Charman Driver, Women's Giving Network member, laughs before addressing grants reception attendees on the importance and value of the network.

The Women’s Giving Network of Wake County awarded more than $67,000 in local grants to three area nonprofits serving women and/or children, according to Kella Hatcher, president of the giving circle’s leadership committee. This brings the total grant dollars awarded to local nonprofits over the last ten years to more than $1 million.

Hatcher said the Women’s Giving Network was thrilled to have achieved such a notable milestone in a decade. “Our philosophy has been to award gifts at a level that can make an impact on local needs and issues,” she said. “I’m proud that we have achieved such a meaningful grants total.”

Network leadership and grantee representatives pose for a picture following the grants reception. Pictured are (left to right): Lotta Sjoelin, A Lotta Love director; Hayden Constance, network grants chair; Nicole Bruno, Transitions Guiding Lights; Lenora Evans, Frankie Lemmon School & Development Center; and Kella Hatcher, network president.

Grants awarded this year are:

$30,000 to IFC-A Lotta Love for Wrenn House renovation

A Lotta Love's mission is to provide dignity, hope and a sense of home to families, women and children living in temporary environments. Nearly a quarter of North Carolina's homeless population is made up of children, and the shelters that house them struggle to provide basic food and a bed. Establishing an environment conducive to reading, creative play and studying will increase readiness for school and foster a sense of hope and safety. Most importantly, providing a caring setting for children in these most difficult of circumstances conveys a belief in their potential and humanity.

$25,000 to Guiding Lights for enhanced Nurse Aide training

Transitions Guiding Lights’ Nurse Aide (NA1) training program provides a pathway out of poverty and entry into a career path, as experience as an NA1 is a prerequisite for nursing school and 90% of students are low income, with limited work experience and educational opportunity. Funds will support the entry of low income women into healthcare careers by providing scholarships to the Nurse Aide (NA1) training program at Transitions Guiding Lights’ Caregiver Training Institute.

$12,600 to Frankie Lemmon School & Developmental Center for a playground for 3-year-olds with special needs

In order to get a head start on early development for 3-year-old's, a playground must serve their specific needs. The earlier children can experience playing together, communicating with each other and learning how to play, the better for their development and future. Playgrounds for children with physical disabilities need to be fun, and also serve to develop their physical, intellectual and social skills. Over the course of 20 years, this playground will serve more than 2,000 children.

Incoming Network President Laurie Hughes addresses the reception attendees.

Women’s Giving Network of Wake County members voted on recipients in a competitive grants process. Grants Committee Chair Hayden Constance said it was a challenge this year for the membership to choose from so many excellent programs serving critical needs for Wake County women and/or children.

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