Another record-breaking year for Zonta! Each year in January, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, through its foundation, awards grants to local non-profits whose missions mirror Zonta’s own: empowering women and girls. The funds represent proceeds from Zonta’s annual home tour, A Peek at the Unique, and on January 22, through the generosity of island businesses and individuals, checks for local grants totaling $104,700 were given out to 16 Lee County programs, including two on Sanibel.
Zonta followed the same rigorous, time-honored selection process and grappled with challenging decisions, with requests totaling over $167,000, far below the funds available for distribution.
Diane Chesley and Janine Boardman, co-chairs of the Grants Committee for the third year, commented that many grants once again went to organizations with whom Zonta has had a long-standing relationship. “These organizations serve and support women at risk due to financial, health or domestic safety issues,” they said. “Their work is critical to helping women achieve a sense of safety, success and self-worth.” Zonta also budgeted $34,900 for Zonta International for global initiatives (zonta.org).
For 2020, local projects supported by Zonta grants are:
- Abuse Counseling & Treatment (ACT): continuing economic empowerment program
- Children’s Network of Southwest Florida: support for 18-year-olds aging out of foster care
- Community Housing & Resources (CHR): Educational support and emergency funds for female residents
- Piper Center for Social Services: Foster grandparents program uniting seniors and children with special needs
- Dress for Success Fort Myers: Help for women seeking employment or entrepreneurship
- Earn to Learn: Assistance with college or trade education for women
- I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva: Emergency medical or dental care for female clients
- Goodwill Industries of S.W. Florida: Micro-enterprise institute promoting economic independence
- Habitat for Humanity Lee County Women Build: Help with building homes for female heads of household
- Healthy Start Coalition of S.W. Florida: FOCUS program to educate teen mothers
- Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships (HTAP): ArtReach on the Streets for pre-teen awareness
- Organizacion Internacional de Latinos en el Exterior SWFL (OILE): Healing Stitches program and language skills for immigrant women
- PACE Center for Girls Lee County: PACE day, field trip to State Capitol
- Parent University at Head Start/LAMP: Literacy classes and support for immigrant women
- Partners for Breast Cancer Care: Mammograms for women in at-risk communities
- SalusCare: Economic empowerment for women in recovery
In addition to the above formal grants, the committee awarded a small support grant to the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge to help fund a naturalist program specifically designed for girls at PACE Center Lee County.
Plans are now in full swing for the 19th annual “Peek,” set for Saturday, March 14. Again, all proceeds will help fund programs that empower women and girls, locally and elsewhere. Tickets are available through Eventbrite at $100 (tax-deductible per IRS rules) plus a small service fee ($90 for afternoon departures if available). If you need help with Eventbrite, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on Zonta and the event, visit www.zontasancap.com, follow Zonta Sanibel-Captiva on Facebook and “like” us (@zontasancap) on Instagram.