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The Women’s Fund of East Tennessee announced at its 3rd Annual Luncheon on April 10, 2014 that it was awarding $80,000 in grants to six regional organizations doing exemplary work to improve the lives of women and girls in East Tennessee. 


The mission of the Women's Fund is to be a catalyst to transform the lives of low-income women and girls in a 25-county area of East Tennessee and provides research and vetting while developing philanthropic leadership to collectively make a difference. Its vision is to grow the Fund's endowment to $10 million over the next seven years to become self-sustaining in its ability to make impactful and transformational grants. 


This was the second year the organization awarded grants. The Grants and Research Committee of the Women's Fund utilized research from the University of Tennessee and East Tennessee State University to identify the barriers to self-sufficiency for women and girls in East Tennessee. It was determined the grant focus would be on life and work skills, along with education, with an advocacy focus on domestic violence.

Organizations that received grants in 2014 were:


New Opportunity School for Women serving all 25 counties funding fourteen 30- to 50-year old women with a high school diploma or GED to enter the first three-week residential study, career, and support program at Maryville College for education, job readiness, networking, and self-esteem and confidence building, with an ongoing network of support provided by graduate mentors, alumni programs and volunteers.


Haven House serving Blount County funding the families of 10 Blount County women who have completed their residential stay at Haven House will participate in a program to improve their functioning as an abuse-free family. 


Red Legacy Recovery serving Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties funding the purchase of a van because transportation is now available for access to weekly workshops on various skills and one-on-one assistance, begun while in jail, to break the cycles of dependency. Graduate mentors, which is 75% of the women in the program, recruit others between the first and second session as they find the program so helpful.

Servolution serving Claiborne county funding the production of Sew Fine!. Sew Fine! is a new program that will be added to teach basic sewing and knitting skills leading to employment in a cottage industry in a county where unemployment is ~14%, providing for 12 to 17 women in supportive housing transitioning from a life of abuse and homelessness. Graduate mentors and participants reside in supportive housing.


The Next Door serving all 25 counties funding a workforce development staff person will be added to work with 14 residents in the job search process during a six-month residential program. Graduates receive a financial allocation to pay for a one time relocation up to $1,000 matched by their personal savings.


Tusculum College serving Carter, Cocke, Greene and Unicoi counties funding to provide for 18 rising Juniors in high school from low-income families who would be their family's first generation to attend college, to attend a six-day residential mentored institute at Tusculum College.

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