The Women's Fund, a women-only philanthropy group, announced its annual recipients of grants at the event.
The fund is made up of 208 women who each donated at least $500 to be part of the giving circle.
Nonprofits, who work with women and children, submitted project proposals to a grant selecting committee and each member voted on the one program it wished to support, said Betsy Bush Hahn, coordinator for the Women's Fund.
In 2013, a total of $141,300 will be distributed among the Christian Women's Job Corps, Literacy Center of Tyler, Children's Advocacy Center of Smith County and Young Audiences of Northeast Texas.
Kathy Gohmert, executive director of Christian Women's Job Corps, said the funds will update the organizations servers, software and provide eight additional computers.
The program teaches economically disadvantaged women how to use essential workplace programs, such as Quickbooks, Microsoft Word and Excel.
Mrs. Gohmert said five women can be taught on each computer, allowing the program to educate an additional 40 women per semester.
“The Women's Fund has allowed us to advance our program further than we ever thought we could when we started in 1998,” Mrs. Gohmert said.
The Literacy Council will use its funding to continue the Career Pathways Program, which helps women work on earning a GED and a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license concurrently, Executive Director Nancy Crawford said.
The program has sent 90 women straight to work or to License Vocational Nursing program, and the grant funds will educate an additional 30 more, Ms. Crawford said, adding she hopes funding will continue to be available to keep the program going indefinitely.
At the Children's Advocacy Center, a matching grant will help the organization hire a program director and therapist for its Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy program.
Executive Director Ingelise Ezell said the program is a proven program to help children of severe physical and sexual abuse, and studies show 85 percent of children who go through it are visibly less traumatized following the 12 to 16 week program.
“It makes (us) feel so fortunate to have support for the children of Smith County from the dedicated group of women in the Women's Fund,” Ms. Ezell said.
Young Audiences of Northeast Texas works to provide arts programming to Tyler schools for all its core classes. Board president Connie Moore said when students have fun with the material by singing and dancing it makes them more likely to retain the information and causes critical thinking.
The program also teaches dance to young ladies. Ms. Moore said the program helps them develop character, keep their grades up and foster self esteem. The grant will help the organization provide an after school dance program to students at Hogg and Stewart middle schools.
“We are in the process of developing a strong research base on how (the dance program) impacts the girls academically and socially and use that information to show it works and expand it to other schools,” she said.
Ms. Moore said her organization and the Women's Fund have a similar mission — to help women and children in the community —- and she was honored to receive funds to continue their programming.
In its five years in existence, the Women's Fund has given a total $542,169 to deserving programs, according to a news release from the fund. It is open to all women in Smith County to join. To get involved, visit their website at www.wom ensfundsc.org or call 903-343-4411.