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Women's Endowment Fund awards a record-breaking $203,000 in grants at annual celebration

Nonprofit consultant Barb Greene honored with 2024 Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women
Keynote speakers and WEF fund leaders
From left to right: Dr. Lindsay Kite, Pamela Kiltau, Dr. Lexie Kite and Judge Joy Malek Oldfield

The Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation announced $203,000 in grants – the largest amount awarded in a single year in the fund's history – to 34 nonprofit organizations serving women and girls. This latest round of grants brings the fund's cumulative grantmaking total to nearly $2.3 million. Fund leaders announced the grants on Thursday, April 18, during the fund's "For Women, Forever" Annual Celebration at House Three Thirty.

"These grants would not have been possible without your generous support and that of our community over the years," said Pamela Kiltau, president of the Women's Endowment Fund.

Several of the nonprofits receiving grants in 2024 were featured in a video about projects the Women's Endowment Fund has supported, including the Maker House, an initiative of the North Hill Community Development Corporation. This year, the Women's Endowment Fund awarded a $5,000 grant to the North Hill CDC to support programming in the Maker House, a women's empowerment space that addresses income and educational disparities for immigrants and refugees by fostering women-owned small businesses.

"Without the Women's Endowment Fund, this space doesn't exist," said Justin Chenault, executive director of the North Hill CDC. "The conversations and work that happen within this space (are) directly impacted by the dollars that we received here."

In addition to the grant announcements, the event featured a keynote presentation from international speakers and best-selling authors Dr. Lindsay Kite and Dr. Lexie Kite. As leading experts in body image resilience and media literacy, Lindsay and Lexie shared insights that can empower women and girls to recognize and reject the harmful effects of objectification in their lives.

Barb Greene speaking on stage
Barb Greene accepts the 2024 Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women

The event culminated with fund leaders presenting the 2024 Judith A. Read Tribute Award for Service & Advocacy for Women to Barb Greene, founder of CommonGood Consulting Inc.

"Barb has a heart for people. She has a heart for causes, and she's willing to use the skills that God has given her to promote those," said Women's Endowment Fund Advisory Board member Pam Valentine, who chaired the Judith A. Read Tribute Award selection committee this year.

The following is a complete list of organizations receiving grants in 2024:

  • ACCESS Inc., to provide safe shelter, food, clothing and hygiene items for women and children who are experiencing homelessness, $10,000
  • Akron Inner City Soccer Club, to increase participation by female players and coaches in a year-round, low-cost soccer program, $5,000
  • Akron Urban League, to support a college and career readiness program for historically marginalized and low-income female students in Summit County, $5,000
  • Alchemy Inc., to continue a group mentoring program at the I Promise School that uses myths and storytelling to help girls understand their personal obstacles and aspirations, $2,500
  • Battered Women's Shelter, to provide protective shelter services for women and children who have been impacted by domestic violence, $10,000
  • Bounce Innovation Hub, to provide affordable business development resources for female entrepreneurs, including a makerspace, software accelerator, and small-business program, $2,500
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, to support a social-emotional learning program for under-resourced adolescent girls in Akron, $5,000
  • CASA Board Volunteer Association, to train volunteers to become effective court advocates for Summit County girls living in foster care, $2,200
  • Community Legal Aid, to provide emergency legal services for low-income women who have experienced domestic violence, $10,000
  • Empower Her Network, to help women who have experienced trafficking become financially independent by removing housing barriers and offering financial education and career guidance, $10,000
  • Family Promise of Summit County, to support the economic empowerment of single mothers without housing through tailored case management services, transportation and child care assistance, and job preparation support, $5,000
  • Forever R Children, to purchase toiletries, personal hygiene items, and household cleaning products for women who are experiencing homelessness or living in poverty, $4,000
  • Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, to support the Girl Scout Journey Program, an after-school program that educates girls in under-resourced schools in STEM, financial literacy and healthy living, $6,500
  • Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to support a running-based program for girls that combines physical activity with discussions about self-confidence, stress management and healthy relationships, $10,000
  • Grace House Akron, to provide end-of-life care and housing for terminally ill women, $2,000
  • Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, to support basic home maintenance trainings that will empower female homeowners to complete essential home repairs, $3,000
  • Harmony House, to provide emergency and transitional housing for single young women who are experiencing housing insecurity, $10,000
  • IBH Addiction Recovery, to provide holistic support for women recovering from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders, $5,000
  • International Soap Box Derby, to support a workshop that introduces girls in fifth through eighth grade to career opportunities in STEM fields, $2,500
  • Legacy III, to support the Pathways to Freedom program, which provides transitional and rapid rehousing services for women experiencing homelessness while recovering from substance use disorders, $8,000
  • Limitless Ambition, to support the Purposely Chosen Teen Enrichment Program, which will equip teen girls with tools to become leaders, discover their passions, and resolve conflict, $5,000
  • North Hill Community Development Corporation, to support the Maker House, a women's empowerment space in North Hill that addresses income and educational disparities for immigrants and refugees by fostering women-owned small businesses, $5,000
  • Not Just October, to provide cancer support services for women diagnosed with breast cancer through the Kim Jacobs Breast Cancer Resource Center, $2,000
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, to support a comprehensive sexual health education program for high school students in Summit County, $10,000
  • Proyecto Raices, to provide Hispanic women living at or below the federal poverty line with business development training to increase their earning potential, $6,300
  • RAHAB Ministries, to support a trauma-informed retreat for women who have experienced sex trafficking, $5,000
  • Rape Crisis Center, to support 24/7 crisis intervention services for women and girls impacted by sexual violence or abuse, $10,000
  • Stewart's Caring Place, to provide support services and wellness programs for women impacted by cancer, $3,500
  • Students With A Goal, to support The Girl Circle, a weekly mentor-led reading circle that fosters literacy and self-confidence in adolescent girls, $2,500
  • Summit Artspace, to provide entrepreneurship coaching for female artists in Summit County who are seeking to establish or grow an arts business, $5,000
  • VANTAGE Aging, to provide in-home, nonmedical care services for older women who are not eligible for Medicaid, allowing them to remain at home as they age, $10,000
  • Victim Assistance Program, to provide trauma-informed advocacy services for women who have been impacted by domestic violence, $8,000
  • Victory Gallop, to support an equine therapy program for adolescent girls with behavioral challenges or life-threatening illnesses, $2,500
  • The Well CDC, to provide trauma-informed job training and individual counseling sessions for women in the Middlebury neighborhood, $10,000

About the Women's Endowment Fund
The Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation was established in 1993 as a permanent endowment committed to encouraging the advancement of women and girls in Summit County. To date, it has grown to nearly $5 million and awarded $2.3 million in grants. Contributions of any amount are welcome and can be made online at or mailed to Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation, 345 W. Cedar St., Akron, OH 44307. For more information, call 330-376-8522 or visit

About Akron Community Foundation
For 68 years, Akron Community Foundation has been our community's champion and generator of enduring philanthropy. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of approximately $290 million with a growing family of more than 870 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded nearly $236 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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