AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!
The 2019 Annual Grants Voting Meeting, held May 8 at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, has always attracted a sizeable group of engaged and inspired members, and this year was no exception. The tradition of gathering members to choose the next group of grantee organizations is an exciting demonstration of collective giving in action. As an increasing number of members take advantage of early online voting, we continue to see record voter turnout, and to celebrate the importance of each individual’s role in choosing how to disburse our combined contributions.
As volunteers helped calculate the final tally for 12 organizations, members also learned more about the ongoing research that guides AAWGT in identifying the most critical needs in the community. Guest speaker Mary Spencer, recently appointed President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, provided an overview of the foundation and its bi-annual publication of “Poverty Amidst Plenty” which surveys major social needs among area families. She pointed out that philanthropy can do much to help low-income women and their families overcome inequalities in health care, education and opportunity-disadvantages that can trap them in poverty.
The total amount of grants to be awarded though the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County is $112,778. The Grantees included the second year for our two-year Momentum Grant to STAIR-Annapolis for $20,000 following their demonstration of successful progress toward program/project objectives, plus six additional grantees whose efforts are described below.
Momentum Grant—Two-year grant for $20,000 each year
STAIR–Annapolis: Start The Adventure In Reading - $20,000/$20,000
Providing cost-free tutoring for second graders in low-income areas so that 75% of them are reading at or above grade level by school-year’s end. A summer Reader’s Theater program for 6-to-12-year-old children that is designed to maintain skills operates at two community centers. In 2019, STAIR plans to increase the number served from 78 children to 90 to 100 at 12 sites. This is the second year of this grant.
Creating Communities: Youth Programs - $20,000
Offering arts experiences for 850 low-income children after school and in the summer and supporting teachers to add more art approaches for their students. Four programs will be partially funded — (1) Arts Mentorship Academy; (2) Arts Ambassadors for students from Georgetown East Elementary School; (3) Tuesday Afternoon Learning Experience (TALE) and Wednesday After-School Arts Club; and (4) In-School Residencies to allow artists to collaborate with teachers in public schools county-wide.
Providing emergency shelter, transitional housing and education for 18-26 adults as they rebuild their lives with compassion as they move toward employment and self-sufficiency. Assistance is focused on effective parenting, financial literacy, employment readiness and counseling is also offered as necessary.
Organization of Hispanic/Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County (no website): Bridge the Gap - $5,000
Partially funding an Office Manager position to supervise volunteers. This office provides pro-bono services to help Hispanic immigrants as they apply for various programs (such as food stamps and medical care) and with various legal issues (such as landlord-tenant issues). Translation services are also offered.
Providing free home repairs for single low-income elderly women so that they can remain safely in their homes and communities. Our last $20,00 grant to Rebuilding Together made it possible to complete $143,000 worth of repairs.
Offering social and legal services for immigrant Anne Arundel County survivors who have fled or been a victim of domestic violence. The Center is headquartered in Baltimore; transportation may also be provided when necessary.
Delivering 42 weeks of discussion-based educational programming for 200 women incarcerated in the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women in Anne Arundel County. Program develops life and work skills and promotes healthy decision-making and parenting that reduce recidivism.
Upcoming events our members are engaged in. We invite others to join AAWGT to participate with us.