The philanthropic landscape has shifted, as the impact of the pandemic continues to affect the nonprofit community and donors alike.

Never has our mission of TOGETHER IS BETTER meant more…

We recognize our nonprofit partners have unique needs during this challenging time, and we are responding with relevancy and compassion through modifications to our grant-making program for 2021 funding. We take seriously our responsibility to be aware of best practices and changing trends in philanthropy.

As a reminder - for 2021 funding - grant applications were accepted ONLY from our existing nonprofit agency partners – 29 different organizations - to whom previous WFSC grants have been awarded and with whom we have strong, valuable relationships.

With a trust-based approach, the Grants Committee has carefully and thoughtfully reviewed and listened to many passionate and well-prepared grant proposals for 2021 funding. The need is great, and the requests are strong. Applications were received for project requests, as well as for core/general operating support.

After many hours of respectful dialogue and consideration, the Grants Committee has identified the requests they feel most align with the mission and values of the Women’s Fund of Smith County.

More Need = More Requests = More Proposals for our Membership to Consider

 

Descriptions of grant proposal finalists are presented below. Please take the time to read each of the specific requests, evaluating impact and how lives will be transformed.

All members of the Women’s Fund are welcome to review the complete set of finalist applications at the WFSC office located at 909 ESE Loop 323, Suite 215 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, until Friday, November 13.

 Each member of our Giving Circle has a voice through her vote for our annual grant awards. This privilege brings our mission to life. Your voice & your vote matter!

Thank You! 

 

Mission Statement:  Bethesda Health Clinic is a Christ-centered ministry with a bold mission: to provide healthcare to hardworking low-income adults who are uninsured or underinsured. We envision our clinic as embodying Christ in action - bringing healing and hope to the people we serve.

Requested funds will be used to help alleviate the losses incurred from COVID-19 and address the medical impact of the virus. The Clinic was quick to respond to the outbreak of the virus by adapting to Telehealth services, as well as providing office hours for those needing to come into the clinic. The social services department has continued to work with patients, and has experienced increased calls from women suffering from anxiety and depression due to a lack of comprehensive medical and mental healthcare that Bethesda provides. A majority of the funds requested in this grant will go towards improving the Women’s Health services provided by Bethesda’s gynecologist, including the purchase of a new procedures table and a Colposcope evaluative tool which will enhance the quality of care women receive at the clinic.

Mission Statement:  Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Smith County is dedicated to child victims of physical and sexual abuse and strives to reduce trauma through a unified effort that facilitates thorough investigations, effective prosecutions and the healing of the children and their families.

These funds have been requested to help with losses in income resulting from the cancellation of one spring and two fall fundraisers due to COVID-19. Additionally, as a result of the pandemic, CAC is seeing an increase in the number of children needing its services and expects this trend to continue. CAC has also started offering emergency medical exams which were previously done in hospital Emergency Rooms.  These exams have resulted in increased costs.  CAC is also in the middle of a capital campaign to enlarge its current facility.  This expansion is necessary to address the current crowding and also to allow for social distancing. Currently some offices are shared by as many as four staff members and the conference room is serving as an additional waiting room.

Mission Statement:  Christian Women’s Job Corps of Tyler, Inc. equips women with job skills and life skills in a Christ-centered environment. Christian Women’s Job Corps of Tyler exists to assist women in gaining skills for life and employment through job training and education while providing missions opportunities in Tyler and east Texas area.

Requested funds will be used to help replace the decrease in financial support caused by COVID-19 and to cover the increased expenses. As classes for CWJC’s 12-week employment readiness program were switched to online learning, many students needed assistance with their technology needs. Many students did not have a laptop or access to the internet to participate in online learning, so CWJC has been using funds to purchase laptops (which the students check out) and Microsoft licenses. CWJC currently offers smaller on-site classes with ten students in each class. Changes to the lunch program for those students have increased expenses since meals can no longer be provided by volunteer groups and must be purchased. These lunches provide a time to engage with the students, the community and supporters and are an important part of the program.

Mission Statement: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. By nurturing innovation and developing leadership skills, we prepare girls to overcome challenges and advocate for their ideas now and later.

This grant is requested to continue The Girl Scout Leadership Experience for Middle School Girls in Tyler ISD.  This program is designed to develop future leaders and will serve approximately 1,100 girls. The program is offered free of charge to the girls during their P.E. and/or Health classes. This program ensures that girls will be provided with educational activities and resources to support personal development. The program also provides invaluable information to families by making them aware of available school technology and other community resources. Girl Scouts suffered a sharp decline in camp revenue and retail sales as a result of COVID-19, and anticipates a decline in cookie sales this year.  However, Girl Scouts has continued to provide an educational framework to prepare girls for life’s challenges include at-home program activities to keep them engaged.

