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Full Circle News


December 2023

Message from Leadership

This Year was Amazing and 2024 will be Even Better

As 2023 draws to a close, we reflect on the successes of this year and think about what we want to accomplish in 2024. We now have over 300 members, with our new membership options allowing more women to join us as collective philanthropists. We reworked many aspects of our grants process and were gratified to be able to award the most grant dollars in our history. And, we plan to continue this trajectory in 2024! We hosted education programs to inform our members — and the general public — about a number of issues critical to women and families in the County and encourage them to engage in working to solve them. That’s what we do in AAWGT. To everyone who has supported AAWGT in any number of ways this year, we thank you. We wish all a good December and happy holidays!


Susan Cook, President
Margaret Davis, Vice President

Grantee Spotlight:

Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County
(Safe and Healthy Housing 2023)

According to Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County (RTAAC), receiving the 2023 grant gave them a new lease on life. They had spent the last year restructuring from the bottom up without senior management, which left the work and mission to repair homes, revitalize communities and rebuild lives somewhat limited. “This grant gave us the opportunity to search for and hire a new executive director.”

This fall they were able to re-engage fully with their clients and begin to repair their homes. Corporate sponsorship projects with volunteers were completed along with a roof replacement and extensive plumbing installation. They have also expanded their donor base with community outreach via fundraising activities. Their ED, although not officially hired at the time, was present and volunteered at both a fundraising and a volunteer project.

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One client, whose home volunteers repaired on a beautiful September day, said she could not believe that people she didn’t know came to her home, cleared, trimmed, removed bushes from the front of her house so she could see the street, installed a railing so she could get up her front steps, replaced an outside light so she could feel safe and installed a ceiling fan so she could have proper ventilation. She was very grateful, as was Rebuilding Together, to have been able to make her life safer, healthier, and more independent.

This grant has allowed Rebuilding Together to expand their community advocacy and extend their reach throughout the county, thus being able to fulfill the needs of the increasing demand for home repairs for those who cannot afford these repairs and want to age in place in their communities.

Member Highlight:

Meet Christy Martin

Christy Martin is a very recent member of AAWGT, having joined in August of this year — just in time to attend the September Grants Showcase. Longtime members Stealey Ashley and Kathy Brooks, whom she knows as Title Officer for Mid-Atlantic Settlement Services, introduced Christy to the organization. They shared their perspectives knowing that its mission would resonate with her. While she has volunteered for many years and committed herself to different areas of service, with her two sons now 19 and 21 years of age, she thought it might be the perfect time to “lean into volunteering” with AAWGT.

This year’s Grants Showcase gave Christy a perfect opportunity to experience the essence of Anne Arundel Women Giving Together. She was particularly struck by the dedication and thoroughness of those involved in reviewing grants and she witnessed first hand the careful and supportive role the Post Grants Committee plays with grantees in the year following their awards. She had an opportunity to meet and chat with a number of members about the varying roles they play (or have played) in AAWGT over the years. “The evening spoke volumes about the passion, dedication, and careful thought that goes into this organization and its mission.”

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Christy has been active in real estate since 2011, serving as sales associate and real estate instructor as well as title officer. One of her primary passions is yoga. She has taught all types of yoga to multiple age groups over the past decade. It fits well with the mindfulness and meditation she practices every day. In both yoga and real estate, her personal path in life is a combination of being the learner and teacher, always circling from one back to the other. She believes yoga and real estate are both services that help others on their journey and for her, being a part of someone’s journey is the greatest gift. With that in mind, after learning more about AAWGT, Christy knew contributing to the mission would be a perfect fit for her.

2024 Grants Process Well Underway

This year’s Grants Team (Jean Mitchell, chair, and Stealey Ashley and Stacey FitzSimmons, assistant chairs) announces key 2024 dates:

  • The 2024 Grant Application (available for the second year in Spanish) currently on the AAWGT website in pdf format HERE
  • Official application period begins January 2
  • Applications must be submitted by February 1
  • Zoom information session for prospective applicants to be held January 9
  • Thirty-nine AAWGT members, whose work begins February 20 and finishes April 11, have been recruited as grant reviewers
  • All members vote online for their choices in early May
  • This year, for the first time, only organizations with gross annual revenues of less than $1,000,000 (excluding in-kind revenue) are eligible to apply

November 15th Education Program:

Oh, the Places They Could Go If…The Realities Facing Early Learners.

A video of the program, written synopsis, and resource list are available HERE.

AAWGT Members Chosen as DEI Advocate Awardees

Members Deborah Chin and Michelle Hellstern were nominated by AAWGT and chosen to receive DEI Advocate Awards at the 2023 Philanos PowerUP! Baltimore Conference in early November. They were among 13 women selected from across the country to serve in the inaugural cohort that aims to broaden and diversify the group of women who will participate in philanthropy at the national level.

A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Members:

Karen Adams-Gilchrist, Tiffany Farley, Kerry Hannan, Monica Ingson, Lisa Knoll, Karen Lerario

Find us on Facebook:
Anne Arundel Women Giving Together |
AAWGT is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County
AAWGT is a member of Philanos: Accelerating Philanthropy through Women’s Collective Giving

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