The Women’s Fund of Smith County has awarded four grants grants totaling $229,073 to nonprofit programs which benefit women and children in Smith County.
The awards were announced during a ceremony Thursday at Willow Brook Country Club.
Recipients include: Discovery Science Place for its Mobile Planetarium Program, East Texas Crisis Center for its Counseling Intervention Program, Next Step Community Solutions for Suicide Prevention and Counseling Expansion and PATH for expansion of its Transitional Housing Program.
About 200 Women’s Fund members and guests attended the event.
“As members of the Women’s Fund of Smith County, we are dedicated to working together. Everything we do is guided by the values we share. Our core values of collective giving, collaboration, respect, excellence and responsibility are practiced through our programs and our actions,” said Kristen Seeber, President of the Women’s Fund. “Our cumulative grants awarded, since 2009, now reaches $1.6 million, impacting 27 different Smith County nonprofit agencies and countless lives.”
The Women’s Fund was created in 2007 as a giving circle. The group’s mission is "transforming our community by funding programs that enrich the lives of women and children."
“The grant-making program is the heart and primary focus of our organization,” noted Kay Latta, 2019 Board Chair. “Each member of the Women’s Fund has a voice in the grants process through her giving and her vote for the grants we award annually.”
Discovery Science Place received a $35,000 grant, which will be used to purchase a professionally produced planetarium system, according to the Women’s Fund.
East Texas Crisis Center received a $46,750 grant. The grant will help grow the number of clients receiving therapy by hiring a third Licensed Professional Counselor.
Next Step Community Solutions was awarded a grant $97,323. The organization’s new Suicide Prevention and Counseling Expansion program is a youth suicide prevention program.
“This model is intended to build resilience, break codes of secrecy and silence, and inhibit the onset of suicidality,” the Women’s Fund stated.
PATH received a $50,000 award for expansion of its Transitional Housing Program.
“PATH owns 52 homes that are identified as affordable and are marketed to low-income families. Families who are working to achieve financial goals and stability are ensured they will pay no more than 30 percent of their monthly income toward their housing expenses,” the Women’s Fund said in a news release.
The group said it was honored to support the nonprofit groups.
“It is our honor to support Discovery Science Place, East Texas Crisis Center, Next Step Community Solutions, and PATH for their innovative programs,” said Agnes Ward, Women’s Fund Vice Chair for Grants. “Each of these projects is designed to have far-reaching impact – not results for one year, but for many years to come.”