Using Margaret Mead’s inspiration “We are at our best when we serve others”, the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva, through its foundation, awarded grants to local non-profits at its mid-December meeting. As we all know, 2021 has been a challenging year for fundraising. However, with two online auctions and generous gifts from benefactors, Zonta was able to award checks for local grants totaling $58,500. Zonta also budgeted $6,500 to Zonta International for global initiatives (zonta.org).
Zonta changed the timing of the grant distribution, moving it forward to mid-December, and the focus of this year’s empowerment grants based on training, education and/or affordable housing: the same rigorous, time-honored selection process was used by Pam Eccles and Marianne Ravenna, the Chairs for the Grants Committee.
For 2021, local projects supported by Zonta grants are:
- Abuse Counseling & Treatment (ACT): continuing economic empowerment program
- Angel Wings: Aiding homeless women with financial literacy and housing funds
- Children’s Network of Southwest Florida: support for 18-year-olds aging out of foster care
- Community Housing & Resources (CHR): Educational support and emergency funds for female residents
- Piper Center for Social Services: Foster grandparents’ program uniting seniors and children with special needs
- Dress for Success Fort Myers: Help for women seeking employment or entrepreneurship
- Earn to Learn: Assistance with college or trade education for women
- I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva: Emergency medical or dental care for female clients
- Goodwill Industries of S.W. Florida: Micro-enterprise institute promoting economic independence
- Habitat for Humanity Lee County Women Build: Help with building homes for female heads of household
- Organizacion Internacional de Latinos en el Exterior SWFL (OILE): Healing Stitches program and language skills for immigrant women
- PACE Center for Girls Lee County: PACE day, field trip to State Capitol
- Partners for Breast Cancer Care: Mammograms for women in at-risk communities
- Pelican Community Center: Programs for at risk youth in Collier County
- SalusCare: Economic empowerment for women in recovery
The holidays are allowing some service opportunities for Zonta in Lee County. Many Zontians will be helping sort and wrap toys for the Dr Piper Center’s Christmas Celebration and serve as Elves Christmas morning handing out toys and presents to underprivileged Lee County youth.
The fundraising committee is brainstorming new ideas in this changed world, in the event that the traditional “Peek” may not happen again in the foreseeable future. Zonta’s challenge will be finding another enjoyable, profitable campaign to fund our important mission.
The Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva is a service organization of professional women working together to provide hands-on assistance, advocacy and funds to empower women and girls on the islands, in Lee County and around the world through Zonta International. Visit www.ZontaSanCap.org, follow Zonta Sanibel-Captiva on Facebook and “like” the club (@zontasancap) on Instagram.