Women to Women Grants

The Women to Women Giving Circle makes annual grants to programs and projects that encourage advancement and opportunities for local area women and children and/or girls. Women to Women has awarded a total of $245,000 in grants. These grants have touched the lives of thousands of women and girls in Central Illinois.

Grants Awarded in 2018 – $25,833

Grant Focus: Programs that develop the potential in girls aged 0-5 in our community and their support networks (families, teachers and caregivers)

Music Connections in collaboration with Mid Central Community Action – $3,072
“Kindermusik at the Neville House” – A program illustrating to mothers how implementing musical rituals into their daily routines can reduce stress and promote bonding and quality time together.

YWCA of McLean County in collaboration with Project Oz and Marcfirst – $11,261
“Parent Life Skills Training & Support Groups” – A 3-part program offering training for young people who are homeless and pregnant or parenting and transitioning to self-sufficient living, support group for parents of children with special needs, and an infant massage course.

Children’s Home + Aid in collaboration with Mid Central Community Action – $11,500
“Trauma Informed Domestic Violence Training Collaboration” – A program offering staff training in domestic violence issues specific to families with young children and training for judges and attorneys regarding the effects of childhood exposure to domestic violence.

Grants Awarded in 2017 – $40,000

Grant Focus: Programs that seek to inspire and empower girls and young women to reach their highest potential

Cabrini Green Legal Aid – $15,537
“Second Chance and Family Connections Summit”
– To bring a one-day summit to women and girls in the four-county area served by IPCF to provide Cabrini Green Legal Aid’s unique services and approach to help participants improve their economic opportunities, strengthen their families, and move forward with their lives.

Girls in the Game – $5,000
“Girls in the Game After School Program”
–  To use sports and fitness, health and nutrition education, and leadership development activities to help girls form healthy habits to benefit them now and in the future.

Girls on the Run of Central Illinois – $5,000
“McLean County Expansion”
– To provide a national program in several local elementary and middle schools that encourages positive emotional, social, mental and physical development. The 10-week program is designed to allow every girl to recognize her inner strength.

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois – $4,000 (second-year funding)
“BFF – Be a Friend First”
– To help girls identify and reject bullying in all its forms and to develop healthy relationships with peers. The grant will fill a budget gap in Girl Scout membership assistance for girls from low-income families and for program supplies.

Music Connections Foundation – $2,813
“Kindermusik at Neville House”
– To provide and teach an evidence-based program that combines singing, dancing, instrument play, story time and quiet time for mothers and children currently or formerly residing at Neville House. The learned routines can reduce stress and promote bonding and quality time.

Normal West Community High School – $7,650
“Girls Who Code – Makerspace”
– Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. A Makerspace is a room where people gather to create, invent, innovate and learn. The grant will provide equipment for the makerspace.

Grants Awarded in 2016 – $51,225

Grant Focus: Early intervention of mental health issues through training, collaboration, and/or education

Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal – $19,225
“SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) Youth Program”
– To reduce self-destructive behaviors and conditions that lead to suicide and other self-harming activities in children and youth. This grant will also provide Youth Mental Health First Aid training to the staff of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Bloomington-Normal, Pontiac, and Fairbury and the staff of LINC (Lawrence Irvin Neighborhood Center).

Girl Scouts of Central Illlinois – $2,000
“BFF – Be a Friend First”
– To help girls identify and reject bullying in all its forms and to develop healthy relationships with peers. The grant will fill a budget gap in Girl Scout membership assistance for girls from low-income families and for program supplies.

McLean County Health Department – $10,000 (second-year funding)
“Mental Health First Aid”
– Since last year’s award, 500 community members have taken the Mental Health First Aid course. Renewed funding will pay for a Train-the Trainer session to certify six more trainers, six community-wide trainings at the low cost of $10, and four to six targeted trainings for first responders.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Livingston/McLean – $4,000
“NAMI Children’s Programs”
– To train staff and volunteers to implement two key NAMI programs – “NAMI Basics” for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents who have either been diagnosed with a mental health condition or who are experiencing symptoms, and “Ending the Silence,” an in-school presentation designed to teach middle and high school students about the signs and symptoms of mental illness so that they can recognize early warning signs.

The Baby Fold – $6,000 (second-year funding)
“Healthy Start”
– To provide training to additional staff to provide this intensive long-term intervention that provides at-risk first-time mothers with the knowledge and resources to maintain a safe an healthy environment for their developing child resulting in a reduced risk of child abuse and neglect.

YWCA McLean County – $10,000
“Rural Outreach for YWCA Stepping Stones”
– To provide enhanced services and programming to under-served rural communities in McLean County on prevention of bullying, developing healthy relationships, safe touch, body safety and bystander intervention. The grant  will also provide counseling, advocacy and crisis intervention to victims of sexual assault and provide professional trainings and information to school staff and faculty.

Grants Awarded in 2015 – $40,018

Grant Focus: Educating and supporting mothers

Chestnut Health Systems – $6,210
“Moral Reconation Therapy”
– To enhance the ability of women to make healthy choices and exhibit non-criminal behavior by assisting them in increasing their moral reasoning.

Child Protection Network – $3,000
“EduCare Program”
– To reduce the prevalence of child abuse within the community by reaching large numbers of people and arming them with the tools they need to keep children safe. Program is an expansion of Child Protection Network’s current child abuse prevention efforts.

Children’s Home + Aid Society of Illinois – $2,100
“The Butterfly Project”
– To help women and children who have been impacted by domestic or community violence heal from trauma and rebuild their lives.

