13 local nonprofits receive grants from Princeton Area Community Foundation Fund for Women and Girls

L-R: Jennifer Johnson (Arm in Arm), Laura Wall (CASA), Karen Collias (FWG), Nelida Valentin (Community Foundation), Melissa Tenzer (Dress for Success), Kim Casarona (Trinity Counseling) Karen Courtney (Children’s Home Society), Marcia Shackelford (Community Foundation), Luz Horta (Better Beginnings) and Cathy Schaeder Batterman (FWG).

The Princeton Area Community Foundation Fund for Women and Girls has awarded $186,000 in grants to 13 local nonprofits to fund programs that serve economically vulnerable women and children.

The Fund for Women and Girls is comprised of individual members who engage in collective philanthropy and grantmaking. “Thanks to the generosity and commitment of our Fund members, we have awarded more than $400,000 in grants to over three dozen nonprofits in the last three years,” said Cathy Schaeder Batterman, fund co-chair.

Nonprofit representatives and fund members gathered recently for the fund’s annual grantmaking dinner, where representatives from six finalist organizations gave short presentations about their programs, and fund members voted to determine how to distribute the grants.

The fund awards large, single, and multi-year grants to organizations that improve the lives of women and children in the community.

Arm in Arm, the Trenton-based organization that provides food and financial assistance to people in need, received a 3-year grant totaling $75,000. The grant will fund Arm in Arm’s mobility mentoring program, which will support 10 single women and their families to help move the families out of poverty.

Three nonprofits received one-year grants of $25,000.

The Better Beginnings Child Development Center in Hightstown will use its grant to fund a year-round, affordable preschool and childcare, and provide support services for parents, helping them find resources so they can remain employed or attend full-time training or educational programs.

Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Mercer and Burlington Counties will use its grant to provide training for volunteers who are appointed by the family court to advocate for young children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. About 47 percent of new referrals to the agency are for children ages 0-5. Special training will help volunteers assess the needs of younger children.

The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey will use its grant to fund a community doula program that trains bilingual doulas who will support dozens of pregnant and post-partum low-income Latina women and their babies. New Jersey has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation. Research shows that doulas improve both maternal and child health outcomes.

Dress for Success Central New Jersey received $2,500 for its women’s empowerment programs, and Trinity Counseling Services in Princeton received $2,500 for its childhood intervention initiative serving families in Princeton, Cranbury, West Windsor, and Plainsboro

The Catholic Youth Organization in Trenton, the Princeton Nursery School, embrella in Princeton, HomeFront,  RISE in Hightstown, and the YWCA of Princeton each received $1,000.

The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund received the second $25,000 installment of a three-year grant for its mentoring program for high achieving, low-income high school students in Trenton and Princeton.