Starting in 2003, Ahndrea L. Blue founded Making A Difference Foundation with the core value that everyone has the capacity to serve and make a difference in someone’s life. The organization started by providing scholarships to individuals obtaining higher education and funding for third world humanitarian missions that includes programs in South Africa, Peru, and currently Haiti. Inspired by her mission trip to Peru, Ahndrea started MADF’s first program the Joy Box Ministry and individual package each box with 5 gifts and 5 personalize letter to someone going through hardship.
MADF moved into direct service to address local needs in the Puget Sound region with the opening of Eloise’s Cooking Pot Food Bank in 2009. The food bank is named after the founder’s grandmother, a woman of humble means who would give generously and share whatever food she had by providing a hot meal to anyone who was lacking. ECP Food Bank specifically services East Tacoma residents by providing them with fresh produce and foodstuffs, household cleaning products, baby food, and pet food. As well as office a home delivery option for seniors and disabled individuals. Over that past 7 years, the food bank regularly serve 10,000 and distribute 150,000 pounds of food a month.
With the rising rate of homeless veterans, the Homes for Veteran program was launched in 2012 when the first veteran was placed in subsidized rental housing. Foundation’s experience assisting 60 other veterans with temporary apartment housing led to many lessons and an even greater level of compassion for our nations veterans. 52 of the 60 (87%) veterans were able to sustain their living arrangement; however, the lack of appropriate screening and failure to establish on going connections with other service providers presented challenges. Evaluation of the program strengths and weaknesses, led MADF to improve the program to address these barriers and to help veterans with their deepest desire, the ability to shift into homeownership. Given the new direction, the homes were acquired by the foundations and are maintained by the foundation through generous private donations. In addition to securing the homes, MADF has created a funding strategy to assist with the assessment, move in, home improvement and referral support required for veteran families to occupy.