Over the years, Project Harvest Hope has partnered with many different organizations to support the community development efforts of villages in our Unitarian homelands. Our collaboration with Szekelyudvarhely Community Foundation (SzKA.org), beginning in 2011, has been a very productive model, allowing us to support grassroots projects that are proposed, designed, and led by Transylvanians.
The Unitarian Community Fund supported an average of 15 projects a year for three years, providing matching funds for a wide range of efforts: from renovating community meeting spaces to reenergizing volunteer associations, to supporting the teaching of traditional arts and crafts. We find that a small amount of money goes a long way when it is matched by donations of time, materials and volunteer spirit.
We invite you to take a look at the success stories from Unitarian Community Fund projects.
Project Harvest Hope established the Unitarian Community Fund, a donor-advised fund that provides matching grants for projects in Unitarian villages throughout the Homorod Valley. These are a few of the grant recipients, in their own words.
“The mission of Városfalva Association is to encourage local initiatives that increase the quality of life in Városfalva and in the Homoród-Valley. Thanks to the Project Harvest Hope support we managed to buy plants, benches and trees to create a public space in the village.”
“During this project, the Community Foundation helped us a lot and they were very flexible and professional from every point of view. We appreciate the help and advice they gave us and would recommend the Community Foundation as a partner in future projects.”
- Judit Kozma, president of the Varosfalva Association
“As minister I would like to thank to OSCF for this opportunity of helping us to get this financial support. And I would like also to congratulate for this collaboration between Project Harvest Hope and OSCF by which you started a community development work.”
“This is a great opportunity in which the church and the civil organization can build together the community, where the harvest isn’t just a hope, but the bread also is on the table. We would like to thank you again and congratulate for this great opportunity.”
- Sandor Szilard, minister in Jobbagyfalva
“This project financed by PHH was another possibility which moved forward an active, colourful community life. The community centre has been transformed a well-equipped information center, where it is possible for local people some services being difficult achieved till now (color photocopying, scanning, internet, film club, printing, etc).”
“Weekly there were 55 visitors, who photocopied, used the internet, participated at meetings, etc. (eg. planning discussions about children’s camp, meetings of NGO etc). All ages were represented. Top of the project was publishing the newspaper in color. It was a huge change, after 6 years the newspaper appeared in black and white, and now it is in color.”
“Another success of the project is that everything was the result of volunteer work, community collaboration. So we should underline that the main positive effect of PHH projects was promoting volunteer work, community inclusion.”
“As we observed during the implementation, the aim of SZKA was the same. We apreciate in their work the personal contact, their personal advices. The staff of SZKA visited every village, and helped us, anytime we needed, and were open to gave us positive solutions in need.”
“Even in reports they helped, were patient. The meeting organized by SZKA after implementation of our project was a good idea. We had possibilities to know and to learn from each other’s projects, to learn from our mistake etc. They show us a really good example how to work together as team.”
“In today’s impersonal world, there is a huge need for good community life where people are talking, find fellowship, entertainment possibilities, information etc. Our project served these activities, meetings. Our motto is: Gathering together is beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
- Pall Krisztina, president of Ittre Benced Foundation
“I am happy that we worked together with OSCF. We realized a part of a big project. In little steps we attainded great things with the OSCF’s help.”
- Varro Margit, director of school
“It is winter. I have to make fire every morning. I realize many times that under the ashes there is coal. I need a tool to take away the ashes and to blow the dormant coals. I would like to share my positive opinion with Project Harvest Hope about the summer project with this metaphor.”
“In our community there are a lot of coals (people) under the ash, who are waiting to break to surface and with their fire to become useful to the community. The grant as a part of the tool blew the human intention. It was a pleasure to live the experience that more and more people offered their flame (their help) at the work to repair the Community House, at the work with the Children’s Camp.”
“It was a great experience too when at the closing festivity every flame united in a one big flame which can bright and can heat. And the fire is burning. Thank you that the latent coals could flame up. The OSCF was the tool’s transmitter. The collaboration with them made the fire’s light brightener.”
- Fazakas Levente, minister in Bozod
“Above all let me tell you that we are very lucky because our community with just 80 residents was sincerely happy for the positive judgment of our grant application sent to OSCF. Our reason wasn’t just because we like the money. Our reason for happiness was that we realized that we got a new opportunity to dream our dreams, to take more little steps forward enthusiastically.”
“We quite needed this encouraging opportunity because last winter we got really bad news. Then it became clear that the rural guardianship (the Awaking Providence), which has worked for four years in our village, had to interrupt its activity for a while.”
“The van, which we used for rural guardianship, became unusable and we had to sell it. The money that we got for the van went to the renovation of the church. We agreed on breaking of rural guardianship until we will raise money for it. Thank God we hadn’t to wait too long.”
“The success attended our efforts; we got the PHH’s grant from the OSCF. Since then we put the rural guardianship to work, making easier many people’s lives. We are happy to help other people, like you.”
“We can transport the sick people to the doctor, we can buy them their medications, we can give help for old people in shopping, we can help people in official cases, we take the children to trips, and we can participate on more religious and cultural events. We can make and maintain the connection with other congregations.”
“We know that all this assistance couldn’t come into existence; we couldn’t continue what we started in the previous years without your help. We say thanks to everybody who is working to give a better tomorrow for a community. We say thanks for the American brothers; we felt many times their altruistic help. We say thanks for the OSCF’s employees who beyond the transmitting role were helpful, opened and professional.”
“There were no problems with filling in the application, with the realization and the reporting of the project. Everything went according to plan. We remained just with positive experience working together with OSCF, we would like to work with them in the future, too.”
“We wish you success and productivity in the future.”
- Finta Emese Erzsébet, minister in Kalnok