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April 18, 2018
President’s Letter
Ellen Wiss

Happy Spring, WGA friends!

April showers do bring May flowers! The showers of support you are generating from bringing in new friends to join us, by renewing your membership, by spreading the word about the generous Delores Barr Weaver gift challenge are producing a flourishing garden of collective talent, influence and grants dollars to impact lifting more women and children out of poverty this year!

All payments by April 30th will flow directly into this year’s grants pool.

April 10 was equal pay day. It was the day women caught up in pay to where men were in 2017. At the current rate, women would catch up to men in pay equity by 2119, over a century from now. Women only make 80 cents to the dollar a man makes. It’s even less for many women of color. WGA commissioned an updated research report on the Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment and Earnings released this month that offers new data and reaffirms the staggering statistics from our prior research.

If working women (living in poverty) were paid the same as men for equal skills and jobs, nearly 60% would come out of poverty.

Hear WGA members Paula Liang, Melanie Patz and Ellen Wiss with Melissa Ross on WJCT’s First Coast Connect on Equal Pay Day discussing the research and the WGA Women in Leadership event at WJCT that day.

Read Full Letter

Ellen Wiss, President
(720) 256-6143
WGA Grants Pool Match

In honor of WGA’s 15th anniversary, the remarkable Delores Barr Weaver has generously offered a 1:3 match towards the Women’s Giving Alliance 2018 Grant Pool! For every $3 WGA raises for the grant pool, she will add an additional $1.This is a phenomenal opportunity to stretch your giving dollars further. Let’s get that Grant Pool filled to the brim!

Donate online or write a check to Women’s Giving Alliance and include in the memo line: WGA Match. For questions: Contact Teri Calinao at 904.356.4483 or
Grants Spotlight: Volunteers in Medicine (VIM)

A True Success Story
By Susan Martinez, LCSW

When I asked Ana (a pseudonym) if I could share her success story with the WGA, she shrugged her shoulders. She reluctantly gave permission but asked, “Why me?” I answered, “You have engaged in a process that took a great deal of courage. You have been open, honest, and you trusted the process.”

A little background on Ana: She is in her mid twenties, attractive dark eyes and curly dark hair. She never knew her biological father but her first stepfather sexually abused her and physically abused her younger brother. Her brother’s screams still haunt her, and she feels guilty she could not protect him. She wonders to this day why their mother failed to protect both of them. Both parents abused drugs and alcohol. Mother died ten years ago leaving Ana’s second step father as her only family support. Her brother, who abuses alcohol, recently tried injecting heroin.

Despite her unstable family history, Ana has maintained a stable relationship with a supportive male for several years. She studied art in college but did not stay on to get a degree. She worked in food service until recently when the business went bankrupt. She filed for food stamps and unemployment benefits while doing her best to find a job with benefits.

Today she shared the bittersweet news: Amazon offered her a job with benefits starting at $12 an hour. Shortly she will have health insurance but will no longer qualify for VIM.

When I asked Ana to describe how mental health services at VIM have helped her she responded: “Prozac (sic) because I don't cry every day anymore. I am learning to be nice to myself. I am doing more reflecting before reacting. Before I was fearful all the time because of the abuse at home, being picked on in school, had nobody to talk to about my fears...almost paranoid. Through counseling I learned a lot about myself, I got closure, learned how to treat myself and take care of myself. It is the reason I was able to visit and deal with my estranged family who actually do love me. It gave me courage to open up about stuff, working out the forgiveness thing, dealing with anger, and Al-anon. It gave me a place to talk about my fears.”

Ana has braved a violent, dangerous world and to her credit is becoming a caring responsible adult.

 WGA Women in the Recent Spotlight! Did you know?

The women who make up WGA contribute to their communities in a myriad of different ways, and a number of you have recently been publicly recognized by your peers and your community. You’ll want to congratulate each one when you read about the accolades recently bestowed on these deserving WGA members!

Joni Poitier, Moseley, Prichard, Parrish, Knight & Jones, is being honored as a 40 Under 40 award nominee by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of Florida’s brightest, most promising professionals Read the story in the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Jacqueline Rudloff, Deutsche Bank, is being honored as a 40 Under 40 award nominee by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of Florida’s brightest, most promising professionals. Read the story in the Jacksonville Business Journal.

Gisele Carson, lawyer with MarksGray, P.A., is being honored with the “Women of Distinction” award by Girl Scouts of Gateway, for her professional accomplishments, service to others, and community impact. Read the story in The Ponte Vedra Recorder.

Martha Baker, community volunteer and advocate, is being honored with the “Women of Distinction” award by Girl Scouts of Gateway, for her professional accomplishments, service to others, and community impact. Read the story in The Ponte Vedra Recorder.

Audrey McKibbin Moran, Senior VP for Social Responsibility and Community Advocacy, was honored on March 8, 2018 at the Girls, Inc. luncheon with the Champions for Girls award for her extraordinary leadership and lifetime accomplishments for women and girls in NEFL.

Sherry Magill, President of The Jesse Ball duPont Fund announces her retirement in June of this year after 25 years positively impacting NEFL as a philanthropic leader…Read the story in Florida Times Union.

Upcoming Events

Holistic Health – Mind, Body and Spirit: Tuesday, May 1, 8-9:30 a.m. Two clinical psychologists share how to create a balanced life. Jessie Ball duPont Center, 40 East Adams Street, Jacksonville 32202. A light, healthy breakfast will be provided at 8 a.m. REGISTER by April 24

New Member Coffee:Wednesday, May 2nd, 10:30 am–12 noon. Host: Paula Liang – Ponte Vedra Beach (address will be provided with registration confirmation). REGISTER

Welcome New Members!
Martha Bandy
Kimberly Bednarek
Ansley Blakely
Susan Brandenburg
Deborah Castor
Cynthia Chomiak
Ellen Cleveland
Catherine Cosby
Maggie Costello
Randle DeFoor
Lauren Gibbs*
Jennifer Holden
Lori Mans*
Beth Moore
Tina Nichols
Danielle Prior*
Katherine Purcell*
Perry Todd
Diane Yendol-Hoppey
*Indicates 4Sight Member

Referrals made by:
Margaret Barton
Stephanie Cost
Paula Liang
Sally Ragsdale
Catherine Trinder Miller
Ellen Wiss
Member Directory    •    Grants    •    Connectors
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