Connections: An update from Reality Changers and Daymaker

During the 2020 Holiday giving campaign with Daymaker, donors gave generously to children supported by local nonprofits across the country.

The Daymaker team has met with our partners this spring, collecting input and feedback on how we can improve in the future. Below we are thrilled to share an update from Reality Changers, San Diego, highlighting how the year has progressed for the families they serve and how the Daymaker campaign has impacted their service delivery:

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Reality Changers

Reality Changers' mission is to prepare youth experiencing extreme or severe poverty to become first-generation college graduates and agents of change in their communities. Prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic, graduates of Reality Changers boasted hard-earned and well-deserved acceptances to colleges and universities as near as San Diego State, and as far away as Harvard. However, as COVID-19 infections reached record highs in 2020, nearly 15% of these students were impelled to leave the program and switch focus to care for sick family members – many of whom were essential workers – and even earn a living to offset loss income in the household.

Thanks to the generosity of donors through Daymaker, Reality Changers was afforded the opportunity to provide joy to emotionally struggling students, some of whom had experienced the loss of a loved one during the pandemic. VP of Community Impact and Partnerships Jordan Harrison shared, “For us…this expands on our ability to show care, bring joy and love to our families. This partnership has been crucial during COVID, it has encouraged families and our staff to connect with our students through gifts. Honestly, it alleviates the pressures some of our families feel when they may be deciding between rent or a family outing.”

The San Diego based nonprofit serves between 500 and 600 students each year, largely from immigrant and English Language Learner (ELL) communities. Academically challenged eighth graders are identified and provided with weekly tutoring, community service opportunities, and college readiness support through high school graduation. The education-centric program exposes children and their families to the benefits of a college education and inspires them to dream big and persevere until those dreams are realized.

The San Diego based nonprofit serves between 500 and 600 students each year, largely from immigrant and English Language Learner (ELL) communities.

“I hope our kids expand their view of what is possible, that they learn about important historical and current figures, and get their hands dirty and active. The beauty of this [Daymaker] partnership is that it is not just a toy, it is an experience. It is the tenderness of the notes sent from donors, it is the thoughtfulness in the gifts, it is the constant communication from the staff to ours about how we can truly partner together,” remarked Harrison.

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All people, especially children, need play for intellectual and socio-emotional growth, as well as identity development and cultural awareness. Together, we can address this critical need that is often de-prioritized or overlooked due to the urgency of physiological needs such as food and shelter.

We are grateful to be in the position to spark and extend joy for our nonprofit partners and their communities, and we are grateful for your contributions and collaboration in this work!

To learn about Reality Changers and help advance their mission of universal access to college, visit realitychangers.org.

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