Nicholas Kristof’s 2021 Holiday Impact Prize
Thank you to all the donors who contributed to Nick Kristof’s 2021 Holiday Impact Prize, which awarded an astounding $5.8 million to three nonprofit organizations and connected nearly 1,000 volunteers to two more. You can still read Nick Kristof’s 2021 column and support the 2021 honorees by following the “Learn More” links below.
Restore Sight and Transform Lives
The World Health Organization has stated that restoring sight is one of the most cost-effective interventions to reduce poverty. Seva Foundation is a global non-profit organization that works with local communities to develop self-sustaining programs that preserve and restore sight in areas with little to no access to eye care services. Since 1978, Seva has provided surgeries, eyeglasses, medicine, and other vital eye care services to over 46 million people in more than 20 countries, with a focus on women, children, and indigenous populations, including Native Americans in the U.S.
More than half the world’s blindness is caused by cataracts, a condition that can be reversed through a simple 15-minute procedure. Seva has reduced its average program cost of cataract surgery to just $50–including both materials and surgical staff required. Restoring one person’s sight gives two people their lives back: the person who was blind and their caregiver. When more people are able to lead healthy, productive lives, entire communities have a chance at a better future.
Holiday Impact Prize contributions funded over 46,600 sight-restoring interventions, including 6,030 sight-saving surgeries, 26,880 pairs of glasses, and 13,700 non-surgical sight-saving interventions. This life-changing eye care reached adults and children in Tanzania, Burundi, Benin, Pakistan, Cambodia, India, Guatemala, and Mexico.
Empower Survivors of Sexual Violence
Panzi treats thousands of women every year who have been raped as a result of the ongoing conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Denis Mukwege, an OBGYN, founded Panzi in 1999 to provide pregnant women with a safe place to deliver their babies. Many of his first patients, however, were not soon-to-be mothers, but instead women and girls who had been brutally raped by armed militias. To help them rebuild their lives, Panzi developed an innovative holistic healing model that combined medical treatment with therapy, legal services, and job-skills training.
Panzi has served more than 85,000 women and girls suffering from rape- or birth-related complications. It has earned a global reputation of excellence for treatment of sexual violence, and as a place where patients and victims transform into survivors.
Funds raised via the Holiday Impact Prize helped Panzi expand access to compassionate, holistic care to survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo through the Prize. More than 800 women and girls received medical treatment, therapy, job-skills training, and access to legal services–empowering them to not only survive, but to thrive.
The Right Career Changes Everything
Across the country, millions of people in major metropolitan areas have at least a high school diploma but earn less than $25,000 a year. Yet, those same areas are home to 2.4 million well-paying tech jobs, many of which are unfilled.
Per Scholas, a national non-profit, prepares individuals traditionally underrepresented in the tech industry to work in high growth careers by offering tuition-free training in 15 weeks or less. Learners can choose from a variety of courses designed in concert with employer partners to match hiring needs. Tuition-free training combines business professional skills development with hands-on technical instruction, offering nationally recognized certifications and exams at no extra cost. Per Scholas provides continued upskilling and career coaching for up to two years to all alumni after graduation.
The Holiday Impact Prize supported more than 3,000 learners with everything they needed to advance their tech careers, including laptops, textbooks, lab supplies, certification costs, wealth and wellness workshops, professional development training, financial coaching, and mock interviews.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
Restore Sight and Transform Lives
For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has been making meaningful, professionally-supported matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and youth (“Littles”), ages five through young adulthood nationwide. These positive one-to-one mentoring relationships have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people, helping them achieve higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships.
Professional staff from the organization carefully build and support each match, striving for connections that are not only safe and well suited to each Little’s needs, but also harmonious and built to last. As a result, Littles are empowered to ignite their potential as they grow in their self-esteem, earn better grades, and develop a lifelong friendship with their Big.
When you volunteer with or donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters, you are empowering a young person’s potential. Every contribution has a positive impact on the lives of young people in your community, and communities across the country.
Unlock Limitless Potential Through Reading
When students read on grade level by fourth grade, they become well-positioned to graduate from high school and access higher education. Reading Partners, a national non-profit, mobilizes community volunteers to provide students with one-on-one tutoring sessions, either in person or online, to help them achieve grade-level reading by fourth grade using a proven, individualized approach.
Over the past 22 years, Reading Partners has delivered more than 2.3 million tutoring sessions to nearly 70,000 K-5 students. During the 2020-21 school year, Reading Partners delivered 110,914 tutoring sessions with 94 percent of sessions carried out online. And despite educational disruptions due to the pandemic, more than three quarters of all Reading Partners students met or exceeded their primary literacy growth goal.
Volunteers empower students facing economic hardships and/or systemic racial injustice to build a strong academic base, setting them up for future success. Become a volunteer or donate to help students unlock their limitless potential.
Focusing Philanthropy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that believes donations should be made with the same level of strategic intent, information, and confidence as other investments. The organization targets serious human challenges that individual donors can successfully address, chooses tactics that are demonstrably effective, identifies confidence-inspiring implementing partners, conducts ongoing monitoring, and assures substantive reporting. These services are provided free to both donors and partners in an effort to scale interventions that work. Donations are fully tax deductible, and Focusing Philanthropy covers all administrative costs and replenishes credit card transaction fees so that 100% of funds contributed go to implementing partners.