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AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!

2019 Grants Showcase

September 11, 2019

The annual Grants Showcase highlights the impact of AAWGT’s philanthropy as grantees inform and inspire community members with stories illustrating how our grant funds are making a difference in Anne Arundel County.  On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 77 AAWGT members and 69 guests gathered at the Blue Heron Room in Quiet Waters Park to hear how six non-profits utilized the funds provided them during the 2018 grant year.  President Sue Pitchford opened the evening while Assistant Membership Chair Margo Cook thanked corporate sponsors One North Wealth Services and Holden & Campbell, Attorneys at Law for their support in underwriting some of AAWGT’s operating costs. Opening remarks also were made by Ann Francis, Development Director for the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC), the umbrella organization under which AAWGT operates.

Next, Eileen Cortese, Chair of the Post-Grants Evaluation Committee, asked representatives from each of the seven 2018 grantees to describe how AAWGT’s total of $105,136 in grants were put to work over the last grant year, concluding June 30, 2019.  The grantees were: Anne Arundel County CASA, Anne Arundel County Public Library Foundation, Inc.,  Arundel Child Care Connections, Associated Catholic Charities, Inc.,  Sarah’s House, Seeds 4 Success, Inc., and STAIR—Annapolis, Inc. Speakers shared their thanks and described multiple uplifting success stories.  Highlights included library customers being able to conduct job interviews by video, using AAWGT-funded computers; a family whose father doubled his wages through job training paid for with AAWGT funds, allowing them move out of emergency shelter into independent housing; and almost 100 second grade students whose reading level rose from under-performing to at-grade-level due to the efforts of their tutors.  A memorable moment occurred when speaker Najiba Hlemi, Executive Director of Seeds 4 Success, shared that she herself had been a “CASA kid” in her youth, a background she has in common with many of the children she helps today. Her story illustrates how local non-profits are working together to make life better for county residents, sometimes without knowing it!

Also introduced during the program were the seven grantee organizations chosen to receive a total of $112,778 in grants for the 2019 grant year, beginning July 1. They are: Creating Communities, Light House, Inc., Organization of Hispanic/Latin Americans of Anne Arundel County, Inc., Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County, Inc., STAIR-Annapolis, Inc., Tahirih Justice Center, and Touchstones Discussion Project. Attendees were able to visit the organization’s information tables to learn more about their mission and programs, and it will be exciting to hear their stories next year.

Sue Pitchford closed the evening by announcing an exciting initiative to raise $20,000 in donations to AAWGT’s grant fund by the end of 2019 to fund an extra grant in 2020.  Details on how to donate to this fund can be found on this site.

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