Women Giving for Spartanburg – 2013 Grants

2013 Grant Winners

Women Giving for Spartanburg awarded its 2013 grants to nine nonprofit organizations during a luncheon Monday, May 6, 2013.  The Women Giving for Spartanburg grants committee, comprised of Women Giving members, solicits grant proposals from local non-profit organizations focusing on the economy, social environment, education, health, natural environment and civic health. Members then vote on the projects the group will fund.  This year, $262,583 was given to Spartanburg county.

2013 Grant Winners Video

Healing Wish
BirthMatters     $25,000

BirthMatters requests funds for Healing Wish, a unique and never before offered service to pregnant women with a history of sexual abuse and other previous trauma. BirthMatter’s work experience reflects the statistic that 1 in 4 females are sexually assaulted under the age of 18 and that as many as 68% of teenage mothers have been sexually abused.  Sexually abused teenage mothers generally have fewer support systems, experience more depression, and are more likely to abuse substances during pregnancy.  This project will provide pregnant women from underserved communities a unique program of relaxation and healing from trauma.  In addition, it will provide local OB offices sensitivity training called “Impact on Survivors.”  Through free prenatal yoga classes, community based education, intensive therapy sessions, and extended emotional support by phone until after the birth, this project hopes to prevent ongoing trauma and repeat abuse for mother and child.


Growing Greener
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Upstate     $30,830

Growing Greener will sponsor 500 of Spartanburg’s most disadvantaged children in the participation of fun, hands-on outdoor environmental/science education and outdoor recreation programs in collaboration with Palmetto Conservation Foundation’s Glendale Outdoor Leadership School and Wofford College’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center.  The project will:  teach Spartanburg’s future leaders about the importance of caring for their environment and how to do so; improve academic performance in science and increase interest in careers in science; teach valuable leadership and teamwork skills; and inspire a love of the outdoors and active, healthy living. This project eliminates the barriers of economics and transportation to provide the services to those youth in greatest financial and academic need. These students will participate in Three Sisters Gardening programming where vegetables and herbs produced by the gardens will be donated to local soup kitchens.  They will also participate in the Adventure Quest programs which will engage students in science while offering fun outdoor activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking.


Therapy for Children in Foster Care
The Children’s Advocacy Center
of Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union Counties, Inc.     $38,572

Children in foster care account for about 35% of the Children’s Advocacy Center’s (CAC) clientele. Frequently, there is no family member to take custody of an abused child who will keep the child safe and away from the offender. Therefore, there is no alternative but to take the child into DSS custody (foster care).  CAC currently gets partial reimbursement from the State Office of Victim’s Assistance for therapy for children who have been documented as a victim of abuse.  However, there is no reimbursement for therapy for abused children who have been placed in foster care.  This project would provide 14 of these abused and neglected children the much needed therapy to enable them to move beyond the role of victim and continue their progress toward positive and productive adulthoods.  These abused children in foster care need “Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” because they often have the enormous burden of guilt because they believe they somehow “caused” the event that forced separation from their families.


Community Mini Rebuilds
Christmas in Action of Spartanburg     $20,625

Spartanburg’s disadvantaged, disabled senior citizen homeowners will lose their homes if they don’t find home repair assistance.  Christmas in Action (CIA) has over 425 home repair applications in its database from across Spartanburg County in areas not targeted for large scale Rebuilding Days that occur twice a year (April and October).  The majority of these applications are from our senior citizens.  These seniors in Spartanburg County typically go without.  They often live in homes with leaking roofs, electrical problems, rotting floors, and/or insect or rodent infestation. With this funding, CIA will initiate and complete Community Mini Rebuilds.  These projects will repair homes for 20 families in new targeted areas of our Day communities through the help of local volunteers that have the desire to make a lasting impact on both the homeowner and their community.


