Henderson County United Way makes grants to women-focused initiatives

Press release from United Way of Henderson County:

HENDERSONVILLE, NC, June 22, 2018 – Women United, United Way of Henderson County’s affinity group for female leadership donors, presented two awards of $4,000 each to local initiatives that help women succeed in the workforce and become more self-sufficient. The checks were presented at Women United’s Summer Soiree held on June 21st at The Barn at Tall Oaks.

One of the gifts was made to Interfaith Assistance Ministry for its new clothing closet for professional women. IAM Director Elizabeth Moss said that many women re-entering the workforce or entering it for the first time need clothing suitable for the job, and some need specialized or hard-to-find items such as scrubs or steel-toed boots and may not be able to afford them. The clothing closet offers used and new professional attire, as well as vouchers for clients to purchase specialty items elsewhere.

A second contribution was presented to Laresa Griffin, Development Director at Safelight, for a job training program that assists victims of domestic violence with the necessary skills to find and keep employment that will allow them to be self-sufficient and living independently. Safelight’s program provides case management, counseling, and job internships at Dandelion, the Resale Store, or a new sewing initiative.

Sherri Holbert, Chair of Women United, said “We are thrilled to be able to support programs in our community like IAM and Safelight that are helping women find better jobs, secure the right clothing for their professions, and gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed.”

Women United is a United Way initiative that is designed to connect giving and volunteerism. Women United members contribute $1,000 or more annually to United Way of Henderson County or take advantage of a three year Step Up plan. A percentage of member contributions are used for initiatives that empower girls and women. Women United members also initiated GEM (Girls EMpowered), an after-school program for at-risk fifth grade girls at Upward Elementary School. GEM will expand to Hillandale Elementary in the fall.

“Women are a powerful force for good in the world,” said Denise Cumbee Long, Executive Director of United Way of Henderson County. “And when we get together, our collective efforts can truly transform our community!”

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