Labyrinth Outreach Services to Women – $7,208 (second-year funding)
“Breaking the Cycle of Unemployment for Formerly Incarcerated Women”
– To provide low income women who have been impacted by incarceration and trauma an opportunity to become self-sufficient through employment in non-traditional fields such as construction. New funding will add a “soft skills” component to the training program.

McLean County Health Department – $8,500
“IPLAN Mental Health Task Force”
– To improve community members’ understanding of mental illness and provide Mental Health First Aid classes to prepare attendees to respond effectively to mental health crises.

The Baby Fold – $8,000
“Healthy Start” – To give at-risk first-time mothers the knowledge and resources to maintain a safe and healthy environment for their developing child resulting in a reduced risk of child abuse and neglect.

YWCA McLean County – $5,000
“Moms Moving Forward” – To provide support and developmental opportunities to help single moms reach their educational goals. This program is in collaboration with Heartland Community College.

Grants Awarded in 2014 – $35,068

Grant Focus: Work force readiness, occupational certificate programs, traditional and non-traditional career training, professional development, business skills, leadership skills, job shadowing/mentorship, or similar types of programs and projects.

Children’s Home + Aid Society of Illinois – $5,000
“Independent Living Program” Program helps youth aging-out from the Illinois Child Care System to gain employable skills.

Labyrinth Outreach Services to Women – $6,068
“Breaking the Cycle: Employment as the Key to Reducing Future Incarceration of McLean County Women” – Program exposes women to non-traditional areas of employment that have potential to increase their income and broaden the range of possibilities for employment.

Mid Central Community Action, Inc. – $10,000
“Next Step Options for Self-Sufficiency” – Program addresses auxiliary and financial needs of unemployed women in McLean County who are seeking career options that provide a sustainable lifestyle.

YouthBuild McLean County – $14,000
“IMPRESS (Internships, Mentoring, Professional Development, Relationship Building, Employment Readiness, Service learning and Success” – Program provides hands-on and structured experiences for at-risk young women, 16 to 24 years of age, in areas key to be coming self-sufficient.

Grants Awarded in 2013 – $31,674

Focus 1 – Education: Mentoring, tutoring, GED assistance, literacy, after-school programs, not-ready-for college programs; early childhood/pre-K programs.

Focus 2 – Health and Wellness: Substance abuse/addictions; pre- and post-natal care; mammography assistance; disease detection/prevention; mental health; health literacy; healthy relationships for women and girls.

Oakdale Elementary School and Oakdale Promise Council – $6,065
“Literacy Project – Increasing Reading Fluency and Comprehension” – Program seeks to remove barriers to reading fluency and comprehension through 1) social and academic mentoring, 2) meeting physical needs, and 3) increasing parental engagement.

Project Oz – $4,500
“Homeless Women Building Healthy Relationships” – Program teaches young, homeless women how to recognize and reject unhealthy and unsafe relationships and to build healthy ones.

Livingston County Public Health Department – $5,225
“Reducing STDs and Teen Pregnancy in Livingston County” – Program provides primary prevention education to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy.

Community Health Care Clinic – $3,980
“Women Connecting Women to Improved Health” – Program provides female CHCC patients with annual exams and pap smears for early detection of women’s health issues

McLean County Health Department – $11,904
“Advocating for Smiles” – Program provides low-income pregnant women enrolled in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Family Case Management (FCM) at the McLean County Health Department with oral health care resources to reduce the number of preterm, low birth weight babies in McLean County and provides dental education and tools.

Grants Awarded in 2012 – $25,000

Grant Focus: Job training, mentorship, academic education, parenting education, and/or financial literacy education for single mothers.

The Children’s Foundation of Children’s Home + Aid and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois – $15,000
“Educating and Supporting Teen Mothers” – Program is a collaborative effort to work with teen mothers to provide home supportive services for parenting education and educational achievement by the mother, and support of women and children who have been affected by the incarceration of the father.

Mid Central Community Action – $10,000
“Parental Strength & Financial Security for Survivor Freedom” – Program seeks to increase the knowledge and ability of single mothers residing at Neville House (shelter for victims of domestic abuse) in the areas of parenting and budgeting.

Grants Awarded in 2011 – $22,000

Focus: Job training, mentorship, and/or education for low-income women.

The Children’s Foundation of Children’s Home + Aid – $3,000
“Healthy Start” – Grant augments an ongoing program designed to prevent child abuse and neglect by providing participants with bus tokens and cab vouchers, curriculum for a job-readiness program, fees for GED registration, school supplies, and child care while the participants attend the program.

Project Oz  – $5,000
“Services for Young Homeless Women and Their Children” – Program provides stable and safe housing for up to 22 months for homeless pregnant and/or parenting women ages 16-21, to help them finish their secondary education, and to increase their opportunities to find and maintain long-term jobs.

Scholastic Enhancement Corporation – $6,000
“The Young Women’s Math Academy” – A pilot program that provides 23 weekly peer-mentoring sessions for 10 female Livingston County high school students from low-income families who are failing math. The program’s objectives are to improve math skills of the students, offer 5 tutors an opportunity to help others gain math knowledge, and provide positive role models of women who succeed in math.

Word of Life Ministries – $8,000
“First Responders to Women’s Economic Security (FRWES)” – Program addresses the issues of payday loans and women who are trapped in a cycle of debt. The program’s objectives are outreach, implementation through empowerment training and role models, and systemic change to create alternatives to high-interest payday loans.