Robin Kinkead knows better than anyone that the Dulles South Food Pantry can’t help others without some help itself.
Kinkead’s group was one of 20 to formally receive contributions from 100WomenStrong at an April 19 ceremony in Leesburg. In total, the non-profit distributed $193,700 to the 20 groups, which had to create an extensive use and action plan before receiving funds.
“People like 100WomenStrong have been the angel on our shoulders to hep us get where we are,” said Kinkead, the food pantry’s treasurer.
Founded by Loudoun County philanthropist Karen Schaufeld in 2008, 100WomenStrong works to help the quality of life for county residents. Its members facilitate donations for specific grants to non-profits working to assist the county’s citizens with shelter, health, hunger and education. That includes groups like the Dulles South Food Pantry, which in three years has become a leading resource to feed the needy in the southeastern portion of Loudoun.
The organization focuses on targeted synergies between programs, awarding grants to organizations that not only help Loudoun citizens, but each other. It has become a point of pride for many politicians of both parties in the area, and six members of the General Assembly attended the presentation ceremony in Loudoun.
“100WomeStrong has done an excellent job of driving attention to needs that are not being met, which I think encourages the county and the community itself to stay involved,” said Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34).
Starting with a grant for a table nine years ago, 100WomenStrong has become a a donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties and raised more than $1.3 million. It was the product of Schaufeld’s vision for a female-lead initiative to fill in the gaps where the county’s social safety nets fall short. With more than 30 women already partnered with the group, Schaufeld plans to helm the organization till and through it’s 100th member.
“A lot of people make the assumption that there’s not need in the community,” Schaufeld said. “Clearly, there’s a need.”
The following organizations were among the 90 applicants that received 100WomenStrong grants for 2017:
- This is My Brave ($5,000): To produce live stage production at NOVA community college to work toward ending the stigma associated with mental illness
- Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter ($20,000): Purchase and install a phone system at the emergency shelter and crisis center
- All Ages Read Together ($20,000): Provide Funds to help Sterling-area students without access to preschool
- Dulles South Food Pantry ($8,000): Expand seasonal storage, improve facility and to hire part-time Operations Manager
- EveryMind ($10,000): Expand Serving Together program, which helps military members, veterans and their families navigate family services, evaluate mental health needs and identify when someone is in crisis
- Five Stones Institute ($4,500): Bring mindfulness training to children in the after-school program at INMED Partnerships for Children in Sterling, supporting Latino children in crisis
- Friends of Loudoun Mental Health ($8,400): Funding for A Place to Call Home program for residents with mental illness to prevent homelessness
- Girls on the Run ($1,000): Support sustainable growth of program; particularly providing stipend for 12-month volunteer position
- Head Start Program ($7,800): Purchase Spot Vision Screener for 3- and 4-year-olds in Head Start
- HealthWorks ($37,500): Help fund position of nurse Maternity Coordinator for pre-natal, post-partum, well-visits and family planning services
- Heeling House ($10,000): Implement animal-assisted social skills program for children with special needs
- Just Neighbors ($8,000): Provide immigration legal services to 15 families and support community clinics
- Loudoun Hunger Relief ($5,000): Improve inventory and request system technology in pantry; provide nutrition and healthy cooking classes
- Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers ($12,500): Fund supplemental food delivery and shopping programs for elderly, chronically ill and disabled adults.
- Northern Virginia Family Services ($7,500): Fund resiliency-based parenting intervention for parents of children enrolled in Early Head Start program
- Peers and Students Taking Action (PASTA) ($1,500): Support for 4th/5th grade tutoring and mentoring program called “Nothing’s ImPASTAble”
- Ryan Bartel Foundation ($10,000): Expand “We’re All Human” committees and training programs in six additional high schools for peer-to-peer approach to suicide prevention and awareness
- SCAN of Northern Virginia ($10,000): Train new facilitators for the Darkness to Light/Stewards of Children educational model to prevent child abuse
- Step Sisters ($7,000): Start crisis fund for cancer patients experiencing extreme financial strain
- Volunteers of America ($10,000): Support Hope’s Chariot Transportation program for Loudoun Homeless Services Center