Network awards 2015 grants!

The Cary Women's Giving Network awarded $17,000 in grants April 30! Our giving circle is only three and a half years old and already making impact grants.

Recipients this year (photographed on the Cary Women's home page) included Note in the Pocket, represented by Board Secretary Susan Pruskin, left; The Hope Center at Pullen, represented by Stacy Bluth, second from left; Cary Family YMCA, represented by Allison Bost, second from right; and Transitions LifeCare, represented by Jennifer Kreimer, far right. Also photographed is Karen Mills, center, grants chair from the Network.

The grant recipients' program descriptions are impressive! See below:

The Hope Center at Pullen -- $5,000 for General Operating Support

The Hope Center connects young people aging out of foster care with the resources and support they need for a successful transition to adulthood. Each year 30-40 young people in Wake County age out of foster care at the age of 18. Wake County services end for those aging out, and these young people are left alone to figure out how to piece together their lives. It goes without saying that most 18 year olds in the U.S. are unable to live fully independent lives. The Hope Center provides clients with coaching and intensive support in the areas of housing, education, employment, financial management, physical and mental health and building a support network. The Hope Center currently serves 90 young people between the ages of 13-25, and is expanding their services to include more clients outside of Raleigh. In Cary, there are currently 72 young people in foster care. This grant will go to general operating support to expand capacity for the Center.

Note in the Pocket -- $5,000 for Seasonal Inventory/Distribution Enhancement Project

Children living without basic necessities experience extreme disadvantages, often including illness and disease, unhealthy levels of stress hormones, and emotional and behavior problems. Note in the Pocket provides two weeks of high-quality clothes and shoes and strives to lessen the impact of these negative factors.  In 2014, they provided clothes to over 2,300 individuals and had multiple months with nearly 300 requests per month. They have utilized every inch of the 4,000 square foot space they currently occupy. It is not possible to continue to increase their impact with their current arrangement. A larger facility that provides the additional processing and inventory space needed, will allow NITP to reach a greater number of children and families. Cary has the second largest population of students that they serve. This grant will allow NITP to expand their clothing inventory so they can continue to grow distribution numbers and expand their impact to more students.

Cary Family YMCA -- $5,000 for Y Learning program at Kingswood Elementary

Y Learning is the Cary Family YMCA’s signature free-of-charge afterschool tutorial program for low-income and at-risk youth.  Kingswood Elementary in Cary is their newest program, which started in November 2014 and serves 50 students.  Kingwood struggles to educate its low-income population: in the 2013-2014 school year, more than 60% of the students received free & reduced lunch, a measure of childhood poverty. There is ample evidence of the ‘achievement gap’ for low-income students when compared to their affluent peers.  Kingswood Elementary students need remedial support in order to become academically proficient. Y Learning can help students improve their academic competencies. The Y Learning program will provide students with remedial reading, writing, and math assistance, as well as homework help, with the goal of all of its participants performing at or above grade-level in reading and math. This grant will fund supplies and equipment.

Transitions LifeCare (formerly Hospice of Wake County) -- $2,000 for Music Therapy Program for Children’s Grief Camp

The U.S. Census estimates that 1 in 20 children will experience the death of a parent by the time they graduate from high school—nearly 2,100 children in Cary. While many children will lose a parent, they do not have enough life experience to prepare them to deal with death. As a result, children grieve differently than adults, often internalizing grief and blaming themselves.  When children do not receive the support they need in dealing with a death, they often turn to negative behavior, becoming depressed, or having difficulty in school. One of the most effective ways for children to resolve their grief is through counseling. Camp Reflections is a one-day children’s summer camp that brings the counseling outside, and combines it with expressive arts and other activities, especially for younger children. This grant will fund an expressive music therapy program at Camp Reflections.

 The Cary Women's Giving Network and the NCCF congratulate these deserving nonprofits!