The Women’s Fund of Smith County has awarded its highest grant to date – $100,000 to Habitat to Humanity – at its 2015 Grants Announcement Reception held on February 12.  Approximately 100 Women’s Fund members and guests attended the event at The Tyler Woman’s Building, which also included a grant of $44,100 presented to PATH (People Attempting To Help).Marty Beth Cropped

“In only a few years, the members of the Women’s Fund have given from their hearts to bring us to today’s cumulative total of $800,000 in grant funding,” noted Marty Wiggins, 2015 chair of The Women’s Fund.  “These grants have already impacted 18 agencies and countless lives of women and children in Smith County.”

The $100,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity of Smith County is designated for the organization’s Rural ReHabitat program that assists rural residents in need of critical home repairs.  The funding will specifically provide ReHabitat services for 24 women homeowners, who may be elderly women living alone or single moms.  Habitat for Humanity currently has an extensive waiting list of women in rural Smith County who do not have the financial means to make vital home repairs or to outfit their home for disabilities.

“Rural ReHabitat is a perfect project for Women’s Fund support,” said Beth Filla, who chaired the 2014 Grants Committee that led to this grant.  “The program has lasting, measurable impact and it illustrates our mission to support programs that improve the lives of women and children throughout Smith County.”

President/CEO Jack Wilson and Development Director Deanna Harrison were among the Habitat for Humanity team members who accepted the award.

The $44,100 grant to PATH will provide the means for 30 children and teens to improve their math skills through the innovative Mathnasium at PATH tutorial program.  The young people are from Tyler/Smith County disadvantaged families that could not otherwise afford for their children to have this educational opportunity.

“We know that math skills are vital for a child to thrive in school,” said Mrs. Filla.  “The Women’s Fund grant will provide one-on-one math education to each participant for ten months, increasing confidence and math scores. Together with PATH, we will honor the kids and their parents at an end-of-year course graduation.”

PATH Executive Director Gregg Grubb and Development Director Kim Lessner accepted the award to PATH, along with additional colleagues.

“Today’s grant announcements truly celebrate the power of women’s philanthropy.  Our members have given of their personal resources and participated in the grants process, knowing that together we can do great things for our community,” said Mrs. Wiggins.