The Women’s netWork, formed in May 2005, announced today at their regular monthly luncheon the formation of the Manistee County Women’s Empowerment Giving Circle. By the end of the luncheon, after an impressive report, 30% of the start up goal had been reached.
“Giving Circles are a grass roots phenomenon that began in early 2000,” said Judy Ouvry, one of the co-founders of the Women’s netWork. “These groups pool donations in order to make a greater impact on the causes they fund. This giving circle will fund women and girls’ issues in the areas of professional development and leadership.”
Karen Bruchan, executive director of the Manistee County Community Foundation presented the Women’s Empowerment Giving Circle at the luncheon attended by over 50 women.
“This will be a fund at the Manistee County Community Foundation. The mission of this Giving Circle is to encourage and promote the economic self-sufficiency and well-being of women and girls,” said Bruchan. “Grant-making will focus on key areas of growth including education, leadership, political readiness, business incubation, and professional development.”
The Manistee County Women’s Empowerment Giving Circle will have an element not common to giving circles. Women and girls who are awarded grants will also be assigned a mentor to support and guide her along her path of growth and development.
Bruchan noted numerous statistics about the status of women in Michigan, and specifically in Manistee County. According to the Status of Women in Michigan Report done by the Nokomis Foundation, one in ten Michigan women live below the poverty line. Michigan Women had a composite score of C-, earning two thirds of what Michigan men earn for full-time employment.
Locally statistic show that in 2000, over half of all female householder families with children 0-5 were considered to be in poverty. Manistee County women’s median income in 2000 was $3,521 less that the 10-county region.
“We were overwhelmed by the immediate financial support for this endeavor that came forward to start this fund,” said Vanessa Buhs, co-founder of the Women’s netWork. “But we were not surprised. Women give generously when they know there is a need and a solution. This giving circle will be part of the solution.”
For more information about the Women’s Empowerment Giving Circle or to join the Women’s netWork, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Manistee County Community Foundation at 231-723-7269.