LWRWC Donates Over $65,000 to Charity

Traditionally, LWRWC holds its annual business meeting in January of the new year. The agenda includes introducing the new executive board, announcing the 2021 program, and presenting the club’s adopted charities with checks from the previous year’s philanthropic efforts.

Virtual Meeting in 2021

On Thursday, January 14, LWRWC held a virtual meeting via Zoom to celebrate donating $65,100 in “cash and in-kind” to HOPE Family Services, Solve Maternity Homes, SMART (Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy), and Children’s Guardian Fund (CGF). The donations marked the culmination of an innovative year in charity fundraising led by LWRWC Philanthropy Co-chairs, Eileen Buzzard and Trish Newman.
Each charity gave a presentation highlighting how LWRWC’s generosity made a difference! Moving video clips and presentations by courageous speakers, shared how the support received from these charities improved lives.

The Executive Directors of the LWRWC Adopted Charities, Laurel Lynch (HOPE), Peggy Kerwin (Solve), Rebecca Blitz (SMART), Svetlana Kaminsky (CGF) and Kristin Poolman (CGF Program Director) expressed their appreciation to the Women’s Club for stepping forward when so many supporters are pulling back during the pandemic. They collectively thanked LWRWC for making a real difference in the lives of the people they serve.

No-contact Fund Raisers

In addition to significant cash donations from LWRWC no-contact fundraisers and a successful Fashion Show Fundraiser held early in 2020, in-kind donations included needed supplies and gift cards via a Smart Barn Drive; school supplies for children at HOPE domestic violence shelter via a Backpack Challenge, baby equipment via a virtual Baby Shower, donations of handmade Baby Blankets sewn by LWRWC Blankets for Babies, pillowcases, clothing and toys for the HOPE Chest, and 3500 handsewn masks by the LWRWC Sewing Angels.

Video Presentations by Charities

CFC, an organization that immediately responds to the needs of children removed from abusive or neglectful homes, partners with Guardian ad Litem Program, and provides funding to meet emergency needs for children in foster and state care in Florida’s 12th Judicial Circuit, presented a thank you video on behalf of the children they serve. Since November over 1,970 children in foster care, teenage victims of sex trafficking in a group home, and opioid addicted babies benefited. CFC was able to provide emergency needs, tutoring, summer camp and activities, cribs, beds, school clothes, and so much more

HOPE Family Services presented a poignant video featuring the heart wrenching stories of courageous survivors of domestic violence whose lives were literally and figuratively saved by HOPE. Domestic violence is an epidemic both nationally and locally. Every 9 seconds a woman is the victim of domestic violence! Hope offers a safe place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for victims and survivors of domestic violence. In addition to Emergency Safe Shelter, Hope provides advocacy, counseling, children’s services, and parenting support. Due to the pandemic, HOPE had to pivot like never before. To facilitate immediate communication, they added a text line and can be reached by texting “survivor” to 69922.

Solve courageous speaker, Laurie, a young mother, accompanied by her baby daughter, told how Solve Maternity Homes enabled her to get her GED, pursue a college education and have a brighter future. Solve has been assisting pregnant women in need and their precious babies for over 45 years and established a new EVOLVE Program for the mothers like Laurie who are pursuing higher education. The LWRWC financial gift to Solve sponsored the educational Center in the new Solve Sarasota Home

The presentations culminated with a testimonial by a SMART parent sharing how SMART and the wonderful horses made a huge difference in the life of her child! Since 1987, SMART fills a crucial need for effective therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving programs for children (ages 5 and over) and adults with a wide range of physical, emotional, or cognitive disabilities (including veterans suffering from PTSD and SELA trafficking victims) regardless of their financial circumstances