Women's Fund to support children's group
While some potential volunteers might shy from a time commitment, The Women's Fund members celebrated what they can do when they pool together monetary donations for a big impact.
"I know what can happen because of donations from people like you -- they help people like me who came from nothing," said Shannon Dacus, chair of the executive committee, at the organization's fifth-annual "Power of the Purse" luncheon. "I know you and your money are making a difference, because there are women and children out there who are just like me and my mother."
The organization has given away more than $400,000 since its beginning, and it expects to surpass more than $500,000 in the next year.
This year, more than 200 members of the organization voted to support the Children's Advocacy Center, The Salvation Army's youth outreach program and the Tyler Day Nursery. Representatives from all three shared their stories with Women's Fund members.
The Children's Advocacy Center used the funds for soundproofing the rooms they use for interviewing children who have been sexual assaulted. The interviews are conducted in order to build a better case to prosecute.
Detective Diana Brown, who works with the Children's Advocacy Center, spoke of the importance of the soundproofing for children to feel comfortable.
"Children are often very uncomfortable talking in a hospital or in their homes," she said. "The last thing the children want is for people to hear their horrible stories."
The Salvation Army youth program allowed Kay Waddell the opportunity to find a job, while her son, Logan, had someone to help him with his homework and teach him about spiritual life.
"He really enjoys it," she said. "It takes a burden off of me so I can be a better mother to him."
She and Logan were able to move out of the Salvation Army shelter after she found a job as a pharmacy technician, and he still attends the program.
The Tyler Day Nursery builds a foundation for children to be better prepared for their education. Tracy Gentry's fourth-grade daughter, who attended the program, reads at a sixth-grade level -- which Ms. Gentry attributed to the organization.
"She loved it," she said. "When we pass by, she still says, 'That's my old school!'"
Members of the Women's Fund, who each get one vote no matter how much they donate, will vote for next year's grant recipients on Dec. 1. Call 903-509-1771 for more information.