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Wake women award $125,000 in grants

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Ret Boney

CARY, N.C. – At its annual grantmaking luncheon Oct. 26, The Women’s Network of Wake County awarded a total of $125,000 to better the lives of local women and children.

The network, a program of the North Carolina Community Foundation, has about 125 members, each pledging $1,200 a year for five years to benefit women and children in Wake County.

The latest round of grants brings to almost $300,000 the total the organization has awarded since its inception in 2007.

Urban Ministries of Wake County received $49,500 for its Open Door Clinic, a full-service medical facility that provided care to more than 700 low-income minority women last year.

“They have a right to get their health-care needs met,” Anne Burke, executive director of Urban Ministries, said of the clinic’s clients. “And because of you, we can afford them that right.”

The network awarded $25,500 to Hospice of Wake County to create an after-school support program to help children cope with the stress of having a chronically ill parent.

“In 30 years of providing care, we’ve learned that whenever there’s a chronic illness or death in the family, children are often forgotten,” Mike Blanchard, vice president of development for Hospice, told the luncheon’s 260 attendees.

The program will work with parents, children and schools to provide support for children even before a death occurs.

The Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood received $25,000 for its SecurePath program, which provides free mental-health services for low-income kids through age five at their homes or preschools.

“Most emotional difficulties can be identified before age five or six,” said Don Rosenblitt, clinical and executive director of the center. “The potential to make a difference is greater if you can begin to work with them before that age.”

The program aims to serve about 700 children this year.

Another $25,000 will help the Wake Technical Community College Foundation’s Bright Futures Fellowship Program, which provides support services to Wake County teens aging out of the foster-care system.

The effort provides financial, academic and social support to help youth transition from foster care to independence once county-provided services end.

“It’s really exciting for our young women to know there are women in our community investing in their futures,” said Stephanie Lake, director of development for the Wake Tech Foundation. “We want to show them there’s a pathway.”

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