AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!
Full Circle News:
The Power of One ... Multiplied by Many
2017 Annual Grants Showcase
At the September 19 Grants Showcase, AAWGT members and guests learned first-hand how the grants awarded in 2016, totaling more than $100,000, directly impacted the lives of women, children, and families in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Professional staff from each of the eight agencies receiving grants shared specifics of their projects and of the clients who benefited from the work the grant funded.
In addition, the 2017-2018 Grantees were announced and introduced. Eight agencies received grants from the largest grant pool AAWGT has funded in its nearly 11 years. CASA, Green Summer Works, HOPE for All, Planned Parenthood, and the YWCA, each received $20,000. Arundel Lodge, Creating Communities, and STAIR were awarded $5000-$10,000+ each.
October Education Session: Domestic Violence
Moderator Nancy Davis introduced guest panelists Rae Leonard, Abuse and Domestic Violence Coordinator at AAMC; Wes Adams, States Attorney of AACo; and Molly Knipe, Executive Director of the YWCA. The audience learned about new protocols for early detection in the medical community, recent changes in the legal system to increase victims’ rights and protection, and the comprehensive services available in our county.
From a meager beginning in a basement to a warehouse that stretches a full city block,today serves 600-800 people a year, providing basic needs like home furnishings, clothing, school supplies, plus household and personal care items. While most items are donated, some have to be purchased.
In addition to donations from individuals, corporations, churches, school groups, and others, HOPE for All holds a public yard sale at the warehouse in Glen Burnie on the second Saturday of each month. Proceeds account for 12% of their budget.
As part of its effort to see grantees in action,15 members visited the headquarters of HOPE for All in October. Leo Zerhusen, founder and executive director, greeted the group and gave a brief history of the 11-year-old program before showing the group around the enormous (and meticulously organized) warehouse. he introduced the staff and volunteers on hand.
Leo’s dedication to the mission of HOPE for All is inspiring. When asked how their AAWGT grant helped them make the impact they do, Leo responded that our grant is one of a very few that provides operational funding for the warehouse, deliveries, and transportation.
With fewer than five paid staff, HOPE for All depends on volunteers to help sort, label, and organize the donations. Last year volunteers put in more than 15,000 hours. The organization also works with schools and other not-for-profit groups to prepare more than 300 weekend lunches for students in two area elementary schools. And they could always use more volunteers!
The very inspiring Grantee Showcase in September and the October education session on the critical issue of domestic violence show two sides of the work AAWGT does in our county. The Grantee Showcase illustrates the concrete ways our collective giving is creating change and improving outcomes. And the education session focuses on how much work remains to be done to ensure safety and stability in the lives of women and families in the county.
As we move into the organization’s second decade, we continue to expand our membership and our resources. We currently have 205 active members with 17 new members joining this year. If you haven’t renewed your membership, please take a moment to do so. Every member is valued and needed!
This year our grants pool was the largest in our history - $111,000, which was awarded to eight outstanding non-profits. We look forward to an even larger pool for next year. Our endowment funds (including Lifetime Memberships) stand at $190,000! To all those who have given to the endowment fund, we salute your generosity and commitment to ensuring that our grants pool grows each year and the legacy of this organization is alive for many years to come.
We also want to recognize and thank the many AAWGT members who have contributed hundreds of hours already this year so that our organization operates smoothly and professionally. We are so lucky to have a steering committee whose members give of their time so generously.
We’ve just launched a new service project that offers members an opportunity to become more deeply involved in meeting the needs of our 2016 and 2017 grantees. Wish List 2017 includes lists of needed supplies, equipment, and volunteers (including board members, mentors, etc.). Please choose a non-profit and see how you can help!
The November 8 business meeting for members is one you shouldn’t miss. We’ll announce the new slate of officers and committee chairs / assistant chairs for 2018, provide more details about the new 2-year Momentum Grant to be offered for the first time next year, and give everyone an opportunity to share ideas about how to continue to build this wonderful organization.
Linda Eggbeer, President
Betsy Chotin, Vice-President and President-Elect