Suffolk Women’s Impact Fund celebrates five years of giving

Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Among many groups that continue to impact the community positively is the Suffolk Foundation’s Women’s Impact Fund. Founded in 2018 by six founding women, the organization is a network of 40 philanthropic-minded women aiming to improve the quality of life of Suffolk and Western Tidewater’s women and children. Marking five years of grant-giving and inspiring others to reach greater heights, the group will continue presenting grant opportunities as they gear up for this year’s Grant Awards Presentation on Saturday, Dec. 9. Suffolk Foundation Women’s Impact Fund Chair Dr. Sharon Raghubar talked about the upcoming ceremony.

“We do the Grant Giving Ceremony at our holiday party. It’s one of our two social events where members come together and also introduce organizations to potential members,” Raghubar said. “We’re always looking for women who share the similar value of enhancing the lives of women and children. So when I listen to our women, we’re always looking to [bring] women empowerment … our community thrives when we all come together to improve the well-being of women and children.”

Raghubar continued.

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“Over the years, I’ve learned so much about our community, and I think this is just a chance to change a woman’s life. But it’s not just a chance to change that woman’s life, but a chance to change her entire family’s future for generations to come,” she said. “When a woman becomes independent financially, she can enhance her life or her family’s life with financial independence and confidence. When a woman is confident, I think they can make the world just a better place and we want to share that with other women too.”

WIF’s grant-giving focus for 2023 is on grassroots organizations that concentrate on providing life-navigating skills for Suffolk and Western Tidewater’s women and children. While the winning organizations are still surprising, Raghubar shared that three qualifying organizations were selected.

“So we’re looking at first grassroots, meaning not a federally funded program. So folks who started small organizations, or even a large organization but small focused within our community. And our other is as far as enhancing. We’re looking at education,” Raghubars said. 

As Chair, Raghubar talked about what it meant to her and WIF members to continue creating opportunities for others.

“Super inspiring and motivated to continue to do the work. I personally find enjoyment of seeing this idea that was created by six founding women back in 2018 to come to fruition. I find it personally satisfying and you know, [we’re] huge on purpose,” she said. “A lot of times we don’t meet the folks that benefit from it, but we’ve met one person last year, she had earned a scholarship and she went on to study environmental sciences and was able to achieve an internship as a freshman in college. So we’re so grateful to be able to do that … and we’re inspired to continue service for others.”

For more information, go to suffolkfoundation.org/funds/womens-impact-fund or call (757) 923-9090 or email WIFSuffolk@gmail.com.