Healthy Food Hub
City of Spartanburg     $25,000

The residents of the Northside of Spartanburg have had a longstanding desire to have a local venue to get fresh, healthy foods.  With this in mind, community partners including Hub City Farmers Market, Butterfly Foundation, Mary Black Foundation and the City of Spartanburg have developed an innovative approach to improve access to health food options and create jobs in this community.  The funding for this project will assist with providing a permanent home for the Farmers Market, while also providing classrooms, community gardens, a café, catering kitchen, and retail space where local produce can be sold. With all of the above, this hub is poised to create 23 new jobs, renew and grow vital community connections and provide access to nutritiously prepared foods and fresh produce in a community that is severely lacking in healthy food options. The requested funds from WGFS would assist with the construction of one of the 42’ x 88’ sheds that is crucial for the overall success of the hub and delivery of fresh foods for the public.


Toolkit for Kindergarten Readiness and Early Childhood Assessment Initiative
College Hub     $25,000

According to the Spartanburg Community Indicators, it is estimated that 18% of our children do not arrive to school ready to learn. This initiative is requesting funds from WGFS to complete the second year of implementation of this successful venture which will serve 1,250 citizens.  This initiative involves two main objectives. The first is to underscore the importance of early childhood readiness through a publication (the Toolkit) that provides parents/caregivers with basic developmental milestones and literacy information.  It also provides screening and referral guidelines to obtain appropriate and timely interventions.  The second goal is to provide accessibility to free developmental screening for all Spartanburg children age birth to five. The Toolkit and the ASQ-3 screens are available to families, childcare centers, pediatricians, and others who touch the lives of the community’s youngest citizens. This program will identify and offer support to those children who need extra assistance to be ready for kindergarten and offer education to parents about expected age appropriate development milestones, giving them the power to seek assistance and/or early intervention.


Building Tomorrow’s Leaders – One Block at a Time
Jesse Bobo Elementary School       $29,466

In a collaborative partnership with LEGO education, Jesse Bobo Elementary School (a Title 1 school) will initiate a pilot robotics program in grades 3, 4, and 5, creating a paradigm shift in both teaching and learning processes in the critical areas of reading, science, and math. Existing educational systems have remained relatively static and unequal to the challenges of a rapidly changing technological world.  This robotics education program will enable the educational system to use children’s innate curiosity and natural “learning by building” ability.  Once the pilot program has been successfully implemented, it will be a model to expand the robotics program to K4, K5, Grades 1 and 2 at Jesse Bobo and then to all Spartanburg District Six schools (11,055 students).


Heart of the Haven
The Haven, Inc.     $44,000

They say the heart of the home is the kitchen.  The Haven seeks to renovate the kitchen area, its main entrance and 4 of 8 bathrooms within its 100+ year old shelter structure in order to improve health, safety and security of all within the shelter facility.  The Haven is a long established community based nonprofit serving some of our most disadvantaged citizens; homeless families. This facility serves an average of 60 families every year (195-220 individuals) and stays full year round with a waiting list.  The Heart of the Haven seeks to reduce health and safety risks within the shelter by renovating the kitchen and bathroom areas, upgrading ancient plumbing and electrical work up to code and relocating the primary entrance to control access.  This grant will not only improve standards of health, safety and security for homeless families within the shelter, but serve as a modern model of appropriate standards for families to emulate.


New Impact: Our Youth’s Healthy Future
YMCA of Greater Spartanburg     $25,000

The YMCA of Greater Spartanburg in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital seeks funding to implement the NEW IMPACT program, a holistic program designed to provide the residents of Spartanburg County an innovative treatment approach that combats the youth obesity epidemic.  The YMCA of Greater Spartanburg will provide NEW IMPACT fitness classes offered three times a week throughout their 12 month program at its downtown location, the Thomas E Hannah Family YMCA, and the Middle Tyger YMCA located in Duncan.  Families of the participants will have access to all of the fitness programs offered at the YMCA through their membership offered at a discounted price.  Family participation is important to the success of the youth.  In addition, the YMCA will also host nutritional classes and provide each participant a behavioral coach to assist them in their journey.  This program will impact 400 obese youth and their family.