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April 17, 2019
President’s Message
Ellen Wiss


What is it? How do we measure it? Is it important to measure?

Impact is “having a strong effect on someone or something.” And the answer to the last question is yes, but how do we measure impact?

WGA has always honored its founding principles by doing in-depth research into the selection of our focus areas for grantmaking. We now realize that we need to do the same in-depth look at the impact of our grants.

Plan on attending the WGA Member Forum on Monday, May 13 at UNF to get a comprehensive look into how we measured the impact of WGA’s just completed 5-year focus on Mental Health grants. We learned that we are making significant impact in the lives of women and girls in our community, we are having an impact on the agencies to whom we award grants, and we’re having an impact on our individual WGA members.

We will also announce the 2019–2020 proposed grants to WGA members and ask for ratification of this latest round of grants in our current focus area, Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty.

I know you will be impressed with both portions of our program and if you are at all like me, you will be asking yourself, “What more can I do?” Of course, the best thing you can do is to become a member of WGA. If you haven’t yet renewed, please reach out to Teri Calinao at or me at Either one of us will happily, and with deep gratitude, help you renew!

If you have already renewed, please consider making a donation to the grants pool as a way to honor someone special in your life. Mother’s Day is fast approaching as are high school and college graduations. Funding our grants is the first step toward having Impact!

Please Join Us!!


Join or Renew Today!
WGA Member Forum: Monday, May 13

Do you ever wonder if WGA is having an impact? Come and hear just how much impact our 5-year focus on Mental Health has had on our community, granting agencies, and our individual members. WGA Members will also ratify the proposed 2019 grants, as we continue our current focus on Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty!

Doors Open | 11:00 a.m.
Program Begins | 11:30 a.m.

UNF University Center 12000 Alumni Drive | Jacksonville, FL 32224

RSVP HERE by: May 3 for Early Registration Fee of $35, Beginning May 4th Registration Fee will be $45 (Lunch is included with your registration.)

Dignity Drive at the Member Forum on May 13

PLEASE NOTE: At the October 2018 Annual Meeting based on information our grantees had shared, WGA held a Dignity Drive to collect feminine hygiene products for women and girls. The drive was so successful that hundreds of pounds of tampons and pads were delivered to three pantries in the area. Work and school attendance is affected by women and girls who cannot afford these products that are not covered by SNAP benefits. WGA will once again host a Dignity Drive at the Member Forum May 13. Please bring boxes of tampons and pads and WGA will distribute to pantries in our five-county region that serve women and girls. Thank you!

Spotlight on Grants: Family Literacy Program at the Women’s Center

Expanded Horizons is a literacy program, funded by WGA, for any woman who has recognized that her educational level is a barrier to achieving her goals. Expanded Horizons addresses each woman's unique needs with specifically-tailored tutoring and small group classes. In this program a woman can improve her reading level and earn a GED. While Mom is learning, her children can attend as well, participating in the new child literacy component.

Women can also access the wrap-around services offered by the Women's Center such as mental health counseling, financial and computer literacy training, life and positive parenting coaching, employment assistance, breast cancer support, and sexual assault victim advocates. With this program, two of the primary barriers to breaking the cycle of poverty—inadequate education and lack of mental health resources—are addressed under one roof.

Shanna has been a part of Expanded Horizons since September 2018. Every Monday, she and her two children, Ace and Ava, come to the Women’s Center for Shanna’s one-on-one tutoring session in Pre-GED and GED Mathematics. Ace and Ava participate in literacy activity practice and homework assistance with Bridgett Wiley, Expanded Horizons Education Program Family Literacy Advocate. Shanna said, “I wouldn’t be able to attend class if I couldn’t bring my kids with me. Expanded Horizons is helping me to reach my goal while my children are safe—and completing their homework assignments, too! I always say we’re going to school together at the Women’s Center!”

Help Increase the Grant Pool

The Decision Team met recently to review 20 amazing proposals to help break the cycle of female poverty. With help from Volunteer Reader and Finance Team input and robust discussion around the table, we have chosen 9 agencies who will get site visits this month. We will make our final grant selections on May 3rd. The grant requests total more than $690,000 in funding - much more than we have to give. WGA members can help make the grant pool larger by asking friends who care about women and girls to join WGA before April 30 or by donating extra funds directly to the Grant Pool. Your Decision Team would thank you!

Upcoming Events

New Members Cheese and Wine Social

Tuesday, May 7, 6-7:30 p.m.
Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails, 4972 Big Island Dr., Jacksonville 32246

Come meet WGA Leadership and your fellow new members in a relaxed setting, hear about opportunities for involvement, learn about our grant process and ask any questions you might have. Bring a friend!

RSVP by April 30. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Social Media 101

Wednesday, May 8, 10 – 11:15 a.m.
Jessie Ball DuPont Center, Room 219, 40 East Adams Street, Jacksonville 32202

This workshop will provide a basic understanding of how to use the three most common social network platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We will give an overview which will include how to open an account, how to maximize your profile, how to build and interact with a network, as well as basic tools/applications designed to enhance your overall experience. Social media provides a unique way to tell our story, engage donors and supporters, and share our impact on the community. There’s no time like the present to actively engage!

Taught by Aidee Chavez Frescas and Stephanie Trefry.

RVSP by May 1. Bring your lunch.

Welcome New Members!

(and thanks to the women who referred them)

New Members
Nancy Broner
Sally Hutchinson
Kim Kristoff*
Erika Lackey-Zernial*
Kathleen Yohe

Jennifer Kowkabany
Trisha Meili
Ellen Wiss


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