Grants Awarded to Improve Lives of Tompkins County Women and Girls

Twelve projects have received Women Building Community (WBC) Grants totaling $30,000, announced Diane Shafer, president of the City Federation of Women’s Organizations (CFWO) board.  WBC Grant recipients were recognized at an event Tuesday, December 5 celebrating the ways they will help to improve the lives of Tompkins County women and girls.

Shafer expressed: "I am so pleased with the wide range of needs we are able to meet, and the range of ages we are able to serve with these grants.  Through our grant process we identify challenges facing women and girls in our community.  In future years we will have the capacity to allocate more resources to meet more of the needs described by the grant applicants."

Grants were awarded on the merit of the program, quality of the application, and available funds for the cycle, explained Marge Kline, chair of the Grants Committee. "The grant proposals submitted to CFWO this year were a credit to our community’s aspirations and commitment to service.  We are proud to be able to help by awarding these grants to well deserving participants."

Shafer announced that this year’s WBC Grants are the fifth cycle of funds awarded by the CFWO. In total, 31 projects have been supported with $133,245 since 2013.

Eleven were awarded WBC Up to $5000 Grants and one received the WBC Innovation Grant of $10,000:

The mission of the CFWO is to support women and girls and to act as a catalyst for the improvement of the lives of women and girls in Tompkins County, thus making a contribution to the entire community. Project areas considered for funding address needs and opportunities that improve the quality of life for Tompkins County women and girls.  One of the following criteria must be addressed: Community Development, Education, Health, Human Services, and Activities that address Gender Equity. 

Women Building Community Grants 2017-18

 WBC Innovation Grant

ComFortitude: Mama’s Comfort Camp’s community resilience engine - Amplifying the Voices of Mothers is the 2017-18 WBC Innovation Grant to Mama’s Comfort Camp working with the Center for Transformative Action. Mama’s Comfort Camp has been providing free peer to peer emotional/mental health support to over 2,300 mothers in Tompkins County 24/7/365 for five years. It has developed as an all-volunteer venture but will become a more sustainable organization with funding for staffing and professional development for staff and volunteers.

WBC Up to $5,000 Grants

Strength in Girls @A+: Mindfulness & Yoga (Academic +, BJM Enrichment Program) collaborates with Ithaca Mindful Communities to continue its successful program begun with a grant in 2016-17 to empower girls through yoga and mindfulness.            

Girl Ventures (Cooperative Extension Rural Youth Services) is a vital program that focuses on leadership development, relationship building and community involvement for girls.  Programs will be strength-based, and each participant will be encouraged by staff and other girls to acknowledge and share their strengths.

Removing Roadblocks (Child Development Council) program assists families enrolled in the agency’s programs by helping remove roadblocks they encounter that prevent them from being the best parent they can be and from reaching their education, employment and personal goals

Enabling Successful Women & Children (Tompkins Cortland Community College) assists the Child Care Center at Tompkins Cortland to provide care and education for children of the college.  Priority for spots and for scholarships is given to the college’s low-income students.

Bearing Burden of Grief: Finding Our Way (Hospicare) will reach two under-served groups of women, African-American and Lesbians, who experience “disenfranchised grief”, have experienced a significant loss of a loved one through death, and do not benefit from traditional, mainstream mental health and bereavement services.

Healthcare & Diagnostic Services for Women (Ithaca Free Clinic, Ithaca Health Alliance) provides and maintains free primary health care, therapeutic care, and preventative health care services that address the unique medical and diagnostic testing needs of women. The Free Clinic plays an important role in providing testing for women who are lacking health insurance or are underinsured.

Building Community Resilience: Diversity in Women’s Civic Leadership (Natural Leaders Initiative, Cooperative Extension) leadership development series will be offered as part of the NLI programming that has a ten-year history of support for “natural” or “informal” leaders who are primarily women. Programming has a ripple effect on the leaders’ friends, families and communities.

College Initiative Upstate: Wise Women (Offender Aid and Restoration) will provide support for women who are all actively preparing for, or pursuing, higher education with CIU’s assistance with computer purchases and other expenses related to applying and enrolling.

Our Daughters’ Future (Our Children’s Future, Village at Ithaca) will use funds to support OCF female teen mentoring program and workforce preparation experiences for West Village female teens in order to keep them engaged in healthy behaviors and prepare them to make good decision in the future.

Empowerment & Self Defense for Women (Tompkins Community Action) will provide the women residing in the TCAction Supportive Housing Program an empowerment and self-defense workshop to build boundary assertion skills and physical defenses against various types of physical and sexual assaults.

L.E.A.D.S. Washer Dryer Combo (Women’s Opportunity Center) is needed to provide onsite laundry for WOC clients cleaning their professional clothing for interviews and employment, and staff cleaning donated clothing for the Clothing Closet.                                                                                    



More than $30,000 Anticipated for
2018-19 WBC Grants  
 Next Grants Cycle in Fall 2018 

Next page: Who We Are