The Best Holiday Gift: Time, Talent and Treasure
As we head toward the holiday season, a time of thanksgiving and celebration, we at the Council for Women are thankful for a great team. This month we are thankful for the team effort that allowed us to achieve greater efficiency and release over 1 million dollars in grant funds that will go directly to serving women and families who truly need help, many of whom have no other place to go. I know program directors across the state are thankful as well.
"Our Center was very relieved that our funds arrived earlier than expected," said Ann Peele, Executive Director of the Family Guidance Center in Catawba County. "I'd like to thank the Council for all they do to ensure that victims have access to these services."
Over $2.8 million has been disbursed to 239 programs since October 29th. These grants are funded through Marriage License Fees, Divorce Filing fees and through sexual assault and domestic violence appropriations from the General Assembly. CFW disbursed the grant funds to grantees located across North Carolina for women and families to access county-based 24/7 crisis hotlines, shelters, counseling, education and advocacy.
In Fiscal Year 2013-14, CFW appropriated $7.7 million in total grant funds. This year marks the first time that funds were distributed in October as compared to late November. Early receipt of the funds was essential to helping many non-profits stay afloat.
State grants provide access to essential services for North Carolina's women and families. In Fiscal Year 2012-13, domestic violence and sexual assault grants served over 51,000 people that included over 5,500 children. In addition, state grants provided crisis hotlines which received over 84,000 calls.
During the past months I've visited shelters and programs around the state, and many directors are reporting serving twice as many children as adults! Domestic violence takes a devastating toll on children who are exposed to this crime.
I'm also thankful for the commitment of volunteers and program staff who work tirelessly to serve women and families. We know the holidays can be stressful, and having volunteers assist shelters to maintain services and 24/7 access to crisis hotlines is invaluable. So donate a couple of hours this season or donate slightly used items of clothing if you are wondering what to do to make it a meaningful holiday. Call your local shelter and find out what they need. Visit our website for a complete listing of domestic violence, sexual assault agencies in the state. www.councilforwomen.nc.gov