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The Wake County Women’s Giving Network today awarded $130,000 to three area nonprofits that support women and/or children, according to Noel Lichtin, chair of the local giving circle, which is a program of the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF).

Receiving grants were Urban Ministries of Wake County, Read and Feed and SAFEchild. The awards were announced at the Network’s annual luncheon.

Urban Ministries will receive $50,000 for the Helen Wright Center for Women, which serves 250 homeless women annually, providing safety and security from the streets. The Helen Wright Center is the only shelter and transitional program in the county for women not diagnosed with substance abuse problems.

Read and Feed will receive $45,000 to purchase and operate a second mobile classroom, allowing the organization to expand its service to 350 more children per year. The program travels to Wake County neighborhoods four evenings a week, helping to improve reading deficiencies among disadvantaged children and their families and also provides nutritious meals.

SAFEchild will be awarded $35,000 for its Advocacy Center, a child and family friendly facility offering integrated services for 325 child victims of abuse and their non-offending parents. Collaborating service partners, such as law enforcement officers, child protection workers, legal advocates and medical and mental health professionals partner in one location to help children, eliminating or minimizing the need to marshal victims throughout various systems from facility to facility.

Network members voted on recipients in a competitive grants process. Grants Chair Claudia Kadis said the membership had a record number of quality programs serving critical needs for Wake County women and/or children. “Our members tell us the voting becomes more difficult each year, which speaks to both the high need and quality of the nonprofit programs in our area,” she said.

This year’s gifts from the Wake County Women’s Giving Network bring the total of grants given to area nonprofits to $424,000 in just four years. “To award $130,000 this year in this economy to programs serving such critical needs is certainly a sign of the Network’s increasing impact on local philanthropy,” said Jennifer Tolle Whiteside, president and CEO of the NCCF. The NCCF supports eight other women’s giving programs across the state and the Statewide Women’s Fund.

About the Wake County Women’s Giving Network

The Network is designed to maximize women’s leadership in philanthropy by engaging and educating its membership, increasing charitable contributions and strengthening the Wake County community through the impact of collective giving. Past grants recipients include 2007: Learning Together and the Women’s Center of Wake County; 2008: InterAct and SAFEchild; 2009: Hospice of Wake County, Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood, Urban Ministries of Wake County and Wake Technical Community College Foundation. For information about joining the Wake County Women’s Giving Network or applying for a 2011 grant, contact Jeanne Lawson at 256-6914 or

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