Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 17
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
The power of people in numbers was evident at this year’s Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County award ceremony. On June 27, the Women’s Fund awarded $80,000 to six local nonprofit organizations.
Members of the Women’s Fund and representatives from the nonprofits mingled at the Historic Santa Maria Inn, enjoying delicious appetizers and good company.
The gathering also featured a check presentation to each of the nonprofits, along with an introductory speech from the Women’s Fund chair, Jessica Mills. Representatives from the local nonprofits also had a chance to speak.
The Women’s Fund partners with the Santa Barbara Foundation, which acts as fiscal agent, provides staff support for the fund, and covers administrative costs.
According to Santa Barbara Foundation spokesperson Jessica Tade, in the last five years the Women’s Fund has donated $529,500 to 26 local nonprofits.
This year’s recipients included Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) and the Alzheimer’s Association, both of which received awards of $20,000. According to Tade, CALM will be using the award for its Great Beginnings program, which provides prevention and early intervention services, as well as at home services for at-risk women and youth. The Alzheimer’s Association will put its money toward education and training for Alzheimer’s caregivers.
Community Partners in Caring and Planned Parenthood were awarded $10,000, while VTC Enterprise and Valley Haven were awarded $10,000 each in capital grants. According to Tade, capital grants are used to maintain, improve, or expand building infrastructure.
To decide on award recipients, each year the Women’s Fund puts together a research committee made up of members who visit nonprofits, learn about what they are doing, and determine their needs. From that point, they create a ballot and each member of the Women’s Fund votes. Tade said the process is very democratic.
The Women’s Fund started in 2007 with just 16 women who wanted to make a bigger impact in the community by helping women, children, and families. Now with more than 200 members, the Women’s Fund has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to necessary local nonprofits.
“Being part of a giving circle is great,” Tade said. “You can learn about your community, you can grow your philanthropy, and get involved with women that really care about the community.”
Staff Writer Kristina Sewell composed this week’s Community Corner. Contact her at email@example.com.
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