By Teri Jakob, Women’s Fund Advisory Committee Member
- Recruit 1,000 women to join the Dream Team by each making a gift of $1,000 or more which will be used to create a lasting endowment of $1 million to support women and girls now, and far into the future; and
- Make grants annually to local nonprofit organizations that focus on bettering the lives of women and girls in the South Central PA counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, and Perry, and the Dillsburg Area.
During the 2017 Power of the Purse, 15 women were newly inducted into the Dream Team. New Create Level member, Dr. Carolyn C. Dumaresq was introduced to the Women’s Fund by Janice Black, TFEC President & CEO, and Dr. Chris Cavanaugh, former chair of the Women’s Fund Advisory Committee. Dr. Dumaresq says, “I have been part of the Women’s fund since 2013. I have been chair and am currently chair of the grantmaking committee. I joined because I believe strongly in the mission of enhancing the lives of women and children through education and social services focusing on economic self-sufficiency.”
Following their motto of Dream Create Sustain Inspire, the Women’s Fund makes grants to local nonprofits in support of projects that advance the lives of women and girls by addressing basic needs and developing economic self-sufficiency, strengthening or providing health and safety programs, or promoting the education of women and girls. Some recent grants include funding for programs providing rental assistance to single mothers, scholarships for girls to participate in enrichment opportunities, and supplemental needs for new moms.
“I have attended Women’s Fund events for many years and am always touched by the stories of the grant recipients,” shared Lisa Ritter. “I thought it was time for me to make the contribution to become a Dream Team member and support this great work. In my own family, my grandmother and great grandmother inspired me with what they were able to achieve. My great grandmother came to the U.S. as a teenager, not knowing the language and with few skills. I am amazed at what she was able to accomplish in her life time. My grandmother worked full time for an insurance company as the sole bread winner of her family. Without so much as a high school education she worked her way up into a supervisory role.”
Dr. Dumaresq notes the overwhelming need for basic support services in our community with limited funds, “I think we need to be looking at ‘hands up’ support vs. ‘hand outs’, and that is so very hard to do.” Through opportunities such as supporting the Healthy Steps Diaper Bank, the Women’s Fund empowers a mom to work by providing the necessary diapers she needs for daycare each day. “I was reminded of my grandmother and great grandmother while volunteering for an immigration and refugee program this year. The language and cultural barriers make life difficult for the women in these families to accomplish even the simplest task. The women are typically left to negotiate getting children enrolled in school, making sure they get vaccinated, figuring out homework, negotiating groceries etc.,” Ms. Ritter recalled. “For me, I believe mentoring women and providing a support system is an extremely important issue.” The Women’s Fund gives hope to women, funding mentoring programs such as the Perry County Literacy Council and Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area.
Through your support we have created a network of hope, strength, and opportunity. With 133 members to-date, the Women’s Fund endowment stands at just over $385,000. Join us today and you can help us reach our $1 million goal!