day after Christmas, she lived in Montana for a short time. The family moved back to Worcester, Ma. when her grandparent’s health was failing. Her Dad began work at Norton Company at that time.

When school age, Jeanne attended Bancroft School from kindergarten – 12th grades. Jeanne chose the University of Arizona with an art major and a focus on sculpture for her college education.

Jeanne loved the west, participating when young in pack trips in Montana. Along with the west, Jeanne adored horses. This started with “We Met”, a foal that she raised and trained. They competed together as a team in fox hunts and horse shows. Trophies and ribbons show their superb dedication and accomplishments.

Jeanne married Gerry Hopkins, from Vine haven, Me. in 1936. They met while on an AMC hiking trip in Mexico scaling the volcanic peak Mt. Pop capital. They lived in Needham, Ma. with their 3 boys, Steven, John and Larry until Worthmore Feeds was sold in 1959. Gerry decided to change jobs and moved the family to Tucson, Arizona. Jeanne lived out the remaining part of her life, living until age 99, 9 months shy of reaching age 100.

In Tucson she rode horseback until age 85, did an amazing amount of hiking around the area and traveled extensively to the Arctic, Antarctica, South Africa and Australia. She was a passionate birder, always adding to her life list and was proud to say that she had seen every species of Penguin in the wild.

In her younger years, she loved skiing competing in ski races and even participated in a haut to haut ski trip in the Alps. White water canoeing was a favorite past time for the family in the spring.

Jeanne was a true outdoors woman, enjoying many aspects of nature well into her 80’s and 90’s.

Community Boat Project Port Townsend, Washington

By Dwight Daniels Nicholson

My involvement with the Community Boat Project started in 2010, after Joan and I moved to Port Townsend. A neighbor suggested I might like the program so I showed up on a Thursday afternoon to see what it was all about. The program began as a voyaging program for High School students from the local area, and in 2006 an associated boat building program was added. The program is run by Wayne Chimenti, with the voyaging program run by his daughter Nadja. There is a board of directors overseeing the whole program, giving advice and raising money, much like most non-profit Boards.

When I first visited, there were introductions, etc. and almost immediately Wayne put me together with a student to make the spars for the latest boat. I had never had occasion to make a wood mast before, but he helped me layout the patterns and came by occasionally to see the progress, and before the end of the quarter, the student and I had made a main mast, mizzen mast, two booms and two gaffs. That is how the program works. Adult mentors work alongside high school students on hands-on projects. As an adult, we are encouraged to engage the students in conversation, and surprisingly after a few weeks, they are talking with us and talking about their lives and asking about our lives. The program is located about 10 miles from Port Townsend in Port Hadlock. The demographics of Port Hadlock are quite different than Port Townsend. It is an old working class town, both for the local Paper Mill and other service industries in the area. There is quite a bit of rural poverty in the area, and some of the students come from seriously dysfunctional family situations.

We have quite a few success stories from the students that have come through the program. One has become a touring mandolin player, both in the US and in Ireland ( before Covid). One is now a welder for the Navy in the naval shipyard in Bremerton. One is working for the local cement plant and another for the local Farm Equipment store. We have sent five students to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat School on scholarships, and all are now working in the Marine Trades.

Currently, we do not need another voyaging boat, so we have turned our attention to building tiny homes for agricultural workers at the local organic farms in the area. Because of our long growing season and lack of real frost in the winter, we have now more than a dozen large vegetable and flowers farms in the area. The current project is to build a village of tiny homes with a communal wash and kitchen building for the workers. It was stalled by the Covid epidemic, but will be getting underway shortly to coincide with the school year. The plan is to build a pole building shop first and then mass produce the tiny homes from it. It will be a new direction for the program, but the voyaging program continues unabated, and is planning a trip into the San Juan Islands in July.

The Community Boat Project has been an important part of my life in Port Townsend. I run into the students often in town, not always recognizing them because they have grown, but they always seem to recognize me and say hello. It is a great program and I hope I can stay involved for a few more years.

Dwight Daniels Nicholson

Grant Spotlight: Provision Ministry

You need to know the name Thomas Slicklen to understand Provision Ministry, as he is the President, Founder, and driving force and visionary behind their work.  Tom started applying for grants from the Daniels Foundation when he was just getting started in 2017, but at that time the board did not share Tom’s vision for Provision Ministry. We declined to grant funds to his organization for the first two years of his applying.  In the spring of 2020 Tom applied again and talked with Sarah Daignault to demonstrate the impact of and need for the work Provision was doing.

Since its founding in 2017, Provision has sourced and distributed fresh and non-perishable food and new clothing, footwear, home goods, school supplies, furniture and hygiene products valued over $32 million (retail value) to partner organizations serving veterans, refugees, underserved children and families, and those fighting addiction or experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. In addition, Provision has distributed over 24,000 Care Packs filled with new, essential items to those in need through their partner network.  During the COVID-19 Pandemic, in partnership with the USDA, Provision Ministry distributed over 1.3 million meals to people in MetroWest, Worcester, and Hampden Counties. Provision has accomplished all of this with a staff of one full time person and one part time person which makes their work all the more remarkable. Provision Ministry truly makes the most of the opportunities they have to help those in need.

Every day, thousands of men, women, and children in under-served populations don’t have access to the resources that could dramatically improve their lives. Resources like food, clothing, shelter, and hygiene products are in great demand. At the same time, hundreds of companies and individual donors have either the means to fund or the excess of goods and services, but not both.  By partnering with Provision Ministry, nonprofit organizations have access to fundraising expertise and the various resources they need and cannot otherwise obtain. Provision Ministry offers a unique solution.

By bridging the gap between donors and nonprofit organizations, Provision Ministry provides needed resources to nonprofits, helping them lower their operating costs and expand their effectiveness. The unique ability of this non-profit to be nimble and self-sufficient in a time of great need and massive supply chain disruption has made them an integral link in the chain helping those in need.

Being persistent in his pursuit of support for Provision’s mission served Tom well.  Tom is contagiously passionate about the work of Provision Ministry, and we have heard stories of his accomplishments at multiple Foundation meetings.  Not only did we fund his 2020 and 2021 grant requests, 100% of which were applied specifically to Worcester County, but we have also approved an increased grant in our last meeting. These additional funds will help Provision acquire an additional vehicle to increase their capacity to distribute essential items and food to those in the Foundation’s service area who need it most.

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