PORTLAND, MAINE — The Woodard & Curran Foundation announced that a project to bring clean water to the village of Dulce Vivir in western Honduras, sponsored by the University of Maine student chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), is the recipient of a $5,000 grant, the first to be issued by the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public nonprofit organization established in October 2010.
Foundation President Thomas Francoeur said the selection was based on the project’s strong alignment with the Foundation’s dedication to local and global solutions for a healthier world. "The Woodard & Curran Foundation is committed to supporting causes related to the environment, health, education, and civic needs, and the Dulce Vivir project is a clear match in all four areas."
Dan Gerges, president of the UMaine EWB student chapter, said, "This $5,000 grant means more than most can imagine. The money will be put towards construction materials and supplies. Receiving this grant takes the pressure off fundraising, allowing us to focus our efforts on ensuring a safe and effective design. Above all, it will help to improve the lives of the people of Dulce Vivir."
Bruce Nicholson, chairman of the Woodard & Curran Foundation’s Giving Committee, said nearly 30 applications were received from nonprofit organizations throughout the eastern United States. "Our committee did an excellent job evaluating each application, and when our review was complete, selection of the Dulce Vivir project was unanimous."
As explained on the University of Maine’s EWB website, the 120 residents of Dulce Vivir suffer from illnesses resulting from poor sanitation, limited access of safe water, and flooding. The UMaine EWB student chapter has been working in Dulce Vivir since 2008. Its first project was a drainage design that diverted runoff, significantly helping the flooding problem. The group is currently focusing on completing construction of leach fields and installing septic tanks in connection with a sewage collection system.
The Woodard & Curran Foundation was formed by the employees of Woodard & Curran, located in offices in Portland and Bangor, Maine; Andover and Dedham, Mass.; Cheshire, Conn.; Providence, R.I.; White Plains, N.Y.; East Windsor, N.J.; and Atlanta. Its mission is to take Woodard & Curran’s vision of exemplary corporate citizenship further by growing and investing financial resources beyond a line item in an annual budget and making significant contributions to charitable organizations aligned with its commitment to the environment, health, education, and civic causes.