The Herman H. Fleishman Foundation (HHFF) was established in 2013 by the head of the family, Herman H. (Henry) Fleishman, a philanthropist, entrepreneur, and community leader. His goal is to encourage his nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews to become strategic and thoughtful donors, as they represent the Governing Council of the HHFF.
HHFF is committed to helping people reach their highest potential by investing in education to change lives and provide opportunity.
We are very thankful for the support of
The Herman H. Fleishman Foundation. Read on to find out what inspired the involvement of HHFF!
What attracted you to the organization/Why did you get involved?
In 2013, my uncle endowed us with a generous amount of money and charged my generation of our family with coming together and deciding upon a cause that we wanted to support. We were starting at square one, trying to determine the areas where we could really help. Our family split into 4 or 5 social groups and debated the merits of what we wanted to support and what we thought would be effective transformational movements and came up with early childhood education. The past six years have been a learning experience for us. We started granting about five years ago. We spent the first year and half just learning, getting to know the landscape in Texas and nationally and what work foundations or nonprofits were doing. The past two years we have learned and had our own momentum move towards the zero to three space. Both because of what we have learned with brain science and because there are so few federal and national grant dollars going to that space, we thought it was a place where we would want to be - where we would have a real impact. We learned about First3Years before it was First3Years, when it was TAIMH, about five years ago. At the time, we didn't have any family members based in Dallas and it didn't really resonate - we were thinking more towards Pre-K and were also looking more into Houston based organizations. Over time, our own momentum and direction moved internally, and First3Years landed back on our radar. Once we met with Sadie and found her passion so inspiring and the work that yall do so imperative we were so happy to join your efforts.
How does First3Years uniquely contribute to the community?
We have seen several examples of your work, through your webinars and trainings, and we have met several times with Sadie and have learned about the work that yall are doing, what is most recent on your radar and your goals for future work. One of those conversations was about trauma and the support of childcare workers who are helping kids with trauma. That seems to be something we keep hearing over and over again - how destructive trauma is and that there is lot that we can do to intervene. That if we don't intervene it exacerbates the problems for children living in poverty and in at-risk communities. It really magnifies it. There has been a lot of synchronicity with issues we want to know more about and support and the work that only First3Years is doing.
Our foundation does periodic learning days - sometimes it is a site-visit, some days it is having someone come in a share a different perspective or teach us about something that we are particularly interested in in that moment. Our last experience was meeting at the House of Tiny Treasures where Sadie brought in a few people from the Harris Center (for Mental Health and IDD) and we felt like it was so valuable. It is such a necessary gift. We are delighted to push forward what yall are doing, we feel like your work is very unique in the city.
What do you hope the organization will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
We hope you keep momentum going and pushing forward the agenda for zero to three. It is so hard to get funding for this space (from legislature) and zero to three is where it's at. It would be such a disservice for people to overlook that. We hope that you all continue to grow and continue to scale the work that you all are doing and continue to keep zero to three the focus for our comm
unity and the larger community.