The Women of Purpose Fund was established in 2008 by southwest Kansas area women who made donations to build a permanently endowed fund of $57,000 to support local programs focused on issues affecting women. Their vision, commitment and passion have supported annual grants to enable women succeed in our communities.
The vision of this fund is: Empowering southwest Kansas women to take an active and powerful role in philanthropy to serve other women. The Women of Purpose fund allow dedicated, engaged women to make a difference in the lives of many without a significant time or financial commitment. Please ask our staff to see how you can join hands with women in our area.
Women of Purpose Membership
Each year the Western Kansas Community Foundation invites area women to contribute $100 to the Women of Purpose Fund to activate their voting membership that year. A Kickoff Event is held each year to signal the annual membership campaign is underway. The voting membership closes on December 31 of each year so that a grant amount can be established for the Request for Proposal. One half of the $100 donation provides funding for the grant to be awarded while the other one half is endowed to continue to grow the fund forever.
Leadership for the Women of Purpose Fund is provided by an active Executive Board. The Executive Board meets on a monthly basis starting in August through April of each grant year. The Executive Board members agree to serve for three (3) years and truly exemplify a working board.
The current Executive Board members:
- Alice Banning
- Jeanne Cottrell
- Susan Escareno
- Jan Kleysteuber
- Audrey Law
- Carol Nanninga
- Sara Robinson
- Liz Scheopner
- Sue Swords
Ad Hoc Committees
This committee is marketing the fund, events and other Women of Purpose opportunities. Their focus is building membership through the renewal process and to engaging potential new members through different venues and presentations.
This committee is in charge of planning the bi annual Founders Luncheon, Ladies Teas, the Annual Kickoff Event and the Annual Celebration Event that keep Women of Vision informed, engaged and inspired.
2010 Women in the Workplace
Awardee: GCCC Business & Industry Become a Career Women $2,600
The purpose was to engage women to acquire skills and learn concepts that will lead them to find gainful employment or to upgrade their position in the workplace.
Eight women completed the course on Dec. 4, 2010, earning a Career Skills II Certificate through 20 hours of classroom work that included a combination of lecture, hands-on exercises, role playing and informative videos. The course objectives enabled women to gain customer service skills, communicate more effectively, learn about employer expectations and workplace effectiveness, and leave with a resume and interview skills. Inspiring instructors provided participants with activities to stimulate self-worth and self-confidence by assisting them with resume preparation and interview skills, plus learning how to wear power colors and dress professionally on a budget.
The women participated in career tours with many different types of businesses that represented opportunities for women in business. A graduation luncheon was held where their GCCC Career Skills II certificate, each graduate was presented along with a thank you bag included a manicure and pedicure from the GCCC Cosmetology center. The group had bonded during the weeks of classes and they exchanged well wishes and hugs before departing.
Jean Warta, Director of Business & Industry at Garden City Community College Business & Industry Institute thanked the Western Kansas Community Foundation for being selected as the first program recipient of the Women of Purpose Fund grant and for the opportunity to provide this training to these unique and special women.
2011 Healthy Women, Healthy Communities (Cancer focus)
Awardee: The Shift Center WHEE Program $3,000
Women’s Health Energizing Empowerment
The purpose of the WHEE Series was to provide women with cancer, services that empower a sense of well-being within themselves; to create a safe place to explore feelings of hope, healing and expression; to provide education and tools to help cope with side effects and survivorship; and to renew cooperation between the medical community and complementary professionals, supporting an integrated model of care. The WHEE Series is a program designed to introduce and make available to women of SW Kansas complementary therapies that may be utilized during the treatment for cancer. The Shift Center was awarded a matching grant enabling them to offer the services at little or no charge.
Kriz Hughes, R.N. explained that all therapies offered augment traditional medical treatments and the latest standards of medical care. We are thrilled to offer these services here in southwest Kansas which up to now have only been found in larger metropolitan hospitals and cancer treatment facilities across the nation.
2012 Healthy Women, Healthy Communities (Diabetes focus)
Awardee: Garden City Family YMCA - $3,500
Diabetes affects many local women. Garden City Family YMCA created a program designed to assist women in the fight against Diabetes by educating them on how to live a healthy lifestyle by implementing an exercise and diet regimen that can be easily maintained. The series of educational opportunities and one-on-one exercise training was designed to provide the tools for lifetime changes in behavior to promote longterm health.
Women of Purpose was pleased to provide funding for this important community service for women to build and enhance skills in making better food choices for themselves as well as to develop positive habits around exercise.
2013 Healthy Women, Healthy Communities (Heart Disease focus)
Awardee: Garden City Recreation Commission (WOW program) - $5,000
Heart Disease is one of the greatest risks to women's health. Garden City Recretion Commission created a program entitled Women of Wellness (WOW) that targets cardiovascular health. Women participating in the Women of Wellness program met for bi-weekly fitness sessions with exercises specifically geared to help women with heart issues.
This third year of health focused grants will help many area women dealing with heart concerns that keep them from exersicing. The program will build education and skills necessary in dealing with heart disease and leading an active and healthy lifestyle.
2014 Women Wise, Money and Finances
Awardee: Family Crisis Services collaborating with Seeds of Hope Jail Ministry - $6,000
This is the first in a three year series of grants under the "Women Wise, Money and Finances" focus. Family Crisis Services in collaboration with Seeds of Hope Jail Ministry will use granted funds to offer classes on personal finance to women in both English and Spanish. These trainings will be held throughout 2014 and seek to build skills and competancy for women who have experienced domestic violence, been incarcerated and/or denied opportunities to manage their own personal finance. Trainings will assist women in developing knowledge in managing money, the importance of savings and planning for future expenses to build independance.