A dedicated group of Arlington women are putting their dollars to work toward building a better community. Two local charities are the most recent beneficiaries of a substantial investment of the women’s organization, called Women Inspiring Philanthropy.
Awards of $50,000 to the YWCA and $25,000 to Friends of the Levitt were announced last month by the women’s group. These most recent donations mark a total of $200,000 given to local charities since Women Inspiring Philanthropy formed in 2013.
The YWCA donation will enable the agency to offer career-training scholarships to homeless and low-income Arlington women who qualify. Said to be the first of its kind in Arlington, the three-year scholarship program expects to help students pursuing entry-level careers in fast-growing industries like healthcare and human resources. UT Arlington was another partner on the grant.
“What we have been missing is the ability to directly help these women increase their education, which is a key component to moving out of poverty,” said Carol Klocek, CEO of the YWCA. Klocek said the scholarships aim to help women obtain the job skills and certifications to significantly increase their income in six months or less.
YWCA research suggests that for every family the YWCA moves out of homelessness, Tarrant County saves $20,000 while giving the families a greater chance at becoming productive residents and employees.
The $25,000 grant to the Friends of the Levitt is earmarked for developing a new smartphone application that will enable access to information about the 50 free music concerts that the downtown Arlington Levitt Pavilion hosts each year. It will also provide dollars for a new addition coming soon to the family-friendly activities at the Levitt: family movie nights.
“We are so honored that Women Inspiring Philanthropy is providing a grant for the first time to the Levitt Pavilion. Thanks to WIP, we plan to help music lovers enjoy their free music experience even more with a free Levitt app as well as provide families with a free Friday movie series on the lawn leading up to next year’s summer concert season,” said Levitt spokeswoman Cathy O’Neal. “WIP’s commitment to our community is exceptional.”
Levitt executives say the app will create an easy way for fans to search for bands, preview their music and find performance dates.
“We have so many worthy organizations in our community,” said Women Inspiring Philanthropy founder and President Linda Dipert. “I’m proud and excited to know this money was donated by local women wanting to make a difference in Arlington.”
The group considers proposals in five focus areas: culture, education, environment, family and health and wellness, Dipert said. Committees evaluate grant proposals submitted by area charities and make site visits before recommending approval of a grant. Organizations receiving grants must have the capacity to match the funded amount. Community Foundation of North Texas is an advising partner for WIP.
The women’s group has over 70 members. The only membership requirements are to be female and contribute $1,000 annually to the organization. “We are impacting hundreds of lives, and that’s exciting,” Dipert said. “In addition, the women have become informed philanthropists, connecting their confidence with capacity to create transformational change in our community.”
Events at a glance
▪ Christmas in July at Arlington Urban Ministries. Toys are being collected the whole month of July for more than 120 children ages 12 and under to get a head start on the December Christmas party held each year.
Donors, churches and other groups and individuals are asked to collect new unwrapped toys and gift cards to help make a child’s Christmas brighter. Drop the gift by any church partner or visit the mission office at 701 Dugan St. To inquire, contact Jennifer Weber at 817-861-8585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
▪ Movie Nights in Pantego’s Bicentennial Park are the second Saturday of each month beginning at 9 p.m. Park is at 3206 Smith Barry Road. Admission is free, and popcorn is provided by Pantego Lions Club.
Saturday: Maleficent; Aug. 8: Big Hero 6; and Sept. 12: Guardians of the Galaxy.
▪ Women’s and Girls’ Wellness, Lifestyle and Empowerment Expo is July 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the E.H. Hereford University Center at UTA. Activities include a variety of speakers, authors, seminars, vendors and music. Exhibitors will be national companies that specialize in wellness and lifestyle empowerment. Admission is free. Contact Geri McNiece at email@example.com.
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