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MAY 22, 2017
President’s Letter
Ellen Wiss

Warm greetings this May from WGA!

Congratulations!! You have accomplished so much before heading into summer! It’s been a great 15th anniversary year so far! (click to view 15th Anniversary clip)

The pool of funding for the first round of WGA grants toward Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty has been realized by those of you 400 WGA investors who paid your annual investment gifts by April 30th! Several of these WGA investors were friends you invited to Member Forum who joined that day, too! Brava!!

WGA received press surrounding Member Forum. Our keynote speaker, Mike Beard, United Nations Foundation Director of Global Health and Advocacy, and I visited Melissa Ross, of First Coast Connect for a discussion that had the phone lines lit up longer than time allowed (click here to listen) and Channel 4 News covered us, too (click here to read)...

Read Full Letter
Ellen Wiss, President
(720) 256-6143
The panel has a light-hearted moment at the recent Member Forum. See many more photos from the Member Forum here.
Reduced Annual Contribution for Those Under 40 Approved

At the end of the Member Forum, it was announced that a proposed change to the membership contribution was approved by more than the required two-thirds of WGA membership. In an effort to build on the success of the Delores Barr Weaver Fellows program and to continue to attract younger members, WGA now offers an introductory one-year half-price membership ($750 rather than $1,500) to new members age 40 and younger (limited to one such discount per person).

Thanks to those WGA members who studied the issue, who prepared the proposal and all who took the time to vote.

Spotlight on Grants: Rethreaded

Founded in 2012, Rethreaded is a non-profit social entrepreneurship that employs women who have been affected by the sex trade. The mission of Rethreaded is to break the cycle of the sex trade by offering affected women viable and creative work. In 2015, WGA awarded Rethreaded a grant for $74,680 to provide wrap-around services to the survivors, including a healthy work-environment and appropriate supports to help these new employees succeed and thrive in both their jobs and day-to-day life.

Q: What services are the employees of Rethreaded now receiving?

Rethreaded has contracted with “Her Song” to handle the mental health and trauma needs of the women employees. These services include:

  • A complete mental health psychosocial intake
  • Exit counseling for discontinued survivor employees
  • A weekly psychoeducational group, focused on navigating the balance of work and life, self-care, and healthy coping mechanisms.
  • 24-hour access to counseling.
  • Connecting survivors to community mental health and social service resources.

In addition, all staff, board members and volunteers have been trained in trauma-informed practices.

Items for sale at Rethreaded
Members of the Rethreaded team
Q: How do the services provided by this grant help your survivor employees as well as the business enterprise?

The one-on-one case management support has made the most impact on the employees. These women have a safety net. The employees decided as a group that all of the case management be held after working hours. Rethreaded benefits by not having interruptions in the work day and the employee/survivor can deal with personal issues in a confidential manner.

Q: What is your organization learning?

Kristin Keen, founder and director of Rethreaded said, "We have been learning so-much about a survivor’s journey towards wholeness. We have had to do a better job of using trauma-informed language in our culture. We are going to increase the in-house training sessions and will have a survivor in charge of overseeing trauma informed practices. For the first time in our history our women are moving out of the survival mode and into career development. We are working on a training program centered on leadership skills and career development."

WGA received the Philanthropic Organization of the Year Award for Ripple Effects from Mental Health of America! Jan Healy and Peggy Shiffers accepted this wonderful honor for WGA at the awards event at WJCT earlier this month.
Upcoming Events

Last eNews Until Fall!

This issue is the last for WGA eNews until September. Mark your calendars now for these upcoming fall events:

  • September 7, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Visit WGA Grant Recipient Gateway Community Services, 555 Stockton Street, Jacksonville, 32204.
    Gateway provides treatment and recovery services for people suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction and related mental health issues.
  • September 12, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Working Together to Change the Education Trajectory Toward Economic Success, Schultz Center, 4019 Boulevard Center Drive, Jacksonville, 32207.
    Hear from a panel of recognized educators about the challenges of poverty on the learning process and new educational initiatives for girls.
  • October 25, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. WGA Annual Meeting, UNF Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville, 32224, $35 includes lunch.
    Ratify WGA’s first set of grants in our new focus area, “Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty.”
View Events Calendar
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