E-News: December 2016
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In this issue:
Spotlight on Grants: Hubbard House

Since its inception 40 years ago as one of the first domestic violence shelters in Florida, Hubbard House has provided safety to more than 36,800 victims of domestic violence (including children) and answered more that 91,000 hotline calls.  As part of our mental health initiative, WGA awarded Hubbard House a two year grant ($98,000) to establish the RISE! Program in 2014.

Q.  What’s special about this grant?
RISE! provides integrative gender-specific mental health counseling to women in Duval and Baker Counties who are victims of domestic violence. Victims in shelter have suffered severe abuse and exhibit high rates of PTSD. At Hubbard House, counseling strategies employ an empowerment-based holistic approach utilizing trauma-informed therapy, cognitive/ behavioral therapy, art therapy, bibliotherapy, and yoga/ movement.
"Satchel Stories" accompany bags created by RISE! participants to carry their happy memories and reminders of things past.  "Inspiration Boxes" are created by participants to store words, phrases, and memories to enhance their growth process.
RISE! has a master's level counselor as facilitator and uses up to five master’s level counseling interns. The use of interns not only increases the availability of counselors for program participants, but also increases the number of counselors in Northeast Florida with specialized training in gender-specific mental health counseling for women.
Q. Tell us about someone helped by this grant.

A woman with two children moved to the South to escape from a physically abusive relationship. However, she soon moved in with a new man, found herself pregnant, and the cycle of abuse started again.  When police became involved, they recommended she come to Hubbard House. Upon her arrival, she began working with the RISE! counselor, attending individual sessions on a weekly basis as well as every support group she could. Over time, she began to realize that she did not need validations from anyone in order to feel confident. She began to blossom, smiling more, talking about her feelings, and planning on her future.  She now is working, her children are doing well, and the abuser has left them alone. She credits her newfound confidence and empowerment in helping her to see that she can be independent and free.

Q.  What are the next steps?  

The need for continuing the RISE! program is evident through the change Hubbard House staff are seeing in the lives of the women who participate. At the recent WGA Annual Meeting, members ratified a $100,000 grant to continue the RISE! program for another two years.
Welcome New Members!
Welcome to the following new WGA Members who have joined since our May 2016 newsletter.
  • Mary Claire Boney
  • Marsha Carton
  • Cheryl Grymes
  • Judy Ham
  • Holly Hammond
  • Sarah Helms
  • Andrea Hoffman
  • Carol Kimmel
  • Jennifer Kowkabany
  • Tonisha Landry
  • Amy Margerum Berg
  • Maxine McBride
  • Whitney McGuire
  • Becky McLaughlin
  • Gail Morley
  • Eva Nagorski
  • Skippy Nixon
  • Judy Poppell
  • Raymur Rachels
  • Teresa Radzinski
  • Edith Robinson
  • Mary Strickland
  • Hayley Tuller
  • Paula Weatherby
Welcome to the 2017 class of Delores Barr Weaver Fellows Starting in the January eNews, we will introduce them to you a few at a time.  We are so thankful to Delores for having the vision and generosity to subsidize emerging philanthropists;  we are also grateful to members who have anonymously funded additional spots in this year's class.
  • Allishia Bauman
  • Aidee Chavez Frescas
  • Molly Davidson
  • Poppy Decunto
  • Stephanie Doran
  • Jennifer Earnest
  • Mone Holder
  • Imani Hope
  • Laura Lambert
  • Marina Martin
  • Joni Poitier
  • Lauren Purdy
  • Amy Rice
  • Jamie Rich
  • Jacqueline Rudloff
  • TriciaRae Stancato
  • Annie Tutt
  • Mollie Williams
According to the last member survey, 92% of us join because of friends and acquaintances.  Thanks to the following recruiters of the new members above.
  • Margaret Barton
  • Elana Dietz
  • Judy Herrin
  • Kiki Karpen
  • Allison McCallum
  • Izzy Spence
  • Julia Taylor
  • Ellen Wiss
And thanks to everyone who provided nominations for the 2017 class of Delores Barr Weaver Fellows
  • Martha Baker
  • Kristi Brandon
  • Cindy Edelman
  • Jana Ertrachter
  • Courtney Hunter
  • Paula Liang
  • Samantha Orender
  • Sabeen Perwaiz
  • Ellen Wiss
Recent Events
October 15, 2016
Women’s Giving Alliance members recently visited WGA grant recipient Rethreaded (see above left Melinda Patterson, Elizabeth Teelon, and Gail Morley).  Founder and President Kristin Keen (left) explained that Rethreaded is breaking the cycle of the sex trade by offering viable business opportunities to those affected by the sex trade (i.e. prostitution, drug addiction and human trafficking).  Assistant Marketing Manager Jamie Rosseland (above right in front of the Christmas tree, with WGA member Trisha Meili) talked about the demographic served by Rethreaded, and shared her own very personal experiences.  Members also toured the facility, and of course, enjoyed the opportunity to shop for a good cause.  For great gift ideas for the Holidays, visit the Rethreaded website and take the #Rethreaded Challenge (see below).
Give gifts that change lives.

