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Carlos Vega

The Carlos Vega Fund

The mission of the Carlos Vega Fund is to honor Carlos’ commitment to a more vibrant and equitable community in the Greater Holyoke area by supporting individuals and organizations in the creation of social-justice related projects and programs.

The Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice and Community Service is a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Donations made to the Foundation and directed to the Carlos Vega Fund are entitled to a tax deduction because the Foundation is a 501c3 organization.

CVF is a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Our fiscal sponsor is the Warren J. Plaut Charitable Trust, which is a 501c3 organization. All donations made to CVF are entitled to a tax deduction.

You can donate online or by check.

To donate online: The Please Donate Today button below is a link to the Community Foundation donation form. When asked to direct your gift, select Another Named Fund, enter the amount you wish to donate, scroll down to the Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice and Community Service, and select it.

To donate by check: Make the check out to the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, put Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice and Community Service in the memo line, and mail it to:

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
333 Bridge Street
Springfield, MA 01103

carlos vega

Given since 2015, the Carlos Vega Social Justice Award honors outstanding people who, like Carlos, embody a commitment to working on the front lines and making the greater Holyoke community a better place for everyone.

2023 Jon Weissman

Jon Weissman, a well-known community activist and organizer, has devoted his life to fighting for social justice, from serving as Union President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 46 to working with Jobs With Justice. His current efforts focus on passing a bill in Massachusetts to establish a single payer health care system (Medicare for All). Weissman worked closely on many grassroots organizing activities with Carlos Vega.

2022 Neftali Duran

Neftali Duran, a resident of Holyoke, Massachusetts, was selected as the
2022 Carlos Vega Fund Social Justice awardee. Duran, a native of the state of
Oaxaca in Mexico, came to the United States in 1997. He had been working in
food industry in the back of the restaurant, till 2013, since his first job in Los
Angles, California.

In 2022, Neftali is working as a chef and a teacher, as evidenced by his current work on the No Kid Hungry Cooking Matters campaign. With over 25 years of experience in the food industry, Neftali is using indigenous wisdom to educate
people and address food inequity.

He was the owner of El Jardin Bakery at Nuestra Raices, Inc. for 13 years. His activities have been covered both locally and nationally. He was a founding
member of the I-Collective in 2017 which highlights indigenous contributions and wisdom to educate eaters and address food inequity. He was inducted as a
Salzburg Global Fellow. The Salzburg Global Fellowship was established 67
years ago and has such prestigious members as Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Kofi
Annan.

2020/21 David Hoose

David Hoose, a partner in the law firm Sasson, Trumbull, Ryan & Hoose, Attorney Hoose concentrates his practice in criminal defense and in civil rights litigation. He has received numerous honors, including: the Springfield Branch NAACP Appreciation Award, the Springfield Chapter of the Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty Ken Childs and Clarence Darrow Awards, Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Balliro Award, the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services Thurgood Marshall Award, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts David Burred Civil Liberties Award, and the Massachusetts Bar Association Access to Justice Award.

2019 George Counter

George Counter is a former superintendent of the Holyoke Public Schools. The positions Mr. Counter took to support our children and families are as important today as they were 23 years ago. He stood up against racism, inequity, and injustice. He was vocal, and he was brave. He went toe to toe with those in Boston and in positions of power to advocate in support of the students and families of Holyoke.

2018 Betty Medina Lichtenstein

Betty Medina Lichtenstein, is the Executive Director of Enlace de Familias and President of the Board of Directors of the Carlos Vega Townhomes. In 1985, Betty successfully ran for the Holyoke School Committee, making her the first Puerto Rican woman elected to public office in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She was a founding member of the Holyoke Community Charter School.

2017 Pa’lante Restorative Justice at Holyoke High School

Pa’lante, a youth-led restorative justice program at Holyoke High School was recognized for their efforts to build youth power and voice, to create student-centered approaches to discipline and conflict resolution, and to create a safer school community.

2016 The Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield were recognized for their countless social justice activities that have advanced the causes that were near and dear to Carlos.

2015 Tom and Lois Schwab

An attorney, Tom helped many non-profit organizations with his legal skills. A member of the Holyoke Civic Orchestra, he helped found the strings program in the Holyoke Public Schools. Lois has been an active as volunteer and supporter of the library. Together, they have supported many Holyoke organizations financially.

