The vision of BRFC is to ensure that children, especially abandoned children, have unlimited opportunities to excel in all walks of life.
The mission is to provide resources to organizations seeking to empower children through programs, services, and advocacy.

From the Desk of the Founder/President
Sheila Y. Flemming, Ph.D. 

The Impact of COVID on Our Work
2021 began like 2020 ended, the COVID pandemic continued but vaccines for the disease were made available for adults. Not until much later in 2021 were vaccines available for children twelve years and under. The impact of this pandemic is still unfolding for our business, especially for our children. COVID had a most significant impact on the financials of non-profits like Black Rose Foundation for Children (BRFC). Like other organizations, we experienced a considerable decrease in individual monetary donations. The pandemic put people out of work, meaning they no longer had extra funds to donate to their non-profits of choice. In-person events, like our James V. Brooks Scholarship Fund’s “Power of Music” event, were cancelled due to the pandemic. Our in-person Circles of Love and Peace (CLAP) book club activities went virtual. And volunteers decreased for our events, like the “Give Thanks” program assisting families needing food for the Thanksgiving holiday week. We witnessed the academic, social, physical, and mental health impact on the children we serve. Some of our children lost parents and other family members. Parents and caregivers lost jobs or were laid off. Through the generosity of one of our partners, “5 for Lives”, we were able to assist one of the families with utilities and food. While we trudged along to continue our programs and services, we have found several sources of assistance that we recommend for our supporters to consult. To detect the signs, understand the pandemic’s affect on social skills, its impact on children’s brains, and a warning about a new surge of positive testing among children, we recommend the following sources: 

  • Signs - 7 Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Kids (childrenshospitals.org
  • Social skills - Impact Of Covid-19 On Children’s Social Skills (forbes.com
  • Impact on brain development - The COVID generation: how is the pandemic affecting kids brains? (nature.com
  • While vaccine is available more children are testing positive - COVID and kids: Omicron surge impacts hospitalizations, school safety (usatoday.com

Thanks to supporters like you, BRFC continues to respond to the needs of children in our sphere by providing our regular programming and responding to some unplanned requests. This annual report demonstrates that an international pandemic cannot and will not keep us from doing our part to ensure we serve as many children and their families as our resources will allow.

 

Birthday Parties for Homeless Children 
www.acsatl.org
Through our partnership with the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, we sponsor monthly birthday parties for preschoolers, newborn through 5 years old. We believe that just because children do not have a permanent place to call home, they should not miss out on celebrating themselves with traditional birthday party rituals. The shelter, too, was affected by the pandemic through a reduced number of children enrolled. In early 2020 the numbers decreased from fifty children to an average of twenty-five. Undaunted by this, our foundation made an even greater effort to show love to the children by providing party favors, food, and gifts on a grand scale. By the end of 2021 we supported parties for thirty children with party themes ranging from Black Panther to Frozen. We also provided families of shelter children a Christmas luncheon during their gift shopping experience at the shelter.

 

Circles of Love and Peace (CLAP) Book Club
Children in the metro-Atlanta area are organized in the Circles of Love and Peace (CLAP) Book Clubs to foster their spiritual, intellectual, and physical/behavioral development. This methodology assumes that children are holistic beings who are multidimensional and should be stimulated in a variety of ways. Children, then, are engaged with the understanding that they are multifaceted human beings using literacy activities to support the development of all these dimensions. Our curriculum, based on national school literacy standards, supports the idea that reading, writing, speaking, and listening are tied together as sources to draw on for a child’s intellectual growth and progress. Parent/guardian involvement is required for participation in the program. Experienced staff implementing the program are recruited, selected, and given orientation related to a specific assessment protocol and expected outcomes. The optimum timeline to produce positive outcomes for participants (preferably, 7-11 years old) is a minimum of one hour per week. We also offer E-Coaching (tutoring) for students being challenged in reading on grade level through our partners, “Beyond the Classroom.” In the end, we hope to reduce the rate of the school to prison pipeline by encouraging a love of reading and other communications skills early. 

Led by instructor/facilitator extraordinaire, Rayshana Black, twenty third, fourth and fifth graders participated in the virtual book club in 2021. They read such books as Renee Watson’s “Ways to Grow Love” and “We Are the Water People.” These children enjoyed incentives like movie passes, ROBLOX gaming, and gift cards. During the fall students learned the objectivity and relevance of interconnecting reading with various subject matters, such as engineering, math, art, science, and oral storytelling. These reading lessons were reinforced through communal and individual activities. Assignments and activities were intended to reinforce the themes of peace and love; but most importantly, these activities were designed for students to create their experiences and have opportunities to cultivate their versions of storytelling. Of the four students who requested E-Coaching in reading for the summer, three of them are reading on 6th grade level and one on grade level (5th).

