The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County

WGC Emergency Response Network (ERN)

WGC Emergency Response Network (ERN)

WGC’s Emergency Response Network (ERN)

The WGC’s Emergency Response Network was created 15 years ago in response to the desire of many women to provide direct help to other women in need, in our community. WGC donors have addressed the specific needs of women clients identified by our nonprofit partner agencies serving women and girls in Howard County. These agencies include Hope Works, Grassroots, Healthy Families, Elder Services of Family and Children’s Services and FIRN. Since its inception, and under the visionary leadership of former WGC Advisory Board members Arlene Sheff and Kim Flyr, the ERN has assisted over 70 women and their children who benefited from nearly $50,000 from donors who responded to a call to action through WGC’s ERN.

We have recently enhanced the WGC’s ERN to make it easier for our donors to respond, and easier for our nonprofit partners to receive funds by updating our processes and broadening our network.

It’s easy, here’s how it works:


  1. NEED ANNOUNCED: We’ll announce a need from one of our nonprofit partners – what it is, and how much money is needed.
  2. ONLINE DONATIONS ACCEPTED: Those interested in taking action will make an online donation to the WGC Fund. The WGC will remove requests as soon as the need has been met. In the event that donations exceed the needed amount, the donation will be applied to a future need.
  3. CHECK PROVIDED: One check will be sent to our nonprofit partner.

How to Participate:


Download guidelines here: WGC ERN_Nonprofit_Program Guidelines v1

  1. BECOME A PARTNER: Send the following information via email to
  • A copy of your IRS Letter of Determination;
  • A description of your organizations Mission and Vision;
  • Describe how the organization serves women and girls; and
  • Be available for site visit or meeting, as requested.
  1. CLIENT IN NEED: As a Partner, if you have a woman client in need of assistance, send the following information via email to
  • Amount needed
  • Provide a description of the need
  • Describe why the client is in need
  1. RECEIVE FUNDING: You will be notified if the request is accepted and will receive a check.

Contact us with any questions!

“The WGC’s Emergency Response Network expands philanthropic opportunities for WGC donors and increases awareness of unmet needs among women and girls in Howard County” says Alison Canning, WGC Chair. “The partnership between the WGC, our donors, and our nonprofit partners is an easy and innovative way to have an immediate impact in the lives of women in our community.”

Here’s what one WGC ERN funding recipient had to say about it:

“I would like to send my heart filled appreciation for helping my children and I get out of a bad situation and bringing us peace! I had been in a bad, abusive relationship and marriage for 12 years and needed a way out but did not know how. I had been told that I was being evicted out of the apartment that I resided with my husband and he did not make me aware that this was happening until 2 weeks prior to moving date. I started to look for places on my own without any money but with lots of hope that this was going to work because I was making the right decision. The WGC’s Emergency Response Network {helped with} the entire amount of my first month’s rent days later – it was a miracle. I moved into my place and my children are the happiest we’ve ever been. Thank you again and I hope to be in a position where I can help someone else just as myself in the near future!”