The Women & Girls Fund of the Mid-Shore has announced its list of recipients for the 2022 grant cycle. Twelve local non-profit organizations received awards totaling $50,432 for programs addressing critical needs facing women and girls in the five Mid-Shore counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot.
The grants went to 3 new applicants and 9 non-profits that have been awarded Women & Girls Fund grants at least once before.
First-time grant recipients are Aaron’s Place, Minorities in Aquaculture, and Talbot Hospice.
Repeat recipients are CASA of Caroline, Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers, Compass Regional Hospice, For All Seasons, Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s, Haven Ministries, Kent Attainable Housing, Talbot Community Connections, and Tilghman Area Youth Association.
To help select grants, the Fund’s board recruits two dozen volunteer grant readers who work in teams for three months to review each application. Using their reports and recommendations, the Board of Directors makes the final award decisions.
“The grant reading process is one of my favorite things we do as an organization”, said Allie Prell, who co-chairs the Grants Committee with board member, Beth Spurry. “It allows our volunteers to learn about organizations in our communities, be part of what we do, and see first-hand how the process works,” she added.
“This was our second year of adjusting to Covid, and though it is very different from our usual in-person meetings with applicants, the reading groups have been able to accomplish a great deal via zoom and phone conferences,” Mrs. Prell continued. “Thanks to their efforts, the Board can do the work of connecting donor dollars with the organizations whose programs match our mission.”
This year’s grant recipients will reach children, teens, and adults through a broad range of programs on issues addressing such things as life skills development, academic enrichment, specialized mental health counseling, first-time homeownership, and end-of-life care.
Aaron’s Place is a well-established human services outreach organization in Caroline County. Services include food distribution, GED and ESL classes, rental and utility assistance, and senior care. This grant will support the “Mommy and Me” program that seeks to prepare young women to be mothers and teaches young girls grooming skills while building self-esteem. New mothers come for free baby supplies and stay for the assortment of classes that will help them learn to care properly for themselves and their babies.
Minorities in Aquaculture, founded in 2020, seeks to address the lack of diversity and inclusion in the male-dominated aquaculture industry. It bridges the gap between minorities and sustainable seafood by creating a supportive space for professional growth while actively changing the current demographics in aquaculture. Through academic and industry partnerships, MIA will identify girls and young women interested in science, primarily sustainable aquaculture, and offer paid internships with partner aquaculture organizations to eliminate any financial barriers that might impede their academic or professional progress. This grant will provide support for internships.
Talbot Hospice is a fully licensed medical hospice that offers comprehensive care in homes, nursing facilities, at Hospice House (the only residential program in Talbot County), and partners with the local hospital to serve hospice patients who cannot leave the acute care setting. In operation since 1981, it now has 75 staff and 175 volunteers, who in 2020-21 made more than 4,500 visits in homes and facilities to provide hospice care and daily living tasks. Recently, more than half of the patients at Hospice House were women and 61% of them received free or subsidized room and board through the Community Supported Care program. This grant will help cover the cost of meals and personal care items, often not fully paid by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, for women who need the Hospice House to pass in a dignified and peaceful way.
Now in its 20th year of awarding grants, The Women & Girls Fund has given more than $782,000 to 105 unique non-profits in the Mid-Shore region. Its mission is to support under-funded programs and initiatives that aid women and girls, raise awareness of community needs, and advance women’s philanthropy in the region. A component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the Fund has built a growing permanent endowment of more than $1.2 million dollars with donations from individuals and businesses around the Mid-Shore.
“The Women & Girls Fund is so grateful to all our donors who have enabled us to support these wonderful organizations over the past 20 years, and who continue to support our mission in the community. We also owe a debt of gratitude to our grantees that continue to work tirelessly to improve and enhance the lives of women and girls in our communities”, said Women & Girls Fund Board President, Kathy Deoudes.
IRS-designated non-profit organizations in the Mid-Shore whose programs specifically target the needs of women and girls are encouraged to apply for a grant. Grant applications for the 2023 grant cycle are due by November 1, 2022. Guidelines and a downloadable application form are available at https://womenandgirlsfund.org/grant-guidelines.