By Tim Saunders on
Former talk show host Jenny Jones is giving away another $1 million to community heroes.
Jones gave away $1 million last year through her Jenny's Heroes program to individuals who submitted the best ideas for tangible, lasting community projects chosen for their significant long-term benefits. Among them were ordinary people doing extraordinary things for their communities, such as Dee Wild – who was awarded $7000 by Jenny’s Heroes to buy 15 new ham radios for her fellow volunteer search and rescue K9 handlers – and Rabbi Merrill Shapiro of the Flager County Cold Weather Shelter Coalition, who was awarded $3000 for a new computer printer, a year of high-speed internet access, and warm clothing.
Jenny’s Heroes looks for specific ideas where they can purchase, repair, upgrade, provide equipment, or otherwise make improvements to benefit the community. Grants of up to $25,000 are made for individual projects.
“The Hero does not benefit, they are all doing this for other people in the community, and that’s why they are Heroes,” Jones told Look To The Stars. “The money goes to the store or to the supplier or if someone is installing stuff – we pay him or her directly. For instance, I have a great relationship with Best Buy, among others. If a Hero is awarded a grant and they call me from Best Buy, I’ll give the store manager my credit card to pay for the items. I make the purchases to the point where I have to be by the phone almost all the time. I am 100% hands on. Between reading the applications, personally updating the website and communicating with the Heroes.”
Jenny Jones is certainly no stranger to philanthropy. The Jenny Jones Foundation was established in 2005 as a means to provide assistance to those in need. Primary areas of focus are education, women’s health, and improving communities throughout the country. She has donated heavily to breast cancer research – 100% of the proceeds from her 1997 autobiography went to the cause – and to education for the disadvantaged. She also donated the proceeds from her cookbook, Look Good Feel Great, to breast cancer research at City of Hope. She unveiled Jenny’s Heroes in 2008.
“I didn’t know what to expect!” she said. “I know the Internet is so vast and there are so many people out there and I thought ‘is anybody even going to know this is here’ and ‘what if I get no responses’ but now I’m at the point where I can’t even keep count of how many applications I have, and I read them all. It’s really, really been great.”
Jenny Jones is currently searching for more Heroes. If you or someone you know is trying to improve your community and create a positive lasting impact on humanity, please visit Jenny’s Heroes website to learn more about the Hero grants. To read Look To The Stars’ exclusive interview with Jenny, click here.
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