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May 2020
WGA Member Forum Moves Online
Mary Pietan
Dear WGA Members,

This issue is going to be about our upcoming Virtual Member Forum via Zoom on Wednesday, May 20th at 11:30 a.m., and why you should plan to click on and listen. But I also want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your unbelievable support of WGA during this very challenging time in our community. Thanks to each of you we are continuing to do the business that WGA does so very well.

I miss seeing you in person, but am thankful that everyone is doing the right thing. Please continue to stay safe and stay healthy. For now, virtual hugs and sincere thanks, and always feel free to reach out to me.

Mfpietan@gmail.com or (904) 234-4915

WGA Member Forum
2020 Member Forum: Wednesday, May 20th via Zoom
WGA Member Forum Agenda

We are about half way through our current five-year focus on Breaking the Cycle of Female Poverty.

WGA Poverty Grant Progress Chart

We have learned that:
  • It's complicated
  • One size does not fit all
  • It takes a lot of time
And so much more...

Hear what we are changing (you will need to tune in to hear about the rest of this story).

And finally, please come to hear about the grants being recommended by our hardworking Decision Team and as a member of WGA you will be asked to ratify these grants.

It may not be “business as usual,” but as you can see and will hear, WGA is working hard to still conduct business and help the women and girls in our community.

See you on Wednesday, May 20th at 11:30.

REGISTER HERE. Once you register you will receive a link to join the Virtual Member Forum via Zoom. It is really easy!!

New Annual Report
WGA Annual Report Cover
Each year, our annual report gives us the opportunity to look back and reflect on the many efforts and tremendous generosity of our Members. Guided by our mission to improve the lives of women and girls in Northeast Florida, and inspire women to be strategic philanthropists, there is so much to be proud of. Be on the lookout for your WGA 2019 Annual Report, coming soon to your mailbox!

What Causes Poverty for Women?
Grants Team Explores Lesser-Known Issues

Members of WGA's Grants Decision Team see proposals from agencies for programs that address varying issues that women in poverty face here in Northeast Florida. There are the big issues you're undoubtedly aware of such as lack of affordable housing and childcare.

Some issues transcend socio-economic boundaries, such as the wage gap between women and men. However, in the fight to break the cycle of female poverty there are more nuanced issues that these women face daily and may not have the tools to overcome.

Transportation has become a major factor in not only program success, but in employment success as well. Some women are taking two or three buses, spanning up to two hours, including wait times, to arrive at a low-paying job across town. Do this twice a day for five days and there is little time left to make a healthy meal or spend quality time with your children.

Another issue that is rarely talked about is the benefits cliff. This is where if a woman takes a higher paying job or promotion, the added income pushes her family into a bracket where they no longer qualify for social assistance programs and benefits. This can cause more of a financial burden as these benefits are quite costly for a family. This gray area is often referred to in the ALICE (asset-limited, income-constrained, employed) reports and is a hurdle to gaining self-sufficiency for these women and their families.

Also worrisome are the cultural implications in lower-income areas where there is societal pressure to "stay where you are." It can be seen as a criticism of those around you if you try for a higher-level education or position. This is especially true for adolescents whose peer groups are formed in their local neighborhoods and schools, where there may be pressure to drink or take drugs, and where education is sometimes deemed unimportant or uncool. Lack of education is a primary indicator of whether someone will stay in poverty or become impoverished.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of all factors affecting women in poverty locally, it helps for us on the Grants Decision Team to have a better appreciation of the daily struggles these women face. The agencies we fund do incredible work and help us in our education, which then becomes useful in future grants cycles.

If you are interested in learning more about the Grants Decision Team or in becoming a member for the 2021–2022 grants cycle, please contact jenniferkowkabany@gmail.com.

July Downtown Connector

Downtown Connector
Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.
River Club, 1 Independent Drive #3500, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Join us for our Downtown Connector event. All WGA members and friends are invited regardless of where you reside. Light snacks and wine will be served. Be sure to join us! REGISTER.

Welcome, New Members
Julie Baker
Sara Berman
Amanda Crawford
Jessica Dellorso
Joyce DeVillez
Anna Dooley
Terri Florio
Mary Ellen Goodall
Vivian Gallo
Doreen Gross
Nancy Hale
Connie Hodges
India Morrow
Beth Pelzer
Leslie Redd
Jennifer Ryan
Jennifer Salisbury
Crystal Sheeler
Karen Walker
Susan Walker

And Thanks to the Members Who Referred Them

Kim Bongiovanni
Barbara Drake
Diane Hale
Pam Field
Jennifer Kowkabany
Allison Newberry Dennis
Tammy Shumer
Nina Waters
Barb Wenger
Linda Simmons

hands in teamwork

Learn more about WGA's response to COVID-19, and how you can help.

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