Leaders for Change
The Women’s Fund Of Omaha Awards Record $200,000 In Grants
Twenty nonprofit organizations were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 by the Women’s Fund of Omaha at its Lead the Change Fall Luncheon on Oct. 23. This year’s awards add up to a record $200,000 in grant funding.
“It’s gratifying to support exemplary programs for women and girls that target the greatest needs in our community as identified by Women’s Fund research. This year’s grants focus on the priority areas of economic self-sufficiency, leadership development for girls, domestic violence and sexual literacy,” says Gretchen Twohig, grants committee chair. “Additionally, we’re excited to award the new Emerging Issues Grants to agencies with innovative programs addressing more recent needs or ones outside our focus areas.”
With this year’s awards, the total grants awarded by the Women’s Fund since 1992 exceeds $1.8 million. Grant recipients are:
The Financial Hope Collaborative at Creighton University — $25,000 for the Financial Success Program that empowers single mothers to change financial behaviors, repair credit, save money and live within their means. The grant also will provide funds for an alternative to payday lending.
Community Impact Grants
Catholic Charities — $10,000 for the Immigration Legal Assistance Services program that ensures immigrant women who have been victimized by domestic violence and/or sexual assault are afforded their rights and protections under U-Visa immigration proceedings.
Charles Drew Health System — $5,000 for the Fathers for a Lifetime domestic violence education and prevention program that seeks to improve the health and well-being of families by addressing issues that negatively impact the role of men in the family structure.
Girls Inc. (Lozier Corp. award) — $10,000 for the Sexpartite program that provides medically accurate, age-appropriate health and sexuality education to girls and their parents.
Goodwill Industries — $5,000 for the Customer Connect Program that allows individuals to build their basic math and reading skills, while also training for employment in the customer service field and earning college credit.
Grameen America — $2,500 for the Microfinance Program that provides microloans, training and support to low-income women so they can create businesses and achieve higher family income.
Heartland Family Service — $10,000 for the Ruth K. Solomon Girls Center that provides a comprehensive after-school and summer program for low-income girls in northeast Omaha, emphasizing development of leadership skills, healthy life choices and education to break the cycle of poverty.
Justice for Our Neighbors — $7,500 for the Legal Services for Battered Immigrant Women program that provides low-income immigrants who are victims of domestic violence with free legal assistance, educational workshops and connections to community resources.
Legal Aid of Nebraska (Union Pacific award) — $10,000 for the ElderAccessLine that provides free civil legal services to elderly women who are struggling with serious consumer issues—including financial scams and collections abuse—that threaten their financial self-sufficiency.
Nebraska Children’s Home Society (Methodist Health System award) — $15,000 for the Teen Chat program that focuses on increasing sexual literacy, reducing STD and teen pregnancy rates, and helping participants develop a healthy sense of personal well-being.
Omaha Girls Rock — $3,000 for a week-long summer day camp that uses music education and performance to help participants find their voice, increase confidence in themselves and show positive support of others.
OneWorld Community Health Centers — $10,000 for its promotora sexual literacy and reproductive health outreach program that trains peer health workers and empowers them to reach out to the Hispanic community to promote health, education and access to care.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland — $17,500 to support outreach activities and prevention education programs that provide lifelong strategies and skills that enable Omaha girls and youth to lead healthy lives and engage in healthy relationships.
Women’s Center for Advancement — $15,000 for its advocacy program that assists domestic violence and sexual assault clients with safety planning, referrals to crisis counseling, and legal and self-sufficiency programs.
Youth Emergency Services (Weitz Investment Management award) — $5,000 to provide young people in the Maternity Home and Transitional Living programs with financial literacy classes that teach them to be independent, self-sufficient adults so they may break the cycle of homelessness.
Emerging Issues Grants
Institute for Public Life — $7,500 to enable refugee women from Africa and Asia to learn entrepreneurial and leadership skills by creating, marketing and selling hand-made products; building relationships; and organizing listening sessions with other refugee women and girls.
Nebraska Children’s Home — $14,000 for the Raising Your Grandchildren program that provides support and education to grandmothers raising their grandchildren through group education, one-on-one support and mental health services.
Salvation Army — $5,000 for the Wellspring program to identify victims of sex trafficking and offer restorative services, support the prosecution of sex trafficking crimes and increase public awareness of the issue.
The $5,000 Changemaker Grant went to the Nebraska Children’s Home Society for its Teen Chat Program. The grant recipient was determined by a vote of donors who contributed $200 or more to the Women’s Fund. Three agencies that applied for Women’s Fund grants were considered for the award.
The $1,000 Little Women Grant went to Omaha Girls Rock. Girls enrolled in the Little Women program voted on the grant recipient from three candidates that applied for Women’s Fund grants.
The $5,000 Be the Change Grant will go to the nonprofit agency that receives the most votes from attendees at the Women’s Fund Fall Luncheon. Candidates are Girls Inc., Justice for Our Neighbors and Legal Aid of Nebraska.
WomanSpirit Awards — $1,500 awards are given annually to honor women whose leadership has had a significant impact on the lives of Omaha-area women and girls. WomenSpirit honorees and the recipient agencies are:
- Margre Durham (memorial) — Justice for Our Neighbors – Nebraska
- Mary Heng-Braun — University of Nebraska Foundation, Community Engagement Center Fund – Marian Ivers Board Room
- Marian Ivers (memorial) — University of Nebraska Foundation, Community Engagement Center Fund – Marian Ivers Board Room
- Dianne Seeman Lozier — Women’s Center for Advancement
- Maryanne Stevens — College of Saint Mary Scholarship Fund
- Mimi Waldbaum (memorial) — Charles Drew Health Center
- Barbara Weitz — Omaha Girls Rock
- Gail Walling Yanney — University of Nebraska Foundation, Marian Ivers Community Leadership Award and the Women’s Fund of Omaha