 

James V. Brooks Scholarship Fund
The mission of the James V. Brooks Scholarship Fund is to provide scholarships to graduating seniors in local Duval County (Florida) high schools that intend to be active in music related activities during their higher education tenure and to share the power of music with the community through programs and services. Sadly, the founder of the fund, Ms. Shirley Bing, transitioned in January 2021. In honor and memory of Ms. Bing, the Advisory Board of JVB altered the fund logo to add Shirley’s name as founder on it. The Advisory Board also established the “Crescendo Sustainers Club” in which they are asking supporters to contribute $240 annually by making monthly contributions of $20. To date there are thirteen members.

 

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship
Honoring the inspiration for our foundation, founder of Bethune-Cookman University, and the National Council of Negro Women, this scholarship supports emergency funding for children in state custody, assist with special enrichment activities for them as well as assist foster children who have aged out of the foster care system. Funds are also used to support university students who were previously in foster care in Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Memphis. This fund was most negatively affected by the decrease in donor contributions in 2021 and we were unable to award any scholarships. However, our #GivingTuesday in 2021 targeted the Bethune scholarship and we were able to raise more than five thousand dollars. Thus, in 2022, we expect to award scholarships, thanks to twenty-two donors on November 30, 2021. 

 

Partnerships Activities
GrassRoots Community Foundation (GRCF) www.grassrootscommunityfoundation.org, one of the foundation’s former capacity building organizations, is doing outstanding work in health and wellness programming for girls and women in New Jersey. Due to our longstanding relationship, the foundation benefitted in two ways. We co-sponsored on Saturday, June 26, 2021, a webinar conversation entitled, “Black Love: The Power of Parenting.” Participants were the Founder/President of GRCF, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias; Attorney Alero Afejuku (BRFC); Dr. Ayo Gathing (BRFC) and Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall (Spelman College). The webinar highlighted Dr. Dias’s book, “Parent Like It Matters: How to Raise Joyful Change-Making Girls”, and the ideas expressed in books and articles written about love for children by Attorney Afejuku and Drs. Gathing and Flemming. GRCF also funded a grant for the foundation to support food for a week for a low-income community in Southwest Atlanta (QLS Garden Apartment) in the amount of $10,243. 2021 marked the fourth year GRCF has supported #GiveThanksAtlanta. Volunteers represented Cascade United Methodist Church, GRFC, and QLS Garden. 

We continue to support our partnership with Cascade United Methodist Church’s Financial Literacy in Elementary Schools (FLIES). Established in 2018, classes were offered in 2021 with staff facilitation for 13 fourth graders at Kimberly Elementary School in S.W. Atlanta. Savings accounts were opened for the 13 children and the foundation funded a facilitator for its newly formed “Parents/Caregivers Circle” during the year. Parents expressed their challenges regarding virtual schooling with their children, especially as it regards the technology capacity in their home to support all their children’s needs. The foundation purchased a hotspot for one family in February. With Atlanta CARES Mentoring Movement as fiduciary and the foundation as co-sponsor, the Atlanta Housing Authority awarded a grant of $6,000 for eight weeks to train children whose families were displaced when housing projects were torn down in the Atlanta University Center community. The Rising Young Entrepreneurs Program (RYE) set out to train 5th graders financial literacy with college students as mentors/facilitators from Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College as mentors. The goal of RYE was to teach fifteen fifth graders who live in the University Choice Neighborhood and attend E. Agnes Jones Elementary School about personal finance so they could learn the relationship between education and income, and higher education and sustained employment. To help achieve this goal in this pilot financial literacy class, we provided financial literacy leadership training for five HBCU Rising students in the Atlanta University Center. These university students facilitated the class sessions using The University of Arizona’s “Take Charge Today” curriculum. The internal assessment process indicated proposed goals were obtained and led to the recommendation that additional resources should be brought to bear to continue to develop the eighteen students’ financial literacy trajectory. They received a $50 savings account, a set of books, and a Chromebook. We recommended continued funding through the Atlanta Housing Authority.

More S.U.G.A.R. Inc. (Saying Unforgettable Good Affirmations Regularly), an education and literacy organization founded by Elaine Sugar, produces books for children 5-10 years old approached us in 2021 regarding a partnership. We serve as a source of networking, advocacy, and education for the organization and look forward to supporting their work in literacy and wellness in 2022.

 

Donor's Corner
Nehemiah Davis is an award-winning author, entrepreneur and philanthropist born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At just 30 years of age, his accomplishments to-date exemplifies the defiance of all the odds stacked against him from birth. His father has been in prison since Nehemiah was just 2 years old. Raised in this tough world by his mother and grandmother he endured several challenges that included being kicked out of high school, kicked out of college, and fired from ten jobs. However, at age 21 his life changed for the better and his decision to act resulted in him starting his first business and has dedicated his life to serving others through the Nehemiah Davis Foundation which was started in 2007 by Nehemiah and his mother. To-date the organization has served over 40,000 homeless citizens, senior citizens, and youth all around the world. In addition to traveling to 44 countries, being recognized around the world, Nehemiah’s most recent accomplishments includes receiving the Steve Harvey’s Good Neighbor award for 2016 and receiving the President’s volunteer service award at the White House. Nehemiah also co-founded a movement to help get 60,000 bottles of waters to the citizens in Flint Michigan during their urgent water crisis. He is Founder of the Circle of Greatness Academy for entrepreneurs, through which he donated $2,500.00 to our foundation during the 2021 #GivingTuesday fundraising day, the larger single donor on that day.

