2020 Grant Partner Spotlight Series: Part 4

May 29, 2020

Our collective power creates social change that transforms the lives of women and girls. We invest in building the capacity of our grant partners who make long-lasting change a reality. Through our weekly Grant Partner Spotlight series, we’re proud to share with you the tremendous work they’re doing.

Featured in this edition: Policy Matters Ohio shares a call to action for child care, YWCA Columbus takes their program directly to neighborhoods, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio maintains connection virtually

Policy Matters Ohio

Policy Matters Ohio is a non-profit policy research institute. Their mission is to create a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive Ohio through research, strategic communications, coalition building, and policy advocacy. Policy Matters Ohio is a multiyear strategic grant partner creating social change by shifting policy to build economic security for women and families, especially through access to affordable child care.

Policy Matters Ohio believes that everyone, no matter where they live or what they look like, needs stability and security. The COVID-19 crisis has upended the lives of all Ohioans and slowed down our economy. Policy Matters Ohio has pivoted to advancing policies that help stabilize families in crisis now.
Over 1.2 million Ohioans have filed unemployment claims since the middle of March. That’s more applications than the last three years combined. That’s why Policy Matters Ohio is advocating for policy solutions at the state and national level to make sure all Ohioans can put food on the table, pay the rent, and afford high-quality child care. Policy Matters is also educating the public about how to access resources available through the federal stimulus packages, such as the one-time stimulus payments.


Act Now to Ensure Parents Have Child Care Options When They Return to Work

COVID-19 could lead to a permanent loss of nearly 4.5 million child care slots, leaving millions of families without the child care they need to return to work. As central Ohio moves toward reopening and parents go back to work, it is more important than ever to ensure child care providers are supported to open their doors and continue serving their communities.
On Wednesday, May 27, Rep. DeLauro and Rep. Scott introduced the #ChildCareIsEssential bill, which would provide $50 billion in funding to stabilize the child care industry across the nation. 
Will you amplify this bill on social media and ask Senator Rob Portman, Senator Sherrod Brown, and Ohio’s Congressional delegation to stabilize child care?
Read the one page summary of the bill
-Read this article from The New York TimesShould the child care industry get a bailout?
Retweet this 

YMCA Columbus

YWCA Columbus is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The Women’s Fund funds YWCA’s Bright Futures Leadership Program, recently relaunched as a neighborhood-based leadership program for girls in middle school. 

Through a partnership with the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, Bright Futures will be based in local community centers in under-resourced neighborhoods like the South Side and Hilltop. The new version of Bright Futures creates social change by interrupting declining rates of confidence in middle school-aged girls before they reach an all-time low in high school by helping them improve their understanding of how things like systemic sexism and racism impact their lives. This program shift makes Bright Futures more accessible to at-risk youth and empowers the next generation of women leaders to stand against systems of oppression through advocacy and community organizing. 
Learn more about the Bright Futures Neighborhood Program from YMCA Columbus

“The need for this type of community-based program was evident long before the pandemic began and now many girls are living in communities with even less resources. We know that food and housing insecurity will climb for many participants and families will face increasing pressures. YWCA Columbus will continue to advocate for changes in economic and health policies that impact these neighborhoods.” -Caroline Woliver, Director of Leadership and Social Justice

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio believes that inherent in every child is incredible potential. The organization focuses on developing positive relationships through mentorship that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. The Women’s Fund funds the Girls Leadership Program at Camp Oty’Okwa that creates social change by progressively building confidence, skills, and leadership abilities in participants through their childhood and into their teen years.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Big Brothers Big Sisters made the decision to transition to a virtual camp experience for the 2020 summer season. They are preparing to provide youth with a comprehensive virtual experience that mimics, to the extent possible, a week at Camp Oty’Okwa including:
-Art and cooking activities with materials readily available at home;
-Social-emotional learning lessons around the Camp values of empathy, esteem, and example;
-Environmental education enrichment such as stream studies, forest ecology, and Go-Pro guided nature hikes; and,
-A virtual campfire complete with camp songs!

Big Brothers Big Sisters is dedicated to its mission to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships. Over the past few months, their volunteers have stepped up to help kids hold on to positivity and resiliency through the stay-at-home orders.

“While we know nothing replaces face-to-face human connection, we were able to quickly pivot and continue delivering high-levels of support and services to Bigs, Littles, and families in a new way. Our team has been hard at work keeping our matches connected through pen pals opportunities, Facetime interaction, delivering fun packs, virtual gaming, and video chates. And while we had to conclude our school-based programs early this year, those relationships have continued to flourish with facilitation from our staff members.” -Michael Haverkamp, EVP of Grants