The Metrowest Women’s Fund Announces Inaugural Grant Program
The Metrowest Women's Fund, a newly created social venture, invests in women and girls in Metrowest through education, community building, grant making and strategic partnerships.
“The Metrowest Women's Fund is in the business of improving the lives of women and girls in Metrowest,” said Rebecca Parkhill, M.Div., Co-Founder.
With a mission to identify the needs of women and girls in the Metrowest and raise resources to meet those needs, the Metrowest Women’s Fund recently completed its inaugural grants program. In partnership with Jewish Family Services of Metrowest, grants are awarded to the following organizations:
Domestic Violence Services Network: Support individualized tutorials to help and educate high-risk victims of domestic violence.
Dignity Matters: Provide free access to period protection and underwear for women and girls who are homeless and economically disadvantaged.
Family Promise Metrowest: Support mothers and teens, at risk of homelessness, pursuing advanced education.
Mass Bay Community College Foundation: Expand sexual violence prevention programs for students.
MetroWest Legal Services: Legal Representation to victims of domestic violence and their families of low-incomes.
RIA House: Support a direct services Peer Mentor for survivors of the commercial sex-trade.
“Metrowest women and girls need us to come together and invest in the community. We have big goals – matching the resources in our community with those in need,” said Rachel Sagan, JD, Co-Founder.
The Metrowest Women’s Fund focuses on three social impact areas:
Education with a focus on opportunity for low-income women and girls including first–generation.
Girls: The Next Generation with a focus on particular needs of girls from low incomes.
Safety From Violence with a focus on domestic violence, senior abuse, sexual assault, and survivors of the commercial sex trade.
Only 1.6% of all philanthropic giving is dedicated to issues of women and girls.
“Metrowest women and girls need us to come together and invest in the community,” added Sagan
As Co-Founders of the Metrowest Women's Fund, Rachel of Sudbury and Rebecca of Weston are driven by a single goal: to do their part in making our community a place where women and girls are supported and get the services they need and deserve.
Service area includes the 33 towns in the Metrowest: Acton, Ashland, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Framingham, Harvard, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Walpole, Waltham, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, Weston and Westwood.
Giving In This Time: Why Locavore Philanthropy
Rachel Sagan & Rebecca Parkhill, Metrowest Women’s Fund Co-Founders
As co-founders of a new, community-based social venture, we are inspired and guided by the concept of “locavore philanthropy.” We created the Metrowest Women’s Fund because we think that supporting local non-profits is the best way to meet the significant needs of women and girls in Metrowest Boston.
Locavore philanthropy is a lot like the locavore food movement. During the pandemic, the locally grown food movement is increasingly relevant. People are focused on where their food comes from and many are making a conscious effort to consume locally grown foods as much as possible. The reasons to eat locally grown food include sustainability, support of local economies, and reduction in waste and energy involved in transporting food. Some advocates believe that locally grown food even tastes better.
We believe that the principles driving the local food movement apply to our giving and illustrate the power of local giving, i.e. Locavore Philanthropy.
Locavore philanthropy includes supporting the issues that are close to your heart and home. Local dollars are arguably “fresher.” There is less distance between the community group, the people in need and the donor who makes the gift. Rich relationships can grow and develop between those who give and those who work or volunteer at local organizations, even on Zoom. Just as we meet the farmer at a Farmer’s Market, community-based non-profits offer donors many opportunities to meet fellow supporters, staff and volunteer leadership -- at Town Meeting, the baseball field, or a local business. These connections help us better understand the benefits these local agencies provide and the real needs facing children and families in our community. Local giving also holds the donors accountable to those they support. As members of a community, it is harder to turn our backs and look away.
There is tremendous power in giving locally to our smaller non-profits. Together, by giving locally, we can create sustainable results that support the most vulnerable in our community.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins
The Metrowest Women's Fund and Womenade Boston jointly sponsored a program on "Victim, Witness, Offender: Women and the Criminal Justice System." Our inspiring key note speaker, Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins, and the General Counsel Donna Patalano addressed many complex issues and answered thoughtful questions from over 60 attendees. Here is another chance to catch this great event. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Tlv9WB48jI