 

Donations/Investments
Allene McCollum, Outreach Coordinator for Cascade United Methodist Church for more than thirty-six years designated our foundation as a recipient of a $1500 grant in honor of her retirement from the church. Her passion to help others led her to be a servant leader in God’s vineyard with people needing lifting, especially the homeless. She was a founding supporter of the Metro-Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. Allene’s long-term hard work did not go unnoticed by God’s people. Cascade United Methodist Church received an endowment of $100,000 for the church’s homeless ministry sector in 2018 from the Task Force she helped established and sustain. Proceeds from the endowment are being used to teach Financial Literacy in Elementary Schools (FLIES) to students in Southwest Atlanta. As a sponsor for our new partnership with the South Fulton Arrow Youth Council (GA), we provided $300 for the winners of their literacy contest in February. Because of our sponsorship, students at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels, each received $100 for their winning TikTok presentation of their favorite book.

We received a $5,000.00 grant from Cascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta to support nine children in the Financial Literacy for Elementary Schools (FLIES) third and fourth graders with E-Coaching (tutoring in Reading) at Kimberly Elementary School in S.W. Atlanta. Five of the children were either foster children and/or children of incarcerated parents. At the end of the spring term five students were reading on-level; two below level; and two above level. The foundation provided engagement activities for parents and caregivers using foundation funds.

 

Christmas Smiles
Christmas Smiles
is an annual project of our foundation that assists low-income parents with funds to purchase gifts for children in the Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Memphis areas. In 2021 we were able to place smiles on fifteen children’s faces on Christmas morning with gifts funded through the project. 

 

2021 Financials
2021 Financials were adversely affected by the pandemic with reduced funds and donors
. The most negatively affected programs were the James V. Brooks Scholarship and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship Funds that had less than 35% of income and 50% of donors compared to the 2020 income and donors. The total number of individual donors in 2021 was approximately one hundred fifty and in 2020 there were more than two hundred. Actual data will be reflected in our 2021 990 tax documents by May 2022. In the final analysis, we are committed to continue the mission with programs, advocacy, and services for children in most need in our service areas.

 

BRFC 2021 Supporters & Partners

5 for Lives
Emanuel Abston
Yvonne Acey
Alero Afejuku
Ally Bank
Benevity
Naomi & Cedric Alvarez
Lois Appling
Tracy Atchison
Atlanta Children’s Shelter
Beverly C. Austin
Rachel Berhannan
Richard Blackston
Anjanette Bradley
Cathey Brightman
Darrell Brown
Angela Bryant
Brenda Bryant
Jesse Buggs
Sabrina Carr
Cascade Community Services
Cascade United Methodist Church
Karen Church
Laura Clay
Brenda Coleman
Community Foundation of NE Florida
Mary Ann & Richard Cook
Sallie Shelton
Culver Brian Davis
Nehemiah Davis
Paula Davis
Hortensia Dean
Gail Della-Piana
Natanya Duncan
Stephanie Evans
Rikka Flemming
Sheila Flemming
Tania Francois
Ayo & Jason Gathing
Ann Green
Robert Greene
Tina Hairston
Daisetta Harmon
Shiela Harmon
Robert L. L. Harris, Jr.
Christy Garrison Harrison
Evelyn Higginbotham
Patsy Jo Hilliard
Roselle Gause
Ann Green Shiela Harmon
LaMarian Hayes-Wallace
Sharon Hibbert
Sharon Hill
Linda S. Holmes
Birdine Jackson
Christy Lynn Jackson
Daryl Jackson
Charlie & Irvlyn Kennebrew
Alethia Kirby
Vianna Kirby
Ansley LaMar
Len & Lynn Lempel
Pearl Mackey
Rebecca Marshal
Paul Mattocks
Allene McCollum
Laretta Mitchell
Marquetta Nebo
Doris Orr-Richardson
Iris Raiford
Justine Redding
James H. Salley
Elsie Scott Jeffrie
Scott J. Scott Enterprises, LLC
Fred Seamon
South Fulton Arrow Youth Council
Susan Taylor
Judy Thomas
Janice E. Tucker
Carol Warren
Edward Weston
Ife Williams
LaSonja Williams
Dottye P. Young

 

Board of Directors
Black Rose Foundation for Children, Inc. salutes and expresses the highest appreciation to the members of the Board of Directors for their unselfish support and investment of their time and treasures: Attorney Alero Afejuku, Mr. Richard Blackston, Dr. Ayo Gathing, Dr. Shiela Harmon and Dr. Justine Redding.

 

Contact Us
The Black Rose Foundation For Children, Inc.
P.O. Box 311620
Atlanta, GA 31131
Phone: (888) 530-9401
Email: blackrosefoundation@yahoo.com
Website: www.blackrosefoundation.org