$20,000 for Women and Children’s Needs

Our Women's Giving Circle announced its 2024 grant recipients at a June ceremony.

Immigrant support. Vision care. Foster care resources. Community health. The issues this year’s eight Women’s Giving Circle of Greater Dubuque nonprofit grantees address are critical, and thanks to nearly $21,000 in new funding, they can deepen their positive impact across the Dubuque region.

During their annual Gifts and Grants Ceremony June 5 at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Women’s Giving Circle members announced that their 2024 grants would be awarded to:

  • IA Nice: A $5,000 grant will help the refugee-serving organization support employment for Ukrainian women. The grant will enable IA Nice to purchase supplies, equipment and insurance necessary for two-person teams of women to provide residential cleaning services, as well as to purchase marketing materials about their services.
  • YWCA Clinton: A $5,000 grant will support the organization’s Rapid Re-Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program. All families served by the program face economic hardship, and it helps children maintain access to education, extracurricular activities, and support from peers, teachers, and other community leaders during periods of disruption to their lives.
  • The Red Basket Project: A $2,660 grant will fund a pilot program to distribute free reusable menstrual pads to community members who would benefit from access to this type of period product. The pilot program builds on The Red Basket Project’s work to distribute free period products throughout the community.
  • Cedar Valley Friends of the Family: A $2,500 grant will help provide access to safe housing for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Friends of the Family does this through outreach, community engagement and crisis/housing hotlines.
  • Presentation Lantern Center: A $1,855 grant will help immigrants served by the center pay start-up costs that form a barrier to pursuing dreams of financial stability. This effort will support scholarships for immigrants attending pursuing education or technical training; down payments for safe housing; child care enrollment for preschoolers; and start-up costs for small businesses.
  • Vision To Learn: A $1,855 grant will help bring free vision screenings, eye exams and glasses to students in the Dubuque Community School District. Barriers like cost and transportation can prevent students from receiving the vision care they need, so Vision To Learn brings these services directly to children at no cost to families or schools.
  • Families Helping Families: A $1,500 grant will help the organization support foster care youth in out-of-home placements throughout Iowa by funding its Essentials and Educational initiatives and programming. The grant will enable the nonprofit to purchas items for its 24/7 Clothing Closest, provide free haircuts and shoes, offer scholarship programs, host senior photography session and offer additional resources.
  • Friends of Crescent Community Health Center: A $500 grant will support Steppin' It Up, the center’s inaugural health expo and walk/run, scheduled for Saturday, August 10. The goal of the event is to support communication and trust between health professionals and current and potential patients, as well as to model wellness and fitness behaviors.

Attendees also heard from Rick Merfeld, executive director of St. Vincent De Paul, who shared how, thanks to a grant from the Women’s Giving Circle, his organization was able to provide new beds to local women and children.

“I love your organization; I love what you stand for,” Merfeld said. “We are so proud to have been able to partner with you. Thank you.”

In addition to awarding grants, the Women’s Giving Circle members recognized an “honorable mention” organization from the pool of applicants and supported that nonprofit with donated gifts from an online registry. This year, the group chose the Vince Jetter Community Center in Clinton, and Women’s Giving Circle members could purchase items for the Center’s free healthy cooking and culinary classes and its meals program.

The Women’s Giving Circle is convened by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, which also hosts its endowment fund. Since 2006, the endowment has grown to $550,000, which pays out 5% each year to support grants for local nonprofits addressing the needs of women and children in the Dubuque region. To date, the group has awarded 68 grants totaling over $170,000, and it currently has had over 200 members.

“No matter who you are, you are welcome in the Women’s Giving Circle, and your contributions to our community are valued,” Nancy Van Milligen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, told attendees. “It’s inspiring to learn about the ways we are changing lives for the better. At the same time, there are many unmet needs in our community. Each of you is helping address those needs by listening, learning and giving what you can.”

Get Involved

Here for you. Gretchen Corcoran Grants Manager gretchen@dbqfoundation.org 563-588-2700