eBay Foundation recently awarded a Champion A Charity grant of $2,500 to Blanchard Community Library. Pictured above are (front) Humberto Carrillo, Richard Cisneros, Izzy Cisneros, Alex Hernandez (back) Susan Geis, Lydia Leon, Paula Clark Photo by Brian D. Wilson

eBay Foundation awards a Champion A Charity grant to library

July 15, 2005
Santa Paula News
By Paula Clarke eBay Foundation recently awarded a Champion A Charity grant of $2,500 to Blanchard Community Library. The grant was made possible as a result of the efforts of Susan Geis, an eBay employee, who “championed” funding for our organization. Funds will support the library’s after school Homework Center.The Homework Center provides free access to homework assistance to students in Santa Paula. Seventy percent of the students served come form homes where only Spanish is spoken. The parents of these children understand the value of an education and the importance of reading for their child’s success in school. They bring their children on a daily basis. The children come prepared with their school assignments and materials and sit down with a homework helper. The students then complete their homework assignment, which includes reading aloud for 20 minutes. This past year, Blanchard’s Homework Center helpers assisted with over 2,500 assignments.eBay Foundation’s Champion A Charity program encourages employees to become involved with an advocate funding for nonprofit organizations that work to improve the quality of life for all. A competitive program through which grant decisions are made by an employee, eBay Foundation Champion A Charity grants are only made to organizations recommended for funding by eBay employees.Susan Geis was born and raised in Santa Paula. She attended Mupu School and Santa Paula High School, where she was a head cheerleader. Ed Geis, Susan’s father, is a board member of the Blanchard Library. He mentioned to Susan that the Homework Center is always in need of funding. When Susan heard of this need in her hometown, she decided to become a cheerleader for the community she remembers so fondly.
Susan asked her employer to consider Blanchard Community Library for their eBay CAN! Champion A Charity Grant program. She wrote to the eBay grant committee, telling them that “Santa Paula is a wonderful community where people care for each other and take pride in their town.” She felt that the eBay grant would address a real need in the community for access to tutors and educational materials.The grant process was very competitive, with a great number of eBay employees championing their charities. Susan’s cheerleading skills and her faith and pride in her hometown proved to be the winning ticket. Blanchard Community Library is now able to extend their Homework Center into the summer vacation, offering students an opportunity to read their favorite aloud to one of their favorite tutors, Lydia Leon. Lydia and many wonderful volunteers are in the library this summer from 12 to 3 p.m., thanks to eBay CAN!

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