BRISTOL — The Women & Girls’ Fund of the Main Street Community Foundation held its Annual Meeting on January 8, 2015 to do just that – celebrate the past year and all the Fund has accomplished before electing Advisory Board members to guide the Fund through the next year. The celebration centered on the announcement of grant distributions from the Fund in 2014 – a record $36,650 was awarded to 12 organizations serving women and girls in Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott.
The Fund’s 2014 grants were awarded to the following organizations for the purposes described:
Bristol Early Childhood Alliance – to support the Maternal Depression Screening Initiative which connects expectant and new mothers with the resources needed to address mental health issues
Bristol Family Resource Centers – to support the Providers Responsive Early Care & Education Preparation program; training and education for women who are licensed home day care providers.
Bristol Youth Services – to support the Skills to Pay the Bills program which provides social/family life education and develops independent living skills for teenage girls
Burlington Library Association – to update and enhance the collection of books on all aspects of parenting
Central Connecticut Senior Health Services – to support the Good Life Fitness program in which low-income elderly women receive individualized exercise interventions (partially funded by the Barbara Hackman Franklin Fund for Women)
Charter Oak State College Foundation – to support the Women in Transition program in which underserved and low-income single mothers enrich their lives by completing their college degree through Charter Oak State College.
Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program (CPEP) – to support girls enrolled in the Afterschool STEM Design Challenge at Northeast Middle School in Bristol to foster the knowledge of STEM careers (partially funded by the John & Gloria DiFrancesco Fund for Women and Girls)
Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington – to support the training of Southington women operating Family Child Care (FCC) businesses to achieve National Association of Family Child Care Accreditation
Girl Scouts of Connecticut – to support the 2015 campership program for girls from Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Southington and Wolcott
Living in Safe Alternatives (LISA) – to support My Life My Choice, an exploitation prevention program
Oak Hill – Chapter 126 – to support the Beautiful U Project for twenty girls with and without disabilities in grades six through eight from Bristol, Burlington, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington and Wolcott
Plainville Community Food Pantry – to support cooking classes for the Food Pantry’s female clients to help them develop skills that are instrumental in restoring them back to self-sufficiency.
Grants from the Women & Girls’ Fund are funded by proceeds from the annual Wonder of Women (WOW) event as well as two other named funds: the Barbara Hackman Franklin Fund for Women and the John & Gloria DiFrancesco Fund for Women and Girls. Both funds were established in 2011 in honor of those named in the fund by their families and provide distributions to support initiatives identified by the Women & Girls’ Fund.
“We are thrilled to be announcing over $36,000 in grants thanks to the generosity of the many donors who believe in the mission of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” said Jeanine Audette, Chair of the Advisory Board.
The evening also celebrated the election of four new Advisory Board members: Brittany Antuna, Kaitlin Humble, Ursula Sowinski and Julia Weston.
“The Advisory Committee guides the work of the Women & Girls’ Fund,” stated Jeanine Audette. “We’re grateful for their valuable expertise as we head into the Fund’s 14th year.”