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Who We Are
The REACH Foundation is a 501.c.3 non-profit founded by Mark and Wendy Wilson in 2000 to help children in need - physically, socially, and financially. The REACH Foundation was originally established to fund educational scholarships, continued education for educators, and programs that encourage social and civic responsibility in and out of the classroom.
The focus of REACH has expanded to include children with physical, social and financial issues. The primary mission of The REACH Foundation is to reach out to advocate and help children in need and to provide programs to improve their environment. The Foundation’s mission is simple,
“If in only one life, make a difference.” ®
The REACH Foundation - Making A Difference
- Awarded over 80 four-year college scholarships beginning in the Fall of 2000
- Since 2013, The REACH Foundation’s “Shop with a Cop” program has helped over 3,000 families enjoy the holiday season. Thank you to the participating Police departments who help relay a positive message to the participating children!
- Provided funding to the Greater Hartford YMCA for the construction of the Wilson-Gray YMCA, Youth and Family Center; groundbreaking April, 2008; opened and dedicated September, 2009
- Contributions to other regional YMCA organizations and programs
- Supports the work of local food pantries and organizations providing meals to those in need.
- Has given scholarship grants to the newly established Brother Carl Hardrick Institute in its mission to prevent gun and community violence.
- Provided 50 sewing machines to IRIS, an organization dedicated to helping immigrants and refugees become self-sufficient. The machines were used to enable families to make clothing for themselves, especially their children.
- Established a local library and reading center in Kiowa, Oklahoma, in 2002 and continues to providing ongoing operating funds
- Helped establish and endow 2 local educational foundations: Texarkana Arkansas Education Foundation in 2004 and the Farmington (CT) Public School Foundation founded in 2005
- Awarded grants to teachers and other educators to further their education beginning in 2001
- In the inaugural year, CT Law Enforcement and The REACH Foundation provided over 50 at risk CT children with a holiday shopping experience for their family as part of the Shop With A Cop Program
- The REACH Foundation in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's office, Boston's Stop Handgun Violence, and various community outreach organizations developed a 3-year program which addressed the involvement of young women and girls in violent crimes. This culminated in the production of a short film, The 5K Motion, which is to be used as a tool for service providers, educators and law enforcement to stimulate discussion on the consequences of illegal drug and gun possession.
- Constructed a full size basketball court for the residents of the City of Hartford with proceeds of the Celebrity Classic
- Provided direct financial support to local and national organizations which support children’s causes
- The REACH Concert Series provides a venue where the needs of children can be conveyed to a wide audience and where resources can be raised to support The REACH Foundation’s programs. The series made its premiere in August 2009 with a concert featuring Earth Wind and Fire and Little River Band
- Partnered in 2012 with Football Hall of Famer Ahmad Rashad’s Celebrity Classic “New England’s Largest Celebrity Event”
- Provide direct funding to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was given their Community Leader of the Year Award in 2010 and on National Leadership Council
- Mark and Wendy Wilson were named the 2011 St. Jude Partner in Hope of the Year Award presented in Memphis
- Dedication of the Mark and Wendy Wish Award by the CT Make-A-Wish Chapter in 2010
- As an official affiliate of the Project Child Save foundation, REACH's involvement has rescued over 250 children kidnapped and/or sold into human trafficking