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Russell's Name out Lined

Our Founding Story

Our origin story is one of grief harnessed into hope – a story of community coming together to remind us that we don’t need to go through life’s moments alone. Born from real life experiences, Sprout Society was created to make space: space to talk, space to make, space to do and space to be.

The Russell J. Efros Foundation was formed

Russell J. Efros sitting on a chair with his legs crossed wearing all black and white background and his hand on his chin

Following Russell’s passing from fentanyl poisoning, the Efros Family founded an organization to keep Russell’s memory alive through his love of community and collaboration.

June 1, 2018

First Annual Celebration of Life Event

First Annual Celebration of Life Event for Russell J. Efros

Over 600 people came together at the Market Hotel in Brooklyn, NY to celebrate Russell’s life and talents and to raise money to create The RJE Memorial Award Fund at Russell’s alma mater, the School of Visual Arts. The fund supports one film student’s thesis project annually.

September 1, 2018

Established the Sprout Fund

Established the Sprout Fund

The Sprout Fund was established to support creatives to work with audiences and topics relating to mental wellness and community. To date, the Sprout Fund has distributed over $80,000 to individual projects.

April 1, 2021

Launched Sprout Society

The Launch of Sprout Society

The organization launched the Sprout Society initiative to provide zero cost, mental wellness peer support for all who need it based on a need from the community for mental wellness and community resources. After our community expressed a need for mental wellness resources and community, the organization appointed an Executive Director and laid down the foundational principles, structure and strategy for the new organizational initiative to provide zero cost, mental wellness peer support for all who need it. Why Sprout Society? Russell was affectionately known to his friends and family as ‘Russell Sprouts’.

March 1, 2023

Hosted Inaugural Gala

Sprout Society Hosted Inaugural Gala

Our community came together to celebrate the public launch of Sprout Society, raising over $750,000 to power the opening of our first physical site and the launch of our virtual programming.

September 1, 2023

We opened our doors!

Flagship space in Bushwick, Brooklyn - Picture of Snoopy sitting on top of his dog house like he's on a plane

The start of the year was a big for us - the opening of our first physical Sprout Society center! Located in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, the space is open and thriving with community activations and peer group events.

January 1, 2024
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