Press

The Rumphius Foundation's grants are making a change in small but meaningful ways. Here are some articles by Inside Philanthropy:

Small but meaningful

Grants for conservation

Press releases

Spring 2014

Fall 2015

Summer 2016

Project updates

Project One: The Telling Room and Cultivating Community (Portland, ME)

In this project, over the course of 12 weeks teens from Portland, Maine's immigrant and refugee community developed gardening skills, delivered food to their community members, and wrote reflectively about the deeper role of food in their lives. Each week, students cooked a different dish sourced from the program gardens, and delivered the meals to senior citizens in the community. Additionally, the Telling Room staff worked with the teens to write personal narratives of their past experiences and their future as part of the Portland community. At the conclusion of the program, these narratives were published in a book that was presented at a final meal prepared by the participants at a local café. This project exemplifies the Rumphius Foundation's goals of teaching young people to “do good well” and the importance of giving back to their community, and we are honored to have been a part of it in some small way!

Students working in the garden Students presenting their work Students sharing meal with the community, cooked with ingredients from their garden

Pictures courtesy of The Telling Room


Project Two: St. Andrew's School Greenhouse and Organic Garden (Middletown, DE)

The original proposal for this project as reported in our newsletter earlier this year was to build a hoop house that would extend the growing season for St. Andrew's organic garden (which was developed in part by Mike and is managed by faculty and students). However, we are delighted to report that our grant ultimately helped St. Andrew's build a full year-round greenhouse to benefit not only the faculty and students, but also the many summer programs hosted at St. Andrew’s! Not only did students help build this greenhouse, having the greenhouse will also increase student involvement in the organic gardening program at St. Andrew's by extending the season for produce. This was one of the last projects Mike worked on at St. Andrew's, where he lived and worked, and we know how proud he would be to see his dream become a reality.

Students building the greenhouse during Halloween Students building the greenhouse during Halloween

Pictures courtesy of Susan Kemer, St. Andrew's School


Spring 2014 Newsletter

The Rumphius Foundation was founded in March 2013 by Michael C. Schuller and his family. As we pass the one-year anniversary of Mike’s death, we are pleased to report that Mike’s commitment to leaving the world a kinder and more beautiful place is thriving--because of donors like you. We are excited to report on the 2014 grants given by The Rumphius Foundation.

Picture of Mike sailingMike always walked the talk. He was committed to sustainability, environmental protection, and outreach in his communities. He expressed his passion through organizations such as Friends of Acadia, Clean the Bay, United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Habitat for Humanity. Mike spearheaded the construction of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold building at St. Andrew’s School, reforested fields, and advocated for solar energy. Mike never took a walk without stooping to pick up any litter he spied in his path. He was also known for his random acts of kindness to others, as well as his belief in seizing life and making the most of every day. The Rumphius Foundation is committed to continuing Mike’s good work and honoring his legacy.

We are now in our inaugural giving year. The Rumphius Foundation is proud to give to two important projects, both of which we believe exemplify our mission to leave the world a more beautiful place, in small, but meaningful ways. We think the creativity, purpose, and spirit behind these projects would make Mike proud.


Project One:


The Rumphius Foundation is pleased to fund a project with the Telling Room in Portland, Maine (www.tellingroom.org) in which teens from Portland’s immigrant and refugee community will have the opportunity to develop literacy, farming, and culinary skills. In conjunction with Cultivating Community ( www.cultivatingcommunity.org), the Telling Room will run a 12-week program in which immigrant teens, primarily from East Africa and Central America, will have the opportunity to learn about gardening in urban gardens and a suburban organic farm, nutrition and culinary arts, food justice, and how to work together to strengthen their communities. Each week, students will cook a different dish sourced from the program gardens, and deliver the meals to senior citizens in the community. Additionally, the Telling Room staff will work with the teens to write personal narratives of their past experiences and their future as part of the Portland community. At the conclusion of the program, these narratives will be published in a book to be presented at a final meal prepared by the participants at a local café. Further, the participants will have developed a resume featuring their new skills, and receive career-oriented support as they move forward. This program exemplifies the Rumphius goals of teaching young people to “do good well,” and the importance of giving back to their community.

Project Two:

As a founding member of the Delaware Farm-to-School Collaborative, Mike was passionate about connecting schools with locally grown produce. At St. Andrew’s School, where he lived and worked, Mike was dedicated to the development of an organic garden managed by students. One of the last projects Mike worked on at St. Andrew’s was a student-led initiative to extend the growing season of the organic garden to better align with the school year and, in so doing, allowing time for more students to work in the garden and learn about sustainable agriculture and food systems. The Rumphius Foundation feels that Mike would wish to see that project come to fruition. It is our pleasure to provide St. Andrew’s School with a grant for the purpose of installing a 20 x 48-foot long tunnel hoop house to extend the growing season of the organic garden by two months. With this tunnel hoop house, it is estimated that the school can grow as many as 3,000 heads of lettuce per year to benefit not only the faculty and students, but also the many summer programs hosted at St. Andrew’s. Having a hoop house will also increase student involvement in the organic gardening program, allowing an additional 10 to 15 students to work in the organic garden each year by extending the season for produce. This project will be completed in the fall of 2014.

Picture of tunnel hoop house Picture of tunnel hoop house with students


You can track the progress of these two exciting new projects, submit grant proposals, and make donations on our website at www.rumphiusfoundation.org.

The Schuller family wishes to express our gratitude to you for supporting Mike’s dreams. We are committed to growing the Rumphius Foundation so that Mike’s mission will live on.

Wishing you health and happiness in 2014,

Candy, Carrie, Amy, Megan, and Casey Schuller