Mission Statement:  The mission of the Literacy Council of Tyler is to improve the lives of individuals and their families by eliminating illiteracy through educational services. When the door to literacy is opened for an adult, it can never be closed again.

As a result of COVID-19, the Literacy Council had to move its entire program to remote learning. This has been challenging for teachers and students alike, and has increased costs, including the need to provide internet access to those students without it. Providing virtual learning has proved to be more time consuming and considerably more expensive. While costs were previously $760 per student, they are now approximately $1,100 per student.  LCOT is continuing to enroll new students. LCOT anticipates that as more individuals are out of work, demand for its services will increase. Approximately 70% of LCOT students are women and most of these are moms. The requested funds will help to cover additional expenses including: technology, both hardware and software, for teachers and students; additional teaching time required for successful virtual programs and ongoing training for teachers and staff.

Mission Statement: The Mentoring Alliance exists to mobilize godly people into the lives of kids and families, to provide tangible help and eternal hope.

The grant will be used to help cover the costs of providing quality after school programs and to replace funds Mentoring Alliance has lost as a result of COVID-19.  Mentoring Alliance had to shut down two of its three programs and suffered a $420,000 fee income loss as a result. It also refunded $70,000 in fees. Despite the pandemic, Mentoring Alliance has continued serving area families. In collaboration with local school districts, churches and the East Texas Food Bank, Mentoring Alliance packaged and distributed thousands of meal boxes and academic packets to economically disadvantaged families. While Mentoring Alliance was able to resume its summer camp programs, as well as its after school programs, it anticipates it will need to increase financial assistance for the participants in the program.  It also anticipates a decrease in donations as a result of the economic downturn.

Mission Statement:  PATH seeks to restore HOPE with a PERSONALIZED approach to EMPOWER our East Texas neighbors to THRIVE in our community.

PATH is seeking a combination of operating support and specific program support.  Currently, as a result of COVID-19 related job losses, rent assistance is the number one requested service at PATH. PATH is the sole provider of rent assistance in Smith County. By providing one-time rent assistance, housing emergencies that might otherwise lead to homelessness can be averted. Statistics show that 85% of those that receive one-time rent assistance are still housed 6 months later. PATH has also seen a significant increase in costs in its food pantry and expects those costs to remain high throughout the pandemic. Additionally, as a result of COVID-19, PATH lost a large number of its volunteers and had to reduce its hours of operations.  Requested funds will go towards the rent assistance program and towards operating costs related to Emergency Services.

Mission Statement:  Champions for Children provides education, mentoring, tools, and support to caregivers, teachers, and parents so all children can reach their full potential.

Smith County Champions for Children is requesting funds for the Watch Me Grow Program. Experts recommend that all children receive developmental screening at 9, 18 and 30 months, yet approximately 1/3 of children do not receive these screenings which are vital to overall health and well-being.  This program is intended to address these early childhood needs. Watch Me Grow will identify families with young children needing these developmental milestone screenings through child care centers and community organizations, such as the Andrews Center, WIC, NET Health, etc.  These screenings, will identify developmental delays and allow for early intervention through referrals. Smith County families will be informed about how children grow and develop and the importance of healthy caregiver relationships and developmental milestones during the first 1000 days of a child’s life.

Mission Statement:  Empowering children and families to thrive by meeting their physical, mental and spiritual needs.

St. Paul Children’s Services is requesting funds to address increased costs due to COVID-19 and also to implement the Family Services Navigation Program.  SPCS temporarily closed its medical and dental clinics due to COVID-19, resulting in a significant loss of Medicare and insurance income. Reopening the clinics has required staffing and equipment changes. The food pantry has seen increased demand and costs, and has had to change its delivery model. Family education programs have been postponed and alternative class models are being developed. All of these modifications and changes have increased expenses. The Family Services Navigation Program is used across the United States to reduce social disparities and improve health outcomes. The program will enroll and refer families to other support programs within the community. SPCS will follow up with the families to ensure that they accessed the other programs.

Mission Statement:  Tyler Day Nursery provides quality child-care and preschool education for children of low-income and poverty level families in a healthy, safe and loving environment.

This grant is requested to enable Tyler Day Nursery to continue to provide quality childcare at a reduced fee. Traditionally, tuition for each child is covered by the parents (based on a sliding scale) and a government grant. Many TDN parents have lost their jobs due to the virus. TDN wants to adjust its sliding scale to allow its families to retain as much of their earnings as possible during these times. TDN anticipates a $60,000 shortfall in tuition. While TDN has seen a decrease in the number of students, there are fixed costs that still have to be met. The challenge of keeping children and staff well is substantial, and numerous program changes have had to be implemented and additional staff hired. Cleaning expenses have increased as the facility is cleaned twice a day, including being sanitized every evening.

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