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Women & Girls Fund grants $18,000 to local causes

FREDERICKSBURG, VA (April 7, 2015) Four local nonprofits will impact the lives of women and girls in the region, thanks to $18,000 in grants awarded by The Community Foundation. The grants were made in an unusual manner by contributors to the foundation's Women & Girls Fund.

At the 6th Annual Women and Girls Fund Live Ballot and Expo Event, the fund's contributor members saw presentations and interviewed grant applicants about the potential impact of their program upon local women and girls. Four local nonprofits were awarded $18,000 in grants at the event.

• Aikido in Fredericksburg, $3,000, "Aikido for At-Risk High School Girls." Eighteen high school girls will learn and practice the Japanese martial art at the Aikido in Fredericksburg "dojo". Aikido is a traditional, yet non-violent, modern martial art that focuses on effective conflict resolution and personal growth. Grant money will support 50% of the cost for girls to participate in three-month sessions of Aikido classes. Aikido in Fredericksburg will match the grant money dollar for dollar so that all expenses are covered. Expenses include a student handbook, uniform, and dues for each participating girl, as well as three information sessions at local high schools to orient program participants.

• Hugh Mercer Elementary School, $6,326, "Stemgirls." The goal in "Stemgirls" is to excite girls about science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on project-based learning programs, using mostly Legos. They will also e exposed to some robotics. The program's mission is to inspire young girls in science and technology, encourage innovation, and foster life skills and capabilities, including self-confidence, communication and leadership. The grant will support two trained facilitators for 39 hours of planned meetings. Hugh Mercer will purchase four age appropriate Lego kits, along with notebooks and supplies for each student. Students will use these to record their findings, problems encountered and strategies to solve problems and how they were resolved.

• Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center, $5,000, "Mobile Outreach Unit." The Fredericksburg Pregnancy Center (FPC) serves women in this region who find themselves in a stressful pregnancy with kindness, compassion and a caring manner. The grant will help FPC reach its clients closer to their homes through five "mobile locations." The goal of FPC is to be at a mobile location in each of the five counties one day per week from 10 am to 4 pm, serving up to six clients each day. The grant funds will be used to train nurses, purchase medical supplies, insurance and gas to reach these rural areas.

• Stafford Junction, $3,674, Life Skills Workshops. Research affirms that mothers play a key role in the lives of their children. Stafford Junction's Life Skills Workshops is designed to upgrade adults' and youth abilities, increasing their potential for success. At weekly workshops, held September through May, participants learn about healthy living, financial literacy and self-development. Through this involvement they learn to feel better about themselves and become empowered in their role as a parent. The grant will help remove some of the barriers that prevent women from attending the weekly workshops. Most participants do not have any means of transportation. The grant will fund their personnel and transportation expenses to and from the workshops.

The Community Foundation manages and distributes charitable giving in the Rappahannock River region. The goal of The Community Foundation is to promote greater philanthropy by assuming challenges faced by the donor and managing one-time and continual giving in a responsible and knowledgeable manner. The Community Foundation distinguishes itself from other local charities by providing efficient and effective services to build a collection of permanent funds. The foundation and its board members are endlessly dedicated to the community's enrichment and growth.

The Foundation offers a spectrum of services for individuals, organizations and businesses that are eager to achieve great results with their charitable actions. For more information about participating in our giving programs or establishing a fund at the Foundation, call 540 373-9292.

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Pouches' Community Corner

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