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Women's Fund

The Women's Fund is an endowment fund that is invested prudently and provides grants to help women and their families lift themselves to a better standard of living.  The fund is part of a growing movement nationwide, which allows women to fulfill their unique motivations to give back to their communities.  Our Women's Fund focuses specifically on making a positive impact in center Pennsylvania: Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin, Lebanon, and Perry counties, and the Dillsburg Area.

For more information on the Women's Fund,
click here to view the brochure.
If you would like to pledge your support for the Women's Fund,
click here.

Women's Fund Featured Grantee
The current Women's Fund Featured Grantee is the Camp Koala. For more information about the current featured grantee, click here.

Women's Fund Dream Team Featured Member
The current Women's Fund Dream Team Featured Member is the Mike Breslin. For more information about the current featured Dream Team member, click here.

Executive Committee
  • Dr. Carolyn C. Dumaresq, PA Department of Education, Chair
  • Norma Gotwalt, Community Volunteer
  • Linda Hicks, PA Department of Public Welfare, Retired
  • Hon. Patty Kim, PA House of Representatives, 103rd Legislative District
  • Dolly Lalvani, Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • Julia Mallory, The Mental Health Association of the Capital Region
  • Ho-Thanh Nguyen, Pennsylvania Immigrant and Refugee Women's Network
  • Elaine Nissley, McKonly & Asbury LLP
  • Shileste Overton-Morris, Center for Schools and Communities
  • Elaine Nissley, McKonly & Asbury LLP
  • Jane Ransom, Girls Scounts in the Hearts of PA
  • Robin Scaer, Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau
  • Dr. Michele Sellitto, PA Department of Education
  • Valerie Simmons, Program for Female Offenders of South Central PA Inc.
  • Karen Snider, Susquehanna Consulting & Financial Group

Development Committee
  • Dr. Michele Sellitto, PA Department of Education, Chair
  • Norma Gotwalt, Community Volunteer
  • Linda Hicks, PA Department of Public Welfare, Retired
  • Julia Mallory, The Mental Health Association of the Capital Region
  • Shaylene Scheib, Lebanon Valley College
  • Kerry Voss Smith, Office for Dispute Resolution

Grantmaking Committee
  • Elaine Nissley, McKonly & Asbury LLP, Chair
  • Norma Gotwalt, Community Volunteer
  • Sylvia Hepler, Launching Lives
  • Linda Hicks, PA Department of Public Welfare, Retired
  • Jody Silliker, Christ Lutheran Church Health Ministries
  • Karen Snider, Susquehanna Consulting & Financial Group

Public Relations & Marketing Committee
  • Robin Scaer, Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, Chair
  • Lynn Burkholder, RLB Marketing, Inc.
  • Dolly Lalvani, Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • Meredith Schuler, PA House of Representatives
  • Jessica Wolfe, FGV Media

Women in Philanthropy Committee
  • Karen Snider, Susquehanna Consulting & Financial Group, Chair
  • Linda Hicks, PA Department of Public Welfare, Retired
  • Valerie Simmons, Program for Female Offenders of South Central PA

Grant Deadline for 2014: October 3, 2014
Please click here for more information on How to Apply.
Grant guidelines and application materials are made available approximately 8 weeks prior to the application deadline.

