Nearly $52,000 in funding was awarded to five local nonprofits by Women’s Fund El Dorado (WFED) at its annual Grants Gala, held at Lakehills Covenant Church in El Dorado Hills in June.
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The dinner event, which included updates from the previous year’s grant recipients, provides “a time for reflections and for celebrating the power of collective giving,” Robyn Parker, WFED grants committee chair, told the more than 200 in attendance. The recipients of two college scholarships and a Lighthouse Fund update were also announced.
Since it was founded in 2007, the philanthropic organization has awarded more than $305,000 in grants and its endowment has grown to approximately $300,000.
The 2014 Focus Grants went to nonprofits that “provide solutions to mental health challenges” in El Dorado County — WFED’s area of emphasis for the year.
One of two Focus Grant recipients of $20,000 each is a collaborative partnership of Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Dorado County and The Center for Violence-free Relationships. The two organizations will team up to increase early detection and intervention of domestic violence and create an enhanced network of services in order to improve the mental health of children and families.
New Morning Youth and Family Services also received $20,000 to provide treatment to 50 children in the community in need of mental health services. Untreated mental health issues often result in significant destructive circumstances in the lives of children and their families.
Two Impact Grants of $5,000 each went to United Outreach of El Dorado County (in the area of “supporting women and children”) to place additional women and their children in emergency and transitional housing shelter, and the Community Resource Center (“breaking the cycles of poverty”).
The latter award will provide much-needed funds for Susie’s House, a rapid re-housing program named after a woman who died of exposure in the hills of El Dorado County.
Additional grant funding, in the area of “promoting senior services” went to Senior Day Care Services of El Dorado County to purchase a washer/dryer for the El Dorado Hills Senior Day Care Center.
WFED’s Wickline Scholarships, established three years ago to help women overcome challenges and return to college, went to Tonya Pena, who is enrolled in Arizona State University’s online program, and Marilyn Souza, a student at Folsom Lake College.
Lynnee Boyes, LightHouse Fund program director, reported on the year-old fund. Supported wholly by private donations, it received more than $12,000 on the May 6 Day of Giving to continue its mission of funding medical, dental and optical care for under- and uninsured women and children in El Dorado County.
Women’s Fund El Dorado is a collective giving organization that is open to all for a donation of $200 a year or more. Funds collected are pooled and leveraged in the form of grants, voted on by members, which support community philanthropy to enhance the quality of life on the western slope of El Dorado County.
More than 300 members strong, WFED has entrusted the El Dorado Community Foundation with overseeing its endowment fund and investments to ensure diversified income and longevity.
For more information visit womensfundeldorado.org.