The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio made immediate impact grants to 19 organizations and initiatives on the frontlines of COVID-19 serving women and girls in central Ohio.

We believe in investing in big, bold ideas and trusting women as leaders in their own communities. The funded initiatives shed light on what women and girls need right now – access to basic needs and supplies, support for frontline workers, access to health care and contraception, support for voter and civic engagement – and also demonstrate the incredible creativity and grit of women leading on the frontlines.  


1DIVINELINE2HEALTH Love Bug Street Outreach

Through the Love Bug, a red utility truck, 1DIVINELINE2HEALTH respects, honors, and connects with homeless victims of human trafficking by providing their basic needs including a meal, toiletries, first aid, Narcan, and transportation to hospitals and recovery sites. This harm reduction disrupts systemic oppression by meeting them where they are in the 4 epicenters of Columbus.

Black, Out, And Proud Black LGBTQ+ Women’s Summit

The Black LGBTQ+ Women’s Summit centers Black Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women, and provides interpersonal connections and resources needed to enhance personal knowledge and empower overall well-being. Online sessions address physical, social, emotional, mental, family, and financial health, and pave the way for opportunities for freedom of expression, visibility, and inspiration for Black LGBTQ+ women.

Brown Girls Mentoring

According to research from the City of Columbus Commission on Black Girls, girls ages 11 to 22 years old in the Columbus area experience challenges of self-identity, mental health, transient living, and/or lack of family support. Brown Girls Mentoring supports their needs through personal care packages as well as providing virtual learning opportunities in the format of mini-conferences including topics of communication, social media, health, wellness, and creativity.

Central Community House

Central Community House’s TRANSIT ARTS program is partnering with the Commission on Black Girls to serve 70 girls over the course of 20 weeks, and create a deeply engaged leadership cohort of 24 girls from this larger group. The program cultivates young women as leaders to reach more girls in their social circles, encourages arts engagement, and advises CCH about the needs and concerns of young Black girls.

Columbus Free Clinic Reproductive Health Fund

Along with a general medical clinic, the Columbus Free Clinic hosts a bi-monthly gynecology clinic for any patients with gynecologic concerns. With the ongoing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many gynecologic patients can no longer afford their reproductive health medications due to ongoing financial burdens. This fund is for gynecologic patients to utilize to offset the cost of oral contraceptive pills, condoms, and/or Plan B.

Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS) ETSS Family Care Support

The ETSS Family Care Support initiative assists immigrant and refugee women who have survived domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault by providing food assistance to their families. Culturally appropriate food is dropped off to survivors along with information on the census, citizenship, and ETSS programs designed to create financial stability.

Girls L.E.A.P. Summer CARE Bags

The Girls L.E.A.P. Summer CARE Bags initiative addresses challenges created by COVID-19 in under-served communities. Students are provided: summer bridge books to prepare for school; art kits to encourage creativity; journals for self-expression; board games; safety items such as masks, soap, and hand sanitizer; and a book on injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America.

Transformative Writing Workshop

The Tranformative Writing Workshop is centered around girls who are currently in the residential program at Gracehaven, a nonprofit focused on helping survivors of sex trafficking heal. Due to COVID-19, ongoing workshops were paused. Chromebooks will be provided to girls so that they can continue writing and participate in virtual workshops.

Liberians In Columbus, Inc.

Liberians in Columbus, through LICI Phenomenal Women, provides care packages for Liberian women on in the community who are frontline workers. Sixty percent of Liberian women in the community are healthcare or other essential workers. Packages include masks, hand sanitizer, food baskets, and materials about COVID-19 and how to remain safe.

Life Beyond the Streets Inc. Women’s Relief Program

Through Life Beyond the Streets’ Mobile Support Ministry, this initiative provides relief bags to women and girls disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Serving multiple zip codes in the Franklin County area including the Driving Park, North Linden, and South Linden neighborhoods, relief bags include hygiene products, household items, and food, in addition to providing sexual health pamphlets.


Muslim Family Services of Ohio COVID-19 Safety Response

The COVID-19 Safety Response initiative provides necessary personal protective equipment and education designed to ease the economic, emotional, and social strain of the pandemic. Muslim Family Services will meet the economic needs of women facing obstacles with employment by engaging them to make and compile face masks that will be distributed with resources and best practices for COVID-19 safety.

National Coalition 100 Black Women Central Ohio Chapter Pop-Up Conversations

Pop-Up Conversations, in outside venues, promote self-care, provide COVID-19 resources and education, and affirm self-empowerment through civic engagement for expectant women and women with children. Each family that attends receives a bag of nutritional food, diapers, recipes, cooking tips, masks, as well as information on how to complete the census and register to vote.

Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children Early Childhood Leaders of Influence

Early childhood educators are in economic distress, amplified by the impact of COVID-19, and existing data suggest that this financial insecurity falls disproportionately on women of color, who comprise about 40 percent of this workforce. This project supports, strengthens, and grows the leadership of women of color who are early childhood educators to better serve children, families and communities.

Ohio Women’s Alliance OWA Voter Engagement & Education

In order for a robust and diverse electorate to participate in the November general election, the Ohio Women’s Alliance is focused on reaching womxn accessibly and in their homes. OWA engages voters through a relational voter education campaign via SMS and phone-banking outreach to educate and empower womxn Ohio voters on the vote-by-mail process and recruit new volunteers to participate in outreach efforts.

OPAWL (Ohio Progressive AAPI Women’s Leadership) Pandemic Stories

Pandemic Stories is an initiative to collect and publish stories, poetry, and artwork by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), Black, and Brown womxn and non-binary people from Ohio in the form of a zine. The zine will document personal and collective experiences of the pandemic, economic decline, and political uprising. The zine will educate readers (other AAPI, Black, and Brown womxn, girls and non-binary people in Ohio) on how to get involved in their community by highlighting work being done by OPAWL and BIPOC-led groups in Ohio.

Sisters of Empowerment Moving Forward

Sisters of Empowerment works with TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) eligible participants to complete s job readiness, workforce initiative, and financial literacy program called Moving Forward. The program assists participants in securing employment with livable wages and helps them overcome barriers during the transition. Participants receive 8 class sessions and assistance including bus passes, minor vehicle repair, and follow up engagement. Sisters of Empowerment partners with employers to hire participants.

The Twin Rivers Ohio Chapter of The Links Incorporated Be Counted, Be Healthy, VOTE

In partnership with Local Matters, Be Counted, Be Healthy, VOTE is an initiative that targets families in living in zip code areas of 43211 and 43224. The initiative distributes Family Kits containing voting information and cards with instructions on how to register to vote and take the 2020 Census. Further, Meal Kits are distributed to families that include recipes and ingredients for preparing healthy meals.

US Together COVID-19 Support and Leadership Development Project

This project supplements US Together’s New American Girls Leadership Program that educates immigrant teenage girls about the history of women’s suffrage, the structures of government, and the importance of women’s participation in politics. To help participants build an empowering online community, US Together is distributing tablets to all current participants, as well as to new participants. Additionally, participants will receive COVID-19 care packages.

Zora’s House

Zora’s House has shifted many of its signature programs online due to COVID-19. Through this initiative, Zora’s House is bolstering its online community by developing the capacity of their online community platform and mobile app. As the community navigates this moment of multiple social crises, this shift creates more robust opportunities for women of color to connect, engage, and be supported outside of the physical space of Zora’s House.