Four worthy organizations have been selected as the 2023 WN Grant finalists. Grant funding is contributed by members and friends of WIN throughout the year and is awarded through a competitive grant process. Applications for funding are reviewed annually by the WIN Grant Evaluation team and finalists are required to present their case for support.
Grant Finalist presentations will be held October 26, 2023 , at Skoog's in Utica. The event is open to the public, and pre-registration is required here. Grant funding will be awarded at the annual Celebration of Giving on December 2, 2023.
Braveheart Children's Advocacy Center - Calm and Care Bags
The bags are developed for children to help them deal with sleep issues after incidents of abuse. Coupled with discussions and therapy to help reduce trauma symptoms, the bags will assist abused and traumatized children learn a sleep routine that leads to more calm and restful sleep.
LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office, Chaplain Division - Immediate Crisis Response Since starting this division upon his election, Sheriff Diss enlisted the help of the MABAS 25 Fire Chaplain to help offer 24/7 immediate crisis response to domestic violence, mental health calls, death calls and all calls involving women and children experiencing abuse/trauma in LaSalle County. The program has grown to include neighboring counties when immediate critical stress incidents occur. The primary purpose is to assist women and children, with little or no support system, to get immediate needs addressed, food provided and, if needed, clothing and transportation to safety. Referrals and connections necessary for a safe, post-crisis life are made more quickly because of the immediate response protocol.
Our Savior Lutheran Church - Packs for Pals An ongoing program created seven years ago to provide food to food insecure students of the six schools that feed into the Seneca School system. With numbers growing steadily each year as well as the addition of Seneca High School and a pilot program to feed students during the summer months, the need for more funding became necessary. The program targets nearly 200 students in pre-K to 12th grade, with almost 100 of the students continuing to be fed during summer months. The needs of the program continue to grow as more parents, teachers, churches and schools becoming aware of Packs for Pals.
Safe Journeys - Women Employed=Women Empowered Objective is to provide workshops for survivors of domestic and sexual violence that develop skills that lead to employment. The workshops will cover information on writing resumes, completing job applications and developing interviewing skills, with practice interviews. Training on locating available employment opportunities, securing child care assistance and practicing of self care is also included. The goal of the program is that survivors will receive the tools they need to find, obtain and maintain employment that allows them to support their family.
Since its inception, the Network has awarded more than $80,000 to local charitable organizations who support and enhance the lives of women and children throughout Starved Rock Country.