Some of you may be aware that I run the Honoring Our Ancestors Grants Program. This is a program I started almost eight years ago when I decided to try to make a go of it as a professional genealogist. I figured that genealogy had been good to me, so I’d give a little something in return. I decided right from the beginning to give a grant every month to some deserving genealogist, society, project or whatever – just something related to family history.
Honestly, in the early days, there were months when it was tough to do, but I persisted because I made the commitment – and besides, I figure there’s probably such a thing as genealogical karma. If I make a donation, is it a coincidence when I manage to unearth an elusive ancestor in some database a few days later? Maybe, but it suits me to think otherwise! So my little grants program has been partly selfless and partly selfish!
At any rate, I was playing catch-up the other day (I travel a lot, so tend to fall behind from time to time) and decided to take stock. It was then that I learned that I had been at it for more than seven years. But what really caught my attention was the fact that February 2008 would be my 100th grant! 100 months of grants! Pretty cool, huh?
So here’s the thing. I’d like the 100th grant to be special in some way. I have no idea what that might be, but in order to maximize the chances of finding an especially inspiring initiative, I’d like to ask for your help spreading the word about the grants program and encouraging as many people as possible to apply. I’m thinking that if I can get tons of applications, there will almost have to be a gem among them! Folks can apply here. Also, the site provides summaries of all the other grants I’ve awarded over the years, so it might be worth taking a browse.
The process is the same as it’s been since the beginning. Anyone with an idea and five minutes can apply, and once a month, I print out all the latest applications and add them to all the other current ones (they stay active for six months). Then my husband and I abscond to a coffee shop where we debate the relative merits of the assorted applications. Finally, we pick a winner, notify them and send a check. It’s that simple.
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer in spreading the word!