2020 Women and Girls Fund Grants Announced!

Donor members of The Community Foundation’s Women and Girls Fund gathered last month to cast their ballots and select recipients for $15,000 in available grant funds to benefit women and girls in our region.

An April event called 1000 Women was scheduled to reveal the winners and celebrate the power of women’s philanthropy. Unfortunately, like many other community events, it was cancelled  to help protect regional health. 

As part of the foundation’s COVID-19 response efforts, foundation Donor Services staff reached out to each grantee to learn how the coronavirus pandemic was affecting their organizations and to explore the possible need for funding flexibility in the face of recent changes in how our community functions. (For more on how The Community Foundation is supporting donors and nonprofits at this critical time, visit our website at:

The good news is our grantees are able to put these funds to work now. The foundation and the Women and Girls Fund will celebrate the recipients again in the future but for now, we would like to announce the 2020 Women and Girls Fund grant recipients: Legal Aid Works and Empowerhouse – Congratulations to both of these important programs!

Legal Aid Works - Domestic Violence Divorce Project $10,000

Legal Aid Works Executive Director Ann Kloeckner shared insights into the work currently happening in the legal aid field:

“We are honored to receive this grant from the Women and Girls Fund. During the COVID-19 crisis, all civil court actions were halted except for emergencies like domestic violence civil protective orders and we are so grateful to be able to serve our clients in need at the moment when they are most at risk.”

Grant Program Summary

“Legal Aid Works, through their staff attorneys and volunteer “pro bono” attorneys, will represent victims of domestic violence in the critical areas of family law that will determine the survivors’ ability to function after leaving an abusive relationship. We will offer advice and representation to domestic violence victims who need a civil protective order, custody/support orders, and divorces. We will handle all procedural aspects of the representation, including initial pleadings, hearings for temporary support, discovery of financial information of the abuser, and zealous representation at the final hearing.”

Empowerhouse - Expanding Healthy Relationships Classroom Presentations to Help End Violence Against Girls and Teens $5,092

Empowerhouse Executive Director Kathy Anderson shared that despite the closing of schools, the Healthy Relationships program manager is still hard at work preparing the program for the 2020-2021 school year.

“We do anticipate that the need will increase for our Healthy Relationships program once schools resume. Right now, women and girls who are victims of domestic violence are further isolated because of the pandemic and often stuck at home with their abusers -- in fact, we have seen a 26% increase in our Hotline calls since COVID-19 began. We are very eager to return to the schools in the 2020/2021 academic year to resume Healthy Relationships classroom education in our new world post COVID-19.” Kathy Anderson, Empowerhouse

Grant Program Summary

“During the 2018-2019 school year, Empowerhouse served 6,000 students with our free, healthy relationships classroom presentations. Our goal is to serve 8,000 young people in the 2020-2021 school year, over half of whom are female. We will do this by expanding our partnerships with area schools to provide age-appropriate programs guided by Empowerhouse staff who facilitate activities and conversations about self-esteem and healthy relationships. We will identify new schools and continue to build awareness for our programs through attendance at community events and new student orientations. To date, we have worked with 21 schools (two elementary schools, nine middle schools and ten high schools) and one GED program.”

COVID-19 Response    CLICK HERE     The Community Relief Fund