The Women United Grant Committee has worked diligently to review, analyze, research and visit the eighteen non-profits that applied for 2017 Human Services Grant Awards. The following five organizations represent the finalists in this process.  This year, at least two grants will be awarded for a total of $50,000.  The recipients will be announced at the Women United Annual Luncheon on Thursday, October 5th.

Below is a summary of each finalist organization and a link to proposals. We hope that before you vote you will read the proposals in their entirety.

African American Teaching Fellows (AATF):

Increasing diversity and multicultural awareness in the local public school systems is the mission of this group.  To help achieve this, AATF requests funds to provide college tuition assistance to five African American student fellows in exchange for a commitment to teaching in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area after graduation for the same number of years for which they received funding. Fellows are also given professional support and guidance on leadership development, as well as opportunities geared to connecting the fellows to our local community. Click here to read the proposal.  

Georgia’s Healing House (GHH):

Georgia’s Healing House, a program of Georgia’s Friends, serves women during their initial stages of recovery from alcohol and drug dependency by providing a safe place to live, an individualized treatment plan, individual mentorship, and support as women reenter the workplace. In the first two years, 42 women resided at GHH, all of whom remained free of drugs and alcohol during their stay. Seventeen successfully completed the program and 12are still receiving care. There is no other supervised supportive residential program in the Charlottesville area for women in early recovery from addiction.

The Women United award would support the operation of the house, which can accommodate 12 women at a time, for approximately two and a half months, as the cost for each woman is about $1000.00 per month. Click here to read the proposal.

Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA):

CASA is an organization that trains Court Appointed Special Advocates, who work one-on-one with abused and endangered children in our community to assist the courts in determining the best environment to ensure each child’s safety and well-being. CASA seeks a grant to assist in recruiting, screening and training 30 new volunteers, as well as supporting and supervising the approximately 100 volunteers who are active at any one time. The number of children needing advocates has increased; specifically, CASA served 235 children in the first seven months of 2017 and has children needing advocates on its waiting list. Eighty-three percent of the children come from households surviving at or below the federal poverty line. Click here to read the proposal.

Women’s Center at UVA—Middle School Mentoring Program:

The Women’s Center requests support for two mentoring programs in Charlottesville and Albemarle middle schools, the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP) and the Men’s Leadership Project (MLP).  Middle school students who struggle with self–confidence, peer relationships and other common stumbling blocks receive the help of a trusted mentor for individual support as well as group mentoring. About 75 UVA undergraduates make this commitment each year to 75 children. The $322 per child requested for these programs covers activities and the materials needed for those activities, such as snacks and curriculum supplies, t-shirts, and special gatherings as well as careful training of the mentors. Click here to read the proposal.

The Women’s Initiative (TWI):

TWI seeks support for the operation of critical mental health services to 3,200 women through its core programming. Women served come from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds; many have been the victims of abuse, suffer from trauma, and face a variety of challenges such as the death of a family member, divorce, poverty, and post-traumatic stress disorder. TWI offers mental health counseling, social support, education and outreach to those needing help coping with depression, anxiety and trauma through individual and group therapies. Click here to read the proposal.

You may vote for two organizations between Wednesday, August 30, 2017, at 12:01 AM until Monday, September 11, 2017, at 11:59 PM.   You must use the link sent to you via your email to cast your ballot.

Please remember that it is the policy of Women United that members refrain from initiating communication with other members in an effort to influence their votes.

Respectfully submitted by the Grant Committee:

Allyn Gutauskas and Jennifer Lehman, Co-Chairs