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October 26, 2016
IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE 15th ANNIVERSARY KICKOFF, WGA leaders and our three living Founders shared their perspectives on WGA’s history. 
  • Founder Helen Lane (left above) recalled “by the time we made our first grants in 2002, the five us had recruited 163 founding members." 
  • Founder Courtenay Wilson (right above) shared that “in 1999, I read about the Washington Women’s Fund in People Magazine and thought that we could and we needed to do this in Jacksonville.  Nobody else was focused on it at the time, and we knew the needs were great.”
  • Founder Delores Barr Weaver (right below) remembered "“I was so proud that we started out with not only a grant pool, but also an endowment."
  • Joining Delores on stage were (from left to right) WGA member Marsha Oliver (emcee for the history section), Kara Williams (DBW Fellow and Advocacy Committee member), Dale Clifford (Vice President from 2007-2016), Susan Schantz (President 2012-2013), Barbara Harrell (President 2009-2010), and Sandy Cook (President 2005-2006).
Help Evaluate Current Grants!

WGA Needs Six New Volunteers to Evaluate Current Grants
What's it like to evaluate grants? Over the years, we've learned there's no substitute for observing and hearing about issues firsthand. As part of our collaborative grants process, members of the Evaluation Team visit grant recipients and learn how they are helping at-risk women and girls. Site visits are inspiring, eye-opening and oftentimes emotional experiences for WGA volunteers (see story right).
The Grants Evaluation Team needs six new volunteers now! 

The group has two primary responsibilities:
FIRST HAND ACCOUNT: WGA Grants Evaluation Team Members Dr. Barbara Sharp (radiologist, Baptist Health) and Kirsten Martino (mother of three young children and co-owner of a family restaurant business) recall the profound impact their site visit had on their lives.  Read more here.
  1. Foster a collaborative process to learn how WGA can adjust and improve outcomes for grantee agencies and the community as a whole
  2. Ensure that WGA is a good steward of Members' contributions to the Grant Pool
The Evaluation Team monitors progress throughout the grant cycle to ensure agencies meet goals and objectives specified in the grant, and that grants have the intended impact.

What's required?  Evaluators are grouped into teams of 2 or 3 women and assigned to a specific grant.  The team visits with the agency usually twice during the grant cycle (in May of the first year and January of the second year).  After each visit, the team writes an Interim Report using a standard template.  They assess the progress of the agency and make recommendations (if warranted) for continued funding of the grant.  In addition to the ~2 hours a year for each visit and a few hours afterwards of writing and discussion with fellow team members, there is a two hour training session for new volunteers scheduled for Wednesday, March 8th, 2016 at 12 noon in The Community Foundation boardroom.

If you are interested in seeing the impact of WGA's grants first-hand, please contact Grants Evaluation Team Co-Chair Barb Wenger at 904 273-0657 or  For more information about WGA's grantmaking, click here.
In memoriam
Remembering WGA Member
Gwynne Tonsfeldt

We are sad to report the death of WGA member Gwynne Tonsfeldt in early October as a result of pulmonary fibrosis.  Gwynne was born and raised in Columbus, GA, held multiple degrees in psychology and had an advertising and marketing career in New York City.  But after marrying Bob in 1985, she found her life’s joy and worked in psychotherapy, both in Atlanta and in Ponte Vedra Beach.  She was also active in the community, the founder of FOCUS Cummer, and was actively engaged with WGA’s mental health focus area.
Calendar Reminders
We’re happy to have you as a member, whatever your level of involvement.  We hope you’ll join us at the upcoming events that interest you.  And remember, you are always welcome to bring guests.  All we ask is that you register so we can plan accordingly.
12/31/16: Is WGA part of your year-endImage result for calendar 12/31 clipart tax-year planning?