2013 Women’s Fund Grantees
Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area - $2,000.00
Project: Rental Assistance / Case Management Services
Funding to support the rental assistance and case management services provided by Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area. The program uses a three-way partnership model to bring together professional staff, homeless or at-risk single women and their children, and trained church-based mentoring group. Staff assists in goal planning; teaches budgeting and life skills; provides support services for families; trains and supports mentors; and provides rental assistance through the organization. The role of the mentoring group is to build friendship and provide emotional support; provides practical assistance; models positive parenting; and nurtures spiritual growth. The Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area program provides rental assistance and professional case management, which allows single women to move directly into their own permanent housing and for the development of a plan for long-term financial stability and success through employment.
Camp Koala - $1,000.00
Project: Family Grief Support Groups
Funding to support the Family Grief Support Groups offered to grieving children, teens, and their families. The program offers peer support and breaks the isolation grieving individuals often experience. Every season many single mothers come to the support groups with their family and report problems seeking financial and legal advice to help them stabilize their home life. It is Camp Koala's hope to keep these families together and ease the burden of these single mothers. Some of the topics that have arisen in the past include custody issues, mortgage help, settling estates and basic needs such as food and shelter.
Capital Area Girls on the Run - $1,000.00
Project: Capital Area Girls on the Run Spring Team
Funding to support a Spring Team of 10-15 girls at Melrose School, in Harrisburg School District
Girls on the Run® is a positive youth development program which combines an interactive curriculum and running to inspire self-respect and healthy lifestyles in pre-teen girls. The curriculum is designed to aid and support girls in their emotional, physical, social, and intellectual development. The 24-lesson curriculum is designed for 3rd – 8th grade girls and combines training for a 5k run with lessons that inspire them to recognize and honor their individual strengths and talents and to celebrate their inner selves. The culminating event of the 12-week season is the opportunity for the girls to participate in a non-competitive 5K running event. For most of the girls, this is the first time that they have ever attempted a physical goal of this magnitude and completion of the 5k provides an incredible feeling of strength and a real sense of accomplishment.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg - $2,500.00
Project: Lourdeshouse Maternity Home
Funding to support the Lourdeshouse Maternity Home, which offers housing and other vital services to homeless pregnant women and their infants throughout south central Pennsylvania. In addition to food and shelter, the services offered through the Lourdeshouse Maternity Home program include childbirth and parenting education, counseling, adoption, medical care, transportation, education, job training, and aftercare planning in a safe and stable environment. Additionally, Lourdeshouse operates a community pantry that provides food, diapers, formula, clothing, and furniture to its residents. This service is also available to struggling mothers in the community. The women staying at the Maternity Home work with dedicated program staff for up to 30 hours per week to complete a family wellness plan, to learn how to care for themselves and their infants, and to develop goals focused on parenting skills, infant development, and self-sufficiency. The women also receive comprehensive case management and life skills training from Lourdeshouse’s established partners in the community. The program connects expectant mothers with other agencies to find permanent housing, stable employment, educational opportunities, and accessible childcare. As women near graduation from the program, most are employed, have arranged childcare, and have found permanent places to live.
Community Check-Up Center of South Harrisburg, Inc. - $2,500.00
Project: The LARC Project
Funding to support Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) for uninsured, low-income, women. There is a documented need for long term contraception for many women in low income situations in this region; numbers are especially high in Harrisburg and particularly in the Hall Manor complex. Without this treatment, so many more unplanned pregnancies will occur. LARC devices are popular because they are very effective and they last from 3 - 10 years, depending on the type. The Community Check Up Center (CCC) always has a waiting list of patients who want one of the devices. Never wanting to turn away a woman that is in real need of this prevention method, the CCC has a “no turn away” policy and pride themselves on being able to provide services for all who enter their facilities.
Dress for Success South Central PA - $2,000.00
Project: Technology Upgrade
Funding to support a technology upgrade. With the rapid growth the organization has experienced in the past six years, Dress for Success South Central PA must ensure all technology is current and first-rate in order for clients to receive maximum benefits possible. By providing top-notch services to guide women into long-term employment, Dress for Success South Central PA can aid entire families in their fight to move out of poverty and into a secure financial future. With the recent development of the career center, appointments have more than doubled in the past year and computer courses are taught on a weekly basis. Clients deserve to have access to the most current operating systems and software through a computer and phone upgrade. Additionally, a new inventory tracking systems must be put in place to control the rapidly growing amount of donations. Lastly, Dress for Success South Central PA has secured funds for a full implementation of security systems, including cameras and automatic door locks throughout the building and donation center to ensure client, volunteer, and staff safety and to monitor inventory.
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania - $2,000.00
Project: Girl Scout Financial Assistance
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania is committed to the belief that every girl should be able to benefit from the opportunities of the Girl Scouts and that no girl should be excluded due to financial need. GSHPA's financial assistance is available for every aspect of Girl Scouting, from books and badges to camp fees and troop dues. Keeping the experiences and benefits of Girl Scouts open to all girls is as much a part of the 101-year Girl Scout tradition as is breaking gender-barriers and creating new opportunities for all girls of all backgrounds. Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania also offers outreach programming for at-risk/in-need girls in underserved areas. These programs are designed to bring the benefits of Girl Scouts directly to girls who otherwise would not or could not (lack of transportation, after school jobs, etc.) participate in this character-building programming. Financial assistance funds are necessary for these outreach programs, covering the GSUSA registration fees required for every girl. For many of these at-risk girls, outreach efforts are their only means to participate in Girl Scouts. Girl Scout outreach provides a crucial opportunity for girls to develop much needed skills and to take their first steps into the range of opportunities available through Girl Scouting.
Jewish Family Service of Greater Harrisburg Inc. - $2,044.00
Project: Girl Time, A Support Group Program for Adopted “Tweens”
When adopted “tweens,” those between ages nine and twelve, get together, such as at community cultural events, adoption agency activities, or by chance in school activities, they are often struck by how similar their experiences are. They have felt different from their school friends and peers because they look different from their parents, or because they have experienced life in an orphanage or foster care. These types of situations cause adopted tweens in particular to feel negatively about themselves. But many girls lack a voice to talk about their experiences, and their difference. AdoptionLinks, a program of Jewish Family Service, believes that these tweens deserve a voice: they deserve to learn what is special and unique about themselves, and to love and accept their differences; this learning is best done with other tweens facing parallel struggles. By bringing girls with similar questions and concerns together, they will be supported to talk to each other about their experiences, as well as to learn from each other, and come to better know their own strengths. Girl Time groups will focus on building self-esteem and positive self-concept through supportive talk and activities designed to help girls recognize their value, and give a voice to their fears.

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, 200 North Third Street, P. O. Box 678, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0678,
Telephone: (717) 236-5040, Fax: (717) 231-4463