Utah Women’s Giving Circle Grants $20,000 to Empower Women and Girls in Utah

2013 Grantees PictureWe are excited to announce our third round of grants!

Formed in 2011 to empower women in Utah and grow possibilities for Utah girls, our members leverage small, individual donations into high impact grants, investing in Utah programs decided by member vote.

On Tuesday evening, our members voted to distribute $20,000 across five nonprofit organizations:

  • Volunteers of America’s Young Women’s Transition Program, a 7-bed home for homeless young women, ages 16-19, with a focus on self-sufficiency through school, employment, and housing.
  • Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake’s Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Programs, which provide free legal representation for victims seeking a protective order as well as expedited support with divorce and custody cases.
  • People Helping People, an organization that lifts children out of poverty by teaching low-income women how to earn a living wage through education and mentoring.
  • Women of the World, an organization that builds women-to-women networks for refugees living in Utah, teaching practical English, finance, health, and job skills.
  • Girls on the Run Utah, an organization building self-esteem and confidence among girls in the 3rd-8th grades through a creative running program with volunteer mentors.

“It is an amazing experience to witness women come together to collectively make a decision to positively impact other women” commented Stewart Ralphs, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake.

Kayleen Simmons, Giving Circle member and Executive Director of People Helping People, added, “Truly, when women come together, we can change the world.”

For Girls on the Run, the funding translates to 25 full scholarships for underserved girls at Title I schools. The program combines a new pair of running shoes with afterschool training leading up to a 5K in June, ultimately creating opportunities for personal growth, strong female role modeling, and enhanced self-esteem.

Kathy Bray, Executive Director of Volunteers of America, Utah, expressed how timely the grant award is for, “The program supports young homeless women whose lives have been very difficult and we are committed to continuing it, despite a recent $13,000 federal cut in funding.”

Similarly, the grant awarded to Women of the World will have an immediate impact, funding a computer workstation and services teaching refugee women how to translate their unique skills into a resume and conduct a job search, supporting one of the organization’s focuses of financial empowerment for 300+ women from all over the world.

The Utah Women’s Giving Circle has raised more than $70,000 in annual and endowed funds since its inception in January 2011, investing more than $50,000 back into the community through nonprofit organizations. Prior awards have been made to the American Association of University Women’s e-Smart STEM Camp for girls, Early Head Start at Horizonte, the Girl Scouts of Utah’s Camp CEO, Planned Parenthood’s Teen Success Program, the YWCA Choices for Women Program, and Global Artisans, a refugee self-sufficiency program.