Women's Endowment Fund awards record $200,004 to programs for women and girls
Among this year's funding priorities were health and wellness, safety from violence, and economic empowerment for local women and girls.
Several grants this year supported programs that uplift communities of color, including a $10,000 grant to North Hill Community Development Corporation to address gender, racial and cultural disparities through the launch of Market House, an intersectional women's empowerment center.
North Akron Community Development Corporation works to ensure a thriving community in North Akron that inspires and connects residents, while also celebrating diversity. The organization focuses on impact areas of business and economic development, physical infrastructure and beautification, and social and informational events.
"Although there are many opportunities for leadership and entrepreneurship in Akron, immigrant women are often unaware or unable to participate due to cultural boundaries and lack of access to transportation," said Katie Beck, executive director of North Akron Community Development Corporation. "Programming at the Market House will serve as an innovative, local hub for marginalized and underrepresented women in Akron by offering them a first step in developing entrepreneurial and professional skills, and also the space to connect with important resources and inspiring leaders throughout the city."
The Market House plans to facilitate a multicultural women's leadership cohort to further drive development of the new public space. In addition to a meeting area for the cohort, the facility will include office and maker spaces for entrepreneurs, artisans and more.
"Our hard work to grow our endowment has allowed us to grant more funds back into the community year after year," said Laura DiCola, grants committee chair of the Women's Endowment Fund. "These grants address financial empowerment, health, youth development, victimization, homelessness, food insecurity, and other issues to improve the lives of women and girls in Greater Akron."
The following is a full list of organizations receiving grants in 2020:
Access Inc., for the Women and Children in Crisis Program, designed to address the homelessness crisis holistically, $10,000
Akron Children's Museum, to support S.T.E.A.M. Team Saturday sessions, offering team-based design activities for middle school girls to explore engineering in a fun, hands-on environment, $2,650
Akron Municipal Court, to purchase workbooks for the Peace of Mind Probation Program, to uncover and treat mental health issues in previously incarcerated women, $1,854
Akron Zoological Park, to support the Girls in STEM Program, a specialized after-school program that connects girls with female role models working in STEM fields, $2,500
Alchemy Inc., to support its in-school group mentoring program, which uses storytelling and mythology to empower girls in Akron Public Schools, $6,000
Battered Women's Shelter, to support protective shelter services for victims of domestic violence and their children, $10,000
Birthing Beautiful Communities, to address and improve the systemic and community structures that lead to poor birth outcomes, $10,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, to support SMART Girls, a health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program that enables adolescent girls in Summit County to develop to their full potential, $5,000
Broken Chains Jail & Prison Ministry, to support Lydia's Home Recovery Program for women struggling with drug addiction, $2,000
Building for Tomorrow, to support the Reach Opportunity Center at Summit Lake, providing education, training, support and resources for impoverished families, $5,000
Cleveland Clinic Akron General, to support the Centering Pregnancy nutrition program, offering educational sessions about healthy eating habits for positive pregnancy outcomes, $7,500
Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy, to expand food access and nutrition education programming for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program participants, $7,500
Family Promise of Summit County Inc., to support the renovation of the Glendora House, a community shelter for homeless single mothers and families in West Akron, $10,000
First Glance Student Center Inc., to support The Connect program, providing weekly meals, counseling and parenting education for young moms and their families, $5,000
First Tee of Akron, to improve local girls' health and wellness through golf-based youth development programming, $5,000
Freedom House for Women Inc., to provide supportive services and recovery housing to women in Summit County, $5,000
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, to support the Girl Scout Journey Program, a 20-week after-school leadership program covering topics such as STEM, financial literacy, and healthy living, $5,000
Girls on the Run Northeast Ohio, to expand the organization's physical activity-based youth development programs in more of Akron's elementary schools, $10,000
International Institute of Akron, to provide low-income immigrant women and children trauma survivors with social services, employment services, education, and legal representation, $10,000
Kent State University Foundation Inc., to deliver trauma intervention services for at-risk expectant and postpartum mothers in Summit County, $10,000
Legacy III Inc., to support the Women's Empowerment Program, providing transitional housing to homeless women recovering from addiction and mental health disorders, $7,500
North Hill Community Development Corporation, to address gender, racial and cultural disparities through the launch of Market House, an intersectional women's empowerment center, $10,000
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, to support Get Real!, a sex education curriculum for students in Summit County, $10,000
Project Ujima, to support the Zalika Gathering Home, a respite and simulation home for at-risk expectant and postpartum mothers, $10,000
Rape Crisis Center, to support 24/7 crisis services for women impacted by sexual violence, $9,000
Ruling Our eXperiences, to support the ROX program, teaching girls how to navigate challenges faced during adolescence, $3,500
Stewart's Caring Place, for wigs and beauty services for women on a cancer journey, $2,500
Summa Health System, to support the expansion of the Mommy Care-Group Care initiative, which offers support groups and educational services for new mothers, $5,000
Victim Assistance Program Inc., for 24-hour crisis intervention services for victims of crime and trauma, $5,000
Victory Gallop Inc., to support equine-assisted therapy for girls with social, emotional or behavioral needs, $2,500
Women's Network Inc., to create new, local programming in conjunction with gender equity and inclusion efforts, $5,000