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Women's Endowment Fund announces more than $200K in grants

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The Women's Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation has approved $204,000 in grants to 34 nonprofits, bringing the fund's cumulative grantmaking total to more than $1.9 million. Fund officials announced these grants yesterday during its "For Women, Forever" annual dinner that was presented virtually to an audience of 400 community leaders.

In addition to the grant announcement, the virtual annual dinner featured a keynote address from Julie Boland, US Chair and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner - Elect and US-Central Region Vice Chair, Ernst & Young LLP. The Women's Endowment Fund also celebrated this year's Judith A. Read Tribute Award recipient, Dr. Sandy Auburn.

Among this year's funding priorities were economic empowerment, health and wellness, and safety from violence for local women and girls.

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio received $6,500 from the fund this year to provide after-school educational opportunities for girls in Akron Public Schools.

"Because of (the Women's Endowment Fund's) support, we're able to bring the Girl Scout leadership experience to girls in a lot of areas that might not have a traditional troop to join," said Jane Christyson, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, during the virtual event. 

"Summit County is filled with incredible organizations addressing the unique challenges women and girls face in their daily lives," said Laura DiCola, advisory board president of the Women's Endowment Fund. "Our fund is proud to support the work of these 34 outstanding organizations that are making our community a better place for all of us by improving the lives of local women and girls."

The following organizations are receiving grants in 2022:

  • ACCESS Inc., for the Women & Children in Crisis Program, which provides holistic services for women and children in the shelter, including clothing and hygiene materials, life skills training, and physical and mental health support, $10,000
  • Akron Municipal Court, to purchase self-help and nonfiction books for Peace of Mind, a probation program for female offenders, $2,000
  • Battered Women's Shelter, to provide protective shelter services for victims of domestic violence and their children, $13,000
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, for SMART Girls, which provides health, fitness and self-esteem programs for girls in Summit County, $5,000
  • CASA Board Volunteer Association, to provide sexual development education and period supplies for girls in the foster care system, $2,000
  • Cleveland Clinic Akron General, to support nurses with education, mental health and wellness resources to best care for trauma victims, $6,000
  • Community Legal Aid Services, to provide emergency legal services to low-income survivors of domestic violence and stalking, $10,000
  • Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, to support equitable access to healthy foods and community spaces for Summit County WIC recipients, $9,000
  • First Glance Student Center, to support The Connect, an educational program for young moms and their families, $2,000
  • Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, to provide after-school educational opportunities for girls in Akron Public Schools, $6,500
  • Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to support the physical, social and emotional well-being of girls in Summit County through running, $10,000
  • Global Ties Akron, working with Shanti Community Farms and the Himalayan Arts, Language and Cultural Academy, provide handicraft workshops and teach entrepreneurial skills to women and girls from refugee and immigrant communities in Akron, $7,500
  • Grace House Akron, to provide sleepwear, personal care and hygiene items to terminally ill women, $2,545
  • Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samittee, to provide training to women with sewing skills for increased economic opportunities, $5,000
  • Gum-Dip Theatre, to support a theater workshop for girls in North Hill, $5,000
  • HFLA of Northeast Ohio, to provide interest-free loans to individuals without access to fair financial resources, $2,500
  • H.M. Life Opportunity Services, to provide life skills programming and recovery coaching for previously homeless mothers recovering from addiction, $5,000
  • International Soap Box Derby, for Girls Racing to STEM Careers, a program for 80 girls in grades 5-8 to explore Derby Downs and engage in unique STEM activities, $5,000
  • Limitless Ambition, to empower girls at Jennings Middle School and North High School to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals, $5,000
  • North Hill Community Development Corporation, for the creation of immigrant women-owned cooperatives at the Maker House, $7,500
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, to support a comprehensive, evidence-based and LGBTQ-inclusive sexual health education curriculum for students in Summit County, $10,000
  • Proyecto RAICES, to support Hispanic women through business development trainings that help them market traditional foods, $5,000
  • Rape Crisis Center, to support crisis intervention services for women impacted by sexual violence, $10,000
  • Rebuilding Together Northeast Ohio, to support She Builds 2022, which provides repairs on women-headed households and women-focused community spaces, $7,500
  • RePlay for Kids, to promote an interest in STEM careers for female students through toy adaptation workshops, $1,955
  • Springfield Local School District, to implement the Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) empowerment program, which equips girls to navigate the challenges they face during adolescence, $5,000
  • Stewart's Caring Place, to provide wellness services to women experiencing cancer, $2,500
  • Stow-Munroe Falls City School District, to implement the Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) empowerment program, which equips girls to navigate the challenges they face during adolescence, $4,000
  • United Way of Summit & Medina, to provide no-cost financial services to women through the Akron Financial Empowerment Center, $5,000
  • VANTAGE Aging, for the Home Wellness Solutions Program, which provides services to help older low-income women not eligible for Medicaid to remain in their own homes and age in place through evidence-based assessments and prevention programming, $7,500
  • Victim Assistance Program, to support crisis intervention and advocacy for survivors of crime and trauma, $7,500
  • Victory Gallop, to support an equine therapy program for adolescent girls with behavioral challenges or life-threatening illnesses, $2,500
  • The Well Community Development Corporation, to remove the barriers to economic mobility for women, $10,000
  • Women's Network Inc., for the creation of a Greater Akron women-owned business list to enable visibility, support and outreach, $5,000

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 more than $1.9 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
Celebrating 66 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $300 million with a growing family of more than 780 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 $206 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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