How We Work
The Lift a Life Foundation works to identify passionate leaders who make a difference in the lives of people in need.The Lift a Life Foundation recognizes that without strong leaders and the resources to execute a large-scale vision, high impact in the nonprofit space is limited. We commit to partnering with organizations that have the leadership capability, the know-how and the personal passion to help their populations reach their full potential.
Hunger is a basic need that must be eradicated before anyone can achieve their full potential. Hunger is a major problem in every community and around the world. The Lift a Life Foundation is partnering with hunger relief agencies that are global and local to help feed more people. We are attacking the hunger problem with a threefold approach.
World Food Program (Global)
Currently, 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy and active life. The Lift a Life Foundation partners with World Food Program USA to provide school feeding in the region of Karamoja, Uganda. Through the World Food Program, we provide more than 100,000 boys and girls a healthy school meal. These meals prevent children from dropping out of school and gives them the opportunity to unleash their full potential.
Dare to Care Food Bank (Louisville, KY-Local)
Dare to Care Food Bank leads our community to feed the hungry and conquer the cycle of need. One in six people in Kentucky go to bed hungry. Dare to Care fulfills its mission through innovative programs, efficient operations and by partnering with local food pantries, shelters and kitchens to get food to people in need. The Lift a Life Foundation partners with the food bank to fund the Community Kitchen, which provides hot and healthy meals to over 30 school sites every single day. When children are nourished, they are able to learn, grow and reach their full potential.
Hunger Innovation Fellow
The Lift a Life Foundation is testing a new approach to attacking the hunger problem. Lift a Life and the Community Foundation of Louisville are partnering to create The Hunger Innovation Fellowship to provide social, intellectual and financial capital for an individual or team to research opportunities for systems-level change within Louisville’s food ecosystem. Identified opportunities will have the potential to significantly accelerate and elevate the collective efforts of local organizations and their partners to end hunger in Louisville, Ky.
We believe that the love of learning develops early in life and builds the foundation for educational success in the future. This is why investments in early childhood programs have the greatest returns. We are focused on equipping parents and early childhood educators with the tools needed to help their children reach their full educational potential. We provide support to early childhood programs through a partnership with Metro United Way and Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) in Louisville, Ky. We are also a member and funder of the Ready for K Alliance initiatives.
Data consistently shows that children who attend Excellence Academy childcare centers are 2X as likely to be “ready” for kindergarten compared to demographically similar children who did not attend Excellence Academy centers. Learning in Communities of Practice is an innovative approach to professional development used with teachers and directors in the Excellence Academy. The Ready for K Alliance is making this type of professional development available and accessible to child care center teachers and directors throughout Louisville. Dr. Jill Jacobi-Vessels of the University of Louisville is leading the evaluation study to determine the effect. Learn how we’re making an impact at readyforkalliance.org.
We’re strengthening the skills of preschool teachers, improving classroom environments and teaching kids to love learning. Ensuring that young children have both involved and intentional teachers is one of the most critical elements to achieving school readiness. Our teachers receive hands-on coaching through a partnership with Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) to help improve quality in their individual classrooms. While most early learning centers don't use a set curriculum, EA centers use Creative Curriculum©, a research-based interactive system founded on best practices for early childhood programs.
By promoting the love of learning and creativity in children, we are helping them build lifelong critical thinking and problem-solving skills stimulated through play, exploration and discovery. Our classrooms incorporate the "Reggio Emilia" approach to early childhood. In this approach, the classroom is thought of as the "third teacher" and includes elements like neutral colors, home-like touches, natural materials and intentional invitations to learn, so children's curiosity can develop organically within a supportive environment. Through EA, we've increased the quality of early learning in existing centers serving high-risk kids. Recent findings indicate that our EA kids are two times more likely to be ready for kindergarten than their like peers who did not attend one of our EA early learning centers. We're also proud to say that 24 of our teachers have now received their Child Development Associate Certificate, advancing their professional development.
The Lift a Life Foundation founder, Wendy Novak was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes at the age of seven. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic disease that impacts the daily life of the patient and his or her family. T1D impacts not only the physical well-being of a patient but also their social and emotional health. The families that struggle with this disease need outstanding clinical care, education, and research. Through the visionary leadership of Dr. Kupper Wintergerst, the Lift a Life Foundation is focused on building a world-class diabetes center to help more children and families manage the disease with excellence so that they can reach their full potential. Through the clinical, education, and research programs and services of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, we will build confidence in families touched by Type 1 diabetes, empowering them to live long, healthy, active lives and providing them with hope for a future without diabetes through health outcomes research.
Military servicemen and women sacrifice in incredible ways to serve the United States. We desire to support these American Heroes by providing for their spouse and children. We partner with the Folds of Honor Foundation to support educational scholarships for the spouses and children of fallen or disabled servicemen who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through the Folds of Honor Foundation, we awarded 286 scholarships within Kentucky and Tennessee in the 2017-2018 school year. The amazing result is that 26% of these awardees are the first in their generation to attend college. We are grateful for the work of this incredible organization.
Community Impact Grants
We learn from our community and state partners about projects in our focus areas through our Community Impact Grants program. These grants are given to local and statewide partners that serve our focus areas and have innovative proposals to meet the needs of their target audience. We get the opportunity to meet new leaders and scale fresh ideas through this innovative grants program. Our goal for these grants, at $5,000 - $50,000 for up to an 18 month partnership, are to have a BIG impact in the local non-profit sector. These grants fulfill our mission across the board to help those in need achieve their full potential and allow us to find new and existing organizations to support. We strongly encourage strong communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation with each grant given.