Women’s Impact Fund distributes grants

Published 6:07 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

The Women’s Impact Fund of the Suffolk Foundation awarded three grants totaling $6,000 earlier this month.

The group held a small event Nov. 17 in the BB&T Gallery at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts to recognize the grantees. It was the highest amount of money given by the fund since it started in 2018.

“The focus of the group is to assist women and children in Suffolk,” said Kim Waller, the chair of the Women’s Impact Fund. “There’s so many people, single moms or kids, that need some opportunity for advancement or basic needs, that’s sort of what we’ve chosen to focus on.”

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The Women’s Impact Fund primarily raises funds through donations and dues from members.

“We have our own designated account we are using to fund these gifts,” Waller said.

Communities in Schools of Hampton Roads received $4,000 to continue its work in local schools. Anne Wilber said the program runs in Mack Benn Jr., Hillpoint and Elephant’s Fork elementary schools and King’s Fork Middle School. It complements the work of the school counselors and works directly with individual students as well as sometimes putting on programs for the entire school.

The grant will be used to help put in vegetable gardens at each of its schools, Wilber said.

“There’s all sorts of lessons you can learn with a vegetable garden,” she said.

The Nansemond River Preservation Alliance received $1,500 from the Women’s Impact Fund. The group will use the money as part of its educational programs that help connect students in Suffolk schools with the environment, particularly with the Nansemond River and its tributaries. Students are able to get hands-on experiences through these programs.

The Hampton Roads Community Action Program received a $500 donation to assist with its many programs, some of which include a Head Start program, income tax preparation assistance, and financial literacy classes on topics such as homeownership and credit repair.

Waller said any women who are interested in getting involved with the Women’s Impact Fund can reach out to her at 757-377-7735 or krwteeoff@gmail.com for more information.

“We would like to involve more women in the area to be part of the decision-making,” she said.