By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Executive Director, Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County
“Women’s philanthropy shapes the future for women and girls through the power of collective giving.” – Barb Van Winkle, Chair
As we head into the New Year, we reflect on the unexpected challenges for all of us - which the WGC has tried to navigate by developing creative solutions to ensure our work continued to make an impact throughout the year.
We did this by:
You can read more about our 2020 efforts here.
Our work in 2020 has assured us that partnership and generosity is alive and well in Howard County and that philanthropic investment in our community is more important than ever as we continue to face the COVID-19 global pandemic and fall out.
Please consider a year-end gift to the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County so that we can continue to give more grants, engage more members, and strengthen the circle for the future. One option for an end-of-year gift is to sponsor our upcoming WGC Virtual Annual Celebration on March 8, 2021 – “Democratizing and Diversifying Philanthropy Through the Power of Collective Giving” – find sponsorship information here, starting at $100.
Also, the WGC is highlighting “(S)heroes Among Us” this year during the March 8, 2021 Virtual Annual Celebration. Please join us in thanking women in your life for their efforts by uploading a photo of your Howard County (S)heroes on our WGC (S)heroes Among Us Virtual Mosaic Wall. With your help, we are highlighting women across the county before, during and after our upcoming Annual Celebration!
Thank you for supporting women, girls, and families in Howard County. We are making a greater difference together than we might otherwise make alone.
It’s because of you .... Happy New Year!
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and www.wgchowardcounty.org
By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, WGC Executive Director
The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County.
One of our stated goals is to increase the life skills of women and girls, which we are focused on through our grantmaking. We are are also working to meet this goal by hosting an HCPSS Student Intern this year, recognizing that internships can provide a real-world learning experience that can help increase the life skills of young women, open doors, and shape future paths in college and beyond.
We recently welcomed our new Student Intern, Adora Brown to the WGC. Adora is a senior at Mt. Hebron High School, and already has a good deal of marketing, communications, and media experience as the Editor-in-Chief of the Mt. Hebron High School Newspaper, and through volunteer work as the PR Manager for the Delta Scholars, and other activities.
One thing Adora is supporting this year is our WGC (S)heroes Among Us Virtual Mosaic Wall, where we are highlighting women across Howard County before, during and after our March 8, 2021 Annual Celebration that focused on “Democratizing and Diversifying Philanthropy Through the Power of Collective Giving”. We are excited to highlight (S)heroes across Howard County who make a difference in so many ways, every single day, and invite women in our community to nominate (S)heroes in the coming weeks and months. In fact, take a look at Adora's #WGCShero Snapshot here!
We are thrilled to have Adora supporting the WGC's Membership and Events Committee, and invited her to share some thoughts about interning with the WGC:
1. We are so excited you are working with the WGC this year! Why did you want to take time during your senior year to intern with the WGC?
"I wanted to pursue something out of my comfort zone for my last year of high school. I knew that the Women's Giving Circle would allow me to continue my passions, but in a new and more localized format. I have always hoped to create change in my community, and WGC allows me to do just that!"
2. Now that you've joined our Membership & Events Committee, what are you working on that interests you?
"I have been helping out with finding sponsors for this years' virtual event. It is truly a learning experience for me, and I am very excited to be challenging myself. I am also working on a socially distanced pick-up event for members who purchase gift bags. Hopefully, we can get a lot of passionate student volunteers to assist in this endeavor."
3. What is the most interesting thing you've learned so far about women's philanthropy and giving to programs that benefit women and girls? What would you like us to know?
"It has been really interesting to learn about the process of putting together an event. Finding sponsors, getting donations, spreading the word, and putting together the individual facets of the event are just a few of the necessary steps. It has been so inspiring to bring the final event to fruition while truly making a difference for women and girls in Howard County. The Women's Giving Circle does so much to help the Howard County community, and I am so grateful to be a part of it."
Thank you for experience, ideas, and hard work Adora ... welcome!
HoCoRespond Has Awarded More than $600,000 to Howard County Nonprofits in 2020
The Community Foundation of Howard County, Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland and Women's Giving Circle of Howard County today announced $201,000 in emergency grants to 15 Howard County nonprofits addressing COVID-19 needs. The collaborative effort that began in March, called HoCoRespond, has now awarded 46 grants totaling $608,500 in the last eight months to 34 nonprofits meeting food security, housing, childcare and healthcare needs.
“Throughout this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has created great challenges and uncertainty for our residents, but our response has demonstrated how this county unites during its toughest times, looks out for one another, and commits to collective action,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “HoCoRespond continues to have a significant impact - supporting our most vulnerable neighbors in need who are facing the continued economic challenges of the pandemic. Howard County is truly lucky to have devoted organizations who are determined to ensure our residents have the food on their tables, money to pay bills, and vital support services during this time.”
The $201,000 in COVID-19 emergency grants will go to the following organizations serving Howard County:
“The HoCoRespond Fund is a clear example of the power of partnerships to drive positive change. In this time of uncertainty and instability, collaboration is essential,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “We’re proud to be part of this united effort to help Howard County nonprofits meet the immediate and long-term needs of the people and neighborhoods they serve.”
On December 6, the Howard County Health Department reported 8,815 confirmed cases of COVID-19. We are in a heightened state of alert regarding COVID-19 and the number of cases is projected to continue to rise, putting great strain on frontline nonprofits and health services across the county.
“We are not out of this public health and economic crisis yet. There is still a great need to support our community during these tough times,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation. “We are working hard to respond to those needs and to uplift Howard County residents as best we can.”
The HoCoRespond funders are continuing to coordinate fundraising to provide critical resources to nonprofits in Howard County, and hope to undertake a fourth round of funding in the new year.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our community has been challenging for some, and devastating for others,” said Beverly White-Seals, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Howard County. “We can’t begin to thank enough, all of the generous members of our community who have invested in HoCoRespond to help and support those who are struggling with the impact of COVID. You are true philanthropists! Whether it’s food assistance, delinquent rental or mortgage payments, childcare, mental health or a plethora of other issues, we’re here to help. We are in an unprecedented crisis, but we are so gratified at how the community has come together to take care of one another.”
Those looking to help can donate to the following COVID-19 emergency funds:
“We are proud to be part of a community that has continued to step up to support our friends and neighbors during this very challenging year” said Barb Van Winkle, chair of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. “We are utilizing our unique strengths to make a bigger difference together than we might otherwise make alone.”