BARTLESVILLE, Okla. ? A new daycare facility run by the Delaware Nation now has new playground equipment, thanks to a donation from Rosie O'Donnell's foundation, For All Kids. The New Jersey based organization made the grant after receiving a proposal from the Delaware Nation.
The donation from O'Donnell is something relatively new in Indian country, where celebrities are more often seen in business ventures with tribal casinos. The actress and talk-show hostess however, is helping the smallest members of the Delaware Tribe.
O'Donnell founded the For All Kids Foundation in 1997. It has raised over $50 million in donations in the past four years. The foundation does not fund individuals but targets 501 (c)(3) not for profit organizations that are dedicated to helping children and their families. This help comes through childcare, health care, education and other programs. The foundation has given grants to almost 800 nonprofit organizations.
The foundation focuses on childcare, with programs that provide services to low-income and urban areas at the top of the list.
The Delaware day care center, which is open to both Indian and non-Indian children, fit the foundation's guidelines.
Delaware Tribal Programs Director Sherry Rackliff said the grant proposal was for playground equipment at the daycare facility. "They donated about $1,500 to buy the playground equipment and for the ground impact material," Rackliff said. "We bought a big piece of playground equipment and impact material and had it installed."
Rackliff said she applied to the grant project program at For All Kids and received the grant. Now the charity is looking at other Delaware programs that benefit children. "They have also expressed an interest in sending some projects for tribal child care programs," Rackliff said.
The daycare center currently has a staff of eight to care for the 30 children at the site. Rackliff said that the center will expand as it gears up to get a state license to care for seventy children.
The Delaware Tribe isn't the first one to benefit from Rosie O'Donnell's foundation, said Eileen Holden, the foundation's Director of Communications.
Most of the funds raised by For All Kids are through donations from corporate sponsors or fund raising events like the yearly Rose Awards Gala. Following the September 11 attacks, the foundation raised $2 million for children of the FDNY, NYPD and officers of the Port Authority who lost their lives while responding to the attack on the World Trade Center.
Unlike many other foundations and charities, O'Donnell has made a commitment to make sure that the foundation keeps low administrative costs to make sure that money donated gets to those it was donated for, the children.
"Our kids really enjoy being able to play outside," Rackliff said. "We are grateful for the grant."