On Monday, April 23, four non-profits presented our members with proposals describing what they would do if their organization received Women United’s 2012 Human Services Grant Award. These organizations and their programs were selected through a rigorous screening process by our 2012 Grant Committee:

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank – Their proposal is for Women United to fund their BackPack program, which provides children in need with a backpack full of food to take home on weekends or holidays. The goal of the program is to ensure that children at risk of hunger have adequate food at times when they cannot access school-based feeding programs. Women United funds would be used to purchase essential food for 270 students during the 2012-2013 school year.

Boys & Girls Clubs – The Southwood neighborhood in Albemarle County is a community in crisis, with burgeoning gang activity and youth drug use. As the leading provider of youth development services in the area, the current Southwood Club is stretched beyond capacity. Women United funds would go towards the purchase of a bus for field trips and to transport kids to other Clubs.

Computers4Kids – Current programming includes after-school mentoring, job readiness skills and college-to-career guidance. 95% of mentored students tracked by C4K graduated from high school, significantly higher than average for low income students in our area. Support from Women United would enable C4K to expand personnel and to add Saturday Academies, Educational Workshops and Summer Camps,  increasing access and services for low income middle and high school students.

Jefferson Area CHiP – CHiP is requesting $30,000 to fund the salary of a Family Support Worker/Parent Educator who will provide at risk, low income families with education and activities around nurturing, guiding, responding, communicating and providing learning activities for their child. This one worker would provide home visiting and parent education to 45-55 children aged 0-6 in 30-35 Charlottesville/Albemarle families.

The next step in the grant process was site visits. Members of the Grant Committee visited each organization during regular service hours in order to get a better understanding of their operations. After the site visits, the Grant Committee sent their recommendations to our Donor Members, who cast their votes to determine who would receive Women United’s $30,000 grant.

Donor Members not only get a vote, they are also eligible to be on the Grant Committee. For more information about grants and how you can get involved in next year’s process, please contact our Grant Committee Co-Chairs, Peggy Echols peggy.echols.ccft@statefarm.com or Peppy Linden peppylinden@hotmail.com.