If your giving is tax-year oriented, please click here to join or renew.  Remember, you have until April 30, 2017 to contribute your tax-deductible $1,500 to the Grant Pool for 2017, but if you prefer to give in 2016, we welcome your check or credit card donation by December 31, 2016.
1/12/17 (Thursday): Open Doors Update with other Policy Center Highlights (11:30-1:00 pm)

The Jessie Ball duPont Center, Room 318 (Board Room), 40 East Adams Street  32202.     Bring your lunch or order a box lunch @ $15 with your RSVP.
1/23/17 (Monday): New Members Wine & Cheese (6:00 - 8:00 pm)

Ortega (Member's Home; (exact address will be given when you RSVP)
1/30/17 (Monday): Anne Frank exhibit at MOSH plus discussion about Discrimination Based on Disabilities (including Mental Illness) (6:00 - 8:00 pm)
NEW!  2/22/17: Trip to Tally (Tallahassee)

Join the Advocacy Committee as we travel to Tallahassee on February 22 to advocate for victims of sex trafficking. No prior training needed; you'll learn everything you need to know on the bus. Email Pam Field ( or Kristi Brandon ( for more information. 
last February's eNews for coverage of last year's trip.
President's Letter
Hello friends!
As we continue through the holiday season, I’m still feeling so grateful - and full!  I shopped during our November grantee visit to Rethreaded, so I’m all set with lovely gifts that will not only thrill the recipients, but will help change the world for the better!  If you haven’t yet, please consider taking part in Rethreaded’s holiday gift challenge happening now (see above).
As promised, this newsletter offers more highlights and photos from our October annual meeting.  In addition, we continue to receive great media coverage for the tremendous impact WGA has had on mental health and on our new focus area of Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty.  On WJCT’s First Coast Connect in November, past president Paula Liang and I shared facts, figures and how WGA works (listen here).  The core message we communicated: As a collective, we make significant grants to our community.  As a connective, we multiply those dollars by applying our social, moral, intellectual and reputable influence toward our goals.
Just one example: Through advocacy, education, awareness and collaboration, we had a key role in bringing $53 million more dollars to our region for mental health; we helped get the Open Doors Statewide bill fully funded; and we mobilized other partners to action and positive outcomes.

We were a part of so many stories of lifting women and girls up and out of the sex trade, and fend with domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, veteran post-traumatic stress, rape crisis and more. As a result, we helped the children of these victims as well.

Today, as we turn to our new focus of breaking the cycle of female poverty, we have the opportunity to be a part of many more stories that will offer hope and promise.

It’s all about ripple effects and how the gift keeps on giving. And together, with our growing cadre of community partners, we'll help lift many women and children out of poverty, and make every attempt to change the future for the better. That’s the WGA story. Just by joining the WGA, you are already a part of that story. You are valued. Your voice matters.  Now, it’s time to broaden our impact and ask more of our friends to join us.

And together, with our growing cadre of community partners, we'll help lift many women and children out of poverty, and make every attempt to change the future for the better. 

WGA began with five women founders who wisely engaged the national award winning Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. They realized that, “Alone, I can do so much….but if I bring in a friend, we can double the impact….”  In their collective effort, they more than tripled their initial goal of each bringing in 10 friends.  The WGA had 163 founding members in our first year!  They provided us with the foundation and formula for future success right from the start.
Now, 14 years later, we are over 400 women strong. Let’s continue to dream BIG! If we each renew and bring in a friend or two to join this year, we could be granting $1 million or more every year towards the BIG issue of female poverty and multiplying the ripple effects exponentially!
At our first steering committee meeting last month with the 2017 leadership team, we celebrated the impressive achievements of every goal, including growth, set from our past through 2016. We also kicked off the next phase of strategic planning, and we will keep you informed as we take a deeper dive during our January session.  Growth, diversity, inclusiveness and positive impact continue to be at the heart of WGA’s success.
And while we’re on the subject of growth, during this meeting we also viewed a comparison graph between WGA and another women’s collective giving circle in Florida that was founded near the same time.  They have over 1,000 women members and are granting over $1 million per year to their community.  Considering our area’s population is triple theirs, and with our well-established endowment model, we have a wonderful opportunity and foundation for significant growth!

Please don’t forget we have many wonderful (and FREE!) events where we can invite our friends and introduce them to WGA’s work. Hopefully, they will consider joining us.  
Let’s dream BIG and GROW as we commemorate and celebrate our 15th Anniversary year!    

Wishing you all a happy, healthy holiday season.

In gratitude and service,
Ellen Wiss
(720) 256-6143
Special Thanks to Reporters & Photographers for this E-News

Kristi Brandon, Teri Calinao, Shelia Collier, Stephanie Cost, Linda Hull, Paula Liang, Ellen Rosner, Karen Estella Smith, Barb Wenger, Ellen Wiss
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For questions or more information, please contact Teri Calinao, Donor Services Manager or (904) 356-4483.
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