Drupal Association members fund grants that make connections all over the world.
Drupalsites.net (http://www.drupalsites.net) is celebrating 7 years online. It has grown from a small list of sites into an impressive Drupal showcase featuring over 4100 websites as of today (and historical count close to 8000 submits). Currently Drupalsites.net, the first and the largest Drupal showcase featuring Drupal-based site of all shapes and sizes, from blogs to portals, from portfolios to online store.
A bit more history is in my blog post: http://www.drupalsites.net/blog/best-drupal-sites-showcase-7-years-online