Record-setting grants benefit women and children

During a June ceremony, members of the Women’s Giving Circle announced $19,000 in grants to seven local nonprofits.

Organizations addressing issues from healthy eating to child abuse prevention received a record amount of funding this month from the Women’s Giving Circle of Greater Dubuque.

While gathered June 8 for their annual Gifts and Grants Ceremony at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Garden, the Women’s Giving Circle members announced the seven recipients of more than $19,000 as part of the group’s 2022 grant cycle.

Grants were awarded to:

  • The UnityPoint Health Visiting Nurses Association, which received $5,000 to support its child abuse prevention program. Through the program, the VNA provides in-home education and counseling sessions for parents in the areas of family support, abuse prevention and parent development with the goal of increasing safety, education and health in the home to prevent and decrease abuse.
  • YWCA Clinton, which received $5,000 to support its Women Workforce Ready program. The grant will help the YWCA expand the program to help address access to child care, which is a barrier to long-term economic and housing stability for many women. The program will assist with child care application fees and bridge the gap between the time women apply for Department of Human Services assistance and the start of that assistance.
  • Project Rooted, which received $3,240 for its Rooted Box program that is providing opportunities for children to sample foods from local producers and learn healthy eating habits. Project Rooted delivers snack boxes of locally produced, fresh foods as well as educational materials to first-grade classrooms in Dubuque.
  • Crescent Community Health Center, which received $2,200 for its Seating Older Kids Safely for Transport program. Through the program, Crescent provides safety seats and educational materials about installation for families with children ages 4 through 11 who are in a transitional car seat stage yet lack access to safe seating.
  • Presentation Lantern Center, which received $2,000 for its Upward Mobility Project to Empower Women and Children. The program that provides financial support for educational opportunities to immigrant women not eligible for federal student aid, with the goal of supporting them on their path to self-sufficiency and stability.
  • Dubuque YMCA/YWCA, which received $1,000 for its crisis services program. Through the program, the YMCA/YWCA provides temporary emergency shelter and supportive services to victimized women and their families so they have the protection to live safely in the community.
  • Riverview Center, which received $560 for its emergency food and basic needs Assistance program. The trauma experienced by survivors of sexual abuse can impact their ability to work, which takes a toll on their ability to address basic needs like food. Riverview Center’s pantry provides food and other items for survivors during a difficult time.

    “These grants are all because of people like you,” Women’s Giving Circle President Mimi Vaassen, told the crowd of more than 70 guests. “As our endowment grows through membership gifts, so does our grantmaking capacity. We are so grateful for your ongoing generosity and commitment to our community.”

    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 nearly $500,000, which pays out 5% each year to support grantmaking. To date, the group has granted $150,000 to local nonprofits focused on addressing the needs of women and children in the Dubuque region.

    Throughout the year, members have the opportunity to attend events with guests that help shed light on issues in the region that the group can help address through philanthropy. Members can be as involved as they want, and many choose to participate on the grant committee, reviewing grant applications and digging deeper into local needs.

    Dozens of members brought guests to the June 8 event, introducing them to the group and its work. Often, first-time guests go on to become members themselves. To date, more than 175 members have supported the Women’s Giving Circle and its grantmaking.

    “When I look out at the crowd, I think about how all of our new members might bring a friend to our next event in September,” Vaassen said. “From there, we can watch our impact grow.”

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