The Room to Grow Foundation provides a network of support to shorten the lifelong, educational achievement gap that is prominent among families living on or below the poverty line.
Room to Grow strives to ensure a healthy and secure start in life for babies who may not already have access to that. The Room to Grow 20th annual Spring fundraiser, held Wednesday, April 11th at The Lighthouse in New York City raised over $600,000 and recognized and celebrated remarkable Room to Grow families who shared their experiences of participating in their program. Funds were raised through a silent auction, where items, as well as experiences, were offered. These ranged from cooking classes at Sur La table valued at $285 to Handbags by Tod’s, wine from Farm Winery, organic yoga mats, among many other items.
Founding Board Member Uma Thurman and Founder Julie Burns served as the Honorary Benefit Chairs at this annual extravaganza. We were fortunate to speak to Uma Thurman about the organization, her involvement and its future plans.
The Knockturnal: Tell me about why you initially became involved?
Uma Thurman: Well, I had the good fortune of being housemates with Julie, when Julie was Julie Brown before she was Julie Burns. She was creating this organization herself, you know, out of her own apartment. I was about to have my first child, when she asked me to get involved and come on board, the mission of this organization made total sense to me. Having a child is challenging enough, to face the reality with no financial support and in fact, living below or on the poverty line is breathtaking to me. I think the most recent statistic, I was given tonight, It has varied over the years I have been involved in the organization is up to 27% of babies being born on or below the poverty line in our communities. Those families and children, deserve and need all the support they can get and have an equal chance in life.
The Knockturnal: What are you most proud of?
Uma Thurman: I am most proud of the organization for surviving and for getting stronger and for the enormous hard work done by the administrators, the social workers and the families themselves that have gone through the room to grow program, creating better lives for their children, which we are going to hear more about tonight. The will to improve things for the next generation is probably the best instinct a person can have.
The Knockturnal: What are your goals ahead?
My goals ahead are to see this organization become nationwide, it is what we have always wanted. Perhaps, one day will be true and I think this organization has the capacity to be a real advocate for children and families struggling to have an equal chance in the world with less resources.
Room to Grow is a holistic and unique three-year program that offers structured coaching, material goods and community connections to foster the healthy growth of children from the start. Through expanding their knowledge and activating their natural strengths, parents are able to effectively pass on this knowledge and shape the best possible future for their child.
This classy evening with the backdrop of the manhattan sunset, a beautiful dinner, an array of amazing items on auction with a room full of people with influence and power, assembled together with one common mission to give our children of today a better tomorrow.