Application:

Applications opens on March 19, 2024, and grants applications must be received April 19, 2024.  A Follow-up Report must be submitted no later than one year after a grant has been awarded and prior to applying for future funding.

Please fill out the CVF Application here…Be sure to answer each question and attach any supplemental documentation at the time of applying.

Fiscal Sponsorship Certification Form:

If your group is not currently incorporated as a non-profit, a completed Fiscal Sponsorship Certification Form must be attached to your application.
Download form here.

Follow Up:

All awardees must fill out a follow-up report 1 year after grant award or prior to a new grant cycle, the applicant may be applying for. Download follow up form here.

Press Release:

Download our Press Release for the 13th Round of Mini-Grants here.

 

Board Members

Board Members

Debra Vega, Aaron Vega, Courtney Joaquin, Liz O’Dair, Idali Torres, Jane Frey, Miguel Arce, Iris Crespo, Tom Hidalgo, Amber Black, Orlando Isaza, Carey Baker, Sylvia Galvan.

Past Awardees

2023—$4,000

Give with Love’s Back to School Drive
Holyoke Health Center’s
El Colibri/Amherst Shelter
Beyond Walls

2021/22—$4,300

Eagle Eye Institute
WestMass ElderCare
The Gray House, Inc.
Granby To-Go
Coronavirus and our Western Mass Community

2020 — $10,716

Clinical and Support Options
Enchanted Circle Theater
Girls Inc. of the Valley and Plunge Arts
First Shift Productions
Granby Public Schools
The Gray House
Holyoke Public Schools
Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Holyoke Senior Center and Western Mass ElderCare
Home City Development
OneHolyoke CDC
The Performance Project
Treehouse
Seeds of a Father
Wistariahurst Museum

2019 — $8,485

Don’t Take That Receipt
Granby Public Schools
Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Home City Development Inc
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice
New Horizons Family Community Center Inc
OneHolyoke CDC
Plunge Arts
The Care Center

2018 — $8,505

WestMass ElderCare Inc.
Igualidad As Friends of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School
Gray House, Inc.
Nuestras Raices, Inc.
Home City Development Inc.
Friends of Holyoke Public Schools
Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Inc.
Town of Granby
Lighthouse Personalized Education for Teens
Holyoke Public Library Corp.
Girls Incorporated of Holyoke

2017 — $7,820

Holyoke Public Schools
Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center, Inc.
Transformative Culture Project (Press Pass TV Inc.)
Nuestras Raices, Inc.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Inc.
Community Education Project, Inc.
Holyoke Public Library Corp.
Girls Incorporated of Holyoke

2016 — $9,215

Enlace de Familias de Holyoke/Holyoke Family Network, Inc.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Inc.
The Children’s Study Home, Inc.
Keganin No Senshi Aikido, Inc.
Lighthouse Personalized Education for Teens
New Horizons Family Community Center, Inc.
Press Pass TV, Inc.
AIDS Foundation of Western Mass., Inc.
Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center, Inc.
Nuestras Raices, Inc.
Holyoke Public Schools
Girls Incorporated of Holyoke
Friends of Holyoke Public Schools

2015 — $6,800

Holyoke Health Center, Inc.
Keganin No Senshi Aikido, Inc.
Homework House, Inc.
The Children’s Study Home, Inc.
Enlace de Familias de Holyoke/Holyoke Family Network, Inc.
Holyoke Public Schools
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Inc.
Nuestras Raices
Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center, Inc.

2014 — $4,320

Community Education Project, Inc.
Nuestras Raices
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Inc.
Keganin No Senshi Aikido, Inc.
Womanshelter Companeras, Inc.
Community Adolescent Resource and Education Center, Inc.
Arise, Inc.
Nuestras Raices
Homework House, Inc.

2013 — $2,050

Holyoke Equal Rights Association (HERA)
Homework House, Inc.
South Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
Nuestras Raices
La Noche de San Juan
Friends of the Homeless

2012 — $1,500

Holyoke Equal Rights Association (HERA)
Homework House, Inc.
South Holyoke Safe Neighborhood Initiative
ARISE for Social Justice
Friends of the Homeless

Contact

Email

carlosvegafund.413@gmail.com

Address

Holyoke, MA 01040