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The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee announced its first grants while continuing on the path to a fully funded endowment. At a sold-out luncheon event of more than 300 attendees on April 11, 2013, two grants totaling $75,000 were awarded to the focus areas of life skills, education, and work-related skills.


The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee serves as a catalyst to transform the lives of low-income women and girls in East Tennessee. Founded in February 2011, the organization has raised nearly $2 million toward an endowment to serve 25 counties.

Women's Intensive Outpatient & Liaison Vocational Expansion

Women's Intensive Outpatient and Liaison Vocational Expansion, formerly the SISTERS of the Rainbow program, acts as an intensive outpatient alcohol and co-occurring treatment program for adult women. Operated by the Helen Ross McNabb Center, the goal of this program is to break the cycle of addiction, welfare and poverty while promoting independence.



The program currently addresses many life, education and work-related skills. This expansion will provide additional support for program participants in their attainment of long-term employment and self-sufficiency. A grant of fifteen- thousand dollars was awarded by the Women’s Fund to this program.


"This grant allows our program to provide an ongoing support system for women as they have challenges and bumps in the road," says Melodie Daniels, coordinator of Women's Intensive Outpatient and Liaison Vocational Expansion. "We are pleased to have this opportunity to make lasting change for women in our program."

The New Opportunity School for Women

The New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) serves Appalachian women through programs in Berea, Kentucky, Bluefield College (Bluefield, Virginia) and Lees-McRae College (Banner Elk, North Carolina). NOSW empowers women with overwhelming hardships to achieve greater self-sufficiency to overcome the barriers of poverty, limited opportunities for education and employment, and the debilitating impact of domestic violence.


The grant funds of $60,000 awarded by the Women's Fund will support the costs of establishing an East Tennessee program at Maryville College (Maryville, TN). It is anticipated the first participants will begin in the summer of 2014.


"We are so excited to have this opportunity to expand our reach into East Tennessee, " says Jane Stephenson, founder of NOSW. "I am excited to expand our services to help more women in Appalachia become employed and receive more education and training."

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