Women’s Fund continues to help and empower

Womens Fund

In honor of Mother’s Day, The Women’s Fund has kicked off a campaign to continue raising money for females in need.

Information cards printed for the campaign urge, “Honor a special woman in your life.”

They remind the philanthropic, “Mother’s Day is May 10. Give a gift that lasts forever.”

That eternal benefit is empowering and inspiring women and girls by supporting programs that change their lives. Through The Women’s Fund, started in 2012, organizations receive money, then offer assistance.

The organizations — including Women Supporting Women, Life Crisis and Diakonia in West Ocean City – extend skills  including learning to handling finances, getting  therapy and support after breast cancer treatment, being able to furnish a house, knowing how to behave  in emergencies and living independently after leaving an abusive relationship.

The fund grew out of the Community Foundation, after discussion of starting a women’s giving circle.

“We had been talking about it. We wanted to meet women’s needs, and a lot of them weren’t directly being addressed by other organizations,” said B.J. Summers, director of development and philanthropic services at The Community Foundation.

Within the first week of discussing the fund, to help those in the tri-county area, $20,000 was raised and, within four years, $76,000.

In addition, emergency funding is given for situations including heat and tuition.

Women who need help can call the Community Foundation, a public foundation that houses 632 unique funds, including more than 100 scholarships.

“Mother’s  Day is “a good time to give any amount. This was a general appeal to the community,” said Stephanie Willey, chairwoman of The Women’s Fund.

Those who want to help can become visionaries by donating $1,000 or a Friend of the Women’s Fund by giving any amount. See womensfundeasternshore.org.

So far, there are 164 visionaries, and more are needed, Willey said.

Since 2012, the Women’s Fund has granted more than $76,500 to 20 local nonprofit organizations, Willey said, praising power of collective philanthropy.

“Members work together to help change the lives of local women and girls.  More than 150 women have awarded 21 grants to local nonprofit organizations that provide valuable support, programs and resources for women and girls on the Lower Eastern Shore,” Willey  said.

“By pooling our financial resources, we increase the impact of local programs serving girls in foster care, mothers in crisis, young women seeking job readiness or leadership skills, and others who need a hand,” she  said.

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