Resident and Microgrant Award Winner Darran and Family

Rainbow Village Celebrates Small Victories with First Ever Microgrants

Nonprofit Dedicated to Ending Homelessness – One Family at a Time – Partners with Women’s Giving Circle to Award Series of Small Grants to Help Resident and Graduate Families Overcome Obstacles

Duluth, Ga., January 19, 2021 – Established as a means for women with a passion for philanthropy and volunteerism to connect while increasing awareness about family homelessness and promoting the concept of “giving” of one’s time, talent and treasure, The Rainbow Village Women’s Giving Circle introduced something new in 2020. It spent the year raising funds to support the nonprofit’s Aspire Residential Program and Thrive Alumni Program, and then allocated a portion of those funds toward “Be the Change” Microgrants that would have a direct impact on their recipients. During a virtual presentation in December 2020, Rainbow Village CEO Melanie Conner and the Women’s Giving Circle awarded 8 microgrants to current residents and alumni to help them overcome obstacles in the path to achieving their goals. $3,250 was raised to fund the microgrants – for which residents and alumni had to apply. An anonymous donor came forward and matched the funds for several of the awards. All told, $6,000 in microgrants were awarded, paving the way for big changes in each of the recipients’ lives.

“’Be the Change’ Microgrants were created to empower and build the capacity of Rainbow Village residents on their path toward economic self-sufficiency,” said Conner. “The intention of the microgrants is to provide assistance to overcome obstacles that prevent goal achievement. It was extraordinarily powerful for members of our Women’s Giving Circle to gain an understanding of the barriers our residents and alumni face on a daily basis and to touch their lives in such a personal and meaningful way. And each recipient was incredibly grateful for the generosity shown – it felt to them as though this ‘circle’ of women were truly invested in them and that’s a powerful thing for someone who has felt like they’ve had to go it alone for a large portion of their life. This circle is made to grow, so I invite anyone with a heart for giving and a compassion for others to consider becoming part of the journey of change in the lives of the families Rainbow Village serves.”

The recipients of the inaugural “Be the Change” Microgrants included:

  • Sherina (Alumni) received a $250 Five Pillars Award to purchase an all-in-one printer and to pay for testing to become a licensed bookkeeper
  • Kosha received a $500 Five Pillars Award to reduce her student loan debt so that she can enroll to take another class & complete her degree
  • Gwendra received a $250 Five Pillars Award to assist with starting her non-profit which will assist parents who have children with autism
  • Antwannette was awarded a $500 Five Pillars Award to pay down her medical debt and improve her credit
  • Latoya was awarded a $250 Five Pillars Award to cover the cost of testing & materials for the ATI TEAS exam which will help her become a Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Keoshia was awarded a $500 Five Pillars Award to be used toward returning to school and earning her Associates Degree
  • Darran was awarded a $500 Five Pillars Award to pay off an eviction notice on his credit report. He was also granted the CEO Award of $500 for demonstrating outstanding leadership within the Rainbow Village Community. He plans to use those funds to help achieve his goal of establishing a credit score of 700+ so he can obtain housing for his family

Each of the Five Pillars Awards listed above will be doubled thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. Future events planned for the Women’s Giving Circle in 2021 are tentatively planned for March 18, June 17, September 16, and December 9. At the December 9 meeting, Rainbow Village plans to host its 2nd Annual “Be the Change” Microgrants presentation. To learn more and join the Women’s Giving Circle in 2021, please visit For those who would like to explore other ways to make an impact on the families who call Rainbow Village “home”, please visit

About Rainbow Village:  Established in 1991, Rainbow Village is a transformative 501(c)3 nonprofit program located in Duluth, GA that serves families that are currently experiencing homelessness. Our model provides safe housing, education, and community support systems that allow families to confidently embark on the journey to self-sufficiency and thrive beyond our village. To learn more about Rainbow Village, register as a volunteer or make a tax-deductible donation, visit