Holy Cross Ministries receives $40,000 from the Women’s Giving Fund
An emotional Zoom conference and presentation by the Park City Community Foundation Thursday night ended with the nonprofit’s Women’s Giving Fund awarding Holy Cross Ministries this year’s high-impact grant of $40,000.
Holy Cross Ministries aims to use that money, which is $5,000 more than the fund doled out last year, to expand its bilingual counseling services for Summit County’s underserved women and children who are victims of domestic violence or trauma, said CEO Emmie Gardner.
“I’m speechless, and that doesn’t happen a lot,” Gardner said after the announcement. “We really are so grateful for your willingness to help us help those most vulnerable in the Summit County community.”
Expanding therapy services will allow Holy Cross Ministries to work with medical providers to create a more supportive, equitable and inclusive community, Gardner said.
While Holy Cross Ministries was the main grant recipient, the other two finalists — Park City Education Foundation and The Hope Alliance — received grants of $20,000 each, said presenter Anna Frachou, a Park City Community Foundation board member.
The two grants were made possible by a group of anonymous donors, according to Frachou, filling in for Rebecca Gonzalez, the Women’s Giving Fund grant committee chair, who was attending a family matter.
“As you know from our past and current grantee finalists, all are making a tremendous impact, and all deserve funding,” she said.
Park City Education Foundation intends to use the money to provide a new coordinator and expand its existing after-school programs at Ecker Hill Middle School and Treasure Mountain Junior High School, and The Hope Alliance plans to provide free, comprehensive eye exams and glasses to students who don’t have access to vision care.
The Women’s Giving Fund is an endowment created by the Park City Community Foundation to address urgent issues for women and children, Frachou said.
To become a lifetime member, a woman donates a $1,000 gift that is used to create grants that are distributed to nonprofit organizations that serve women and children in Summit County, she said.
“Despite our valiant efforts and significant growth since we started six years ago, we are only meeting a small portion of the urgent needs that women and children have in Park City and Summit County,” she said.
To illustrate, Frachou noted that 7.3% of the Summit County population live in poverty.
“That’s almost 3,000 people,” she said. “That’s 3,000 too many.”
Frachou also pointed out that more than 22% of the county’s children receive free or reduced-cost lunch, and the need for access to health care and child care, after-school programs and mentoring opportunities are on the rise due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Summit County has the highest unemployment rates in Utah and many local families are making hard choices between buying medicine or enough food for the family,” she said. “At the end of May, 84% of the families we surveyed were struggling to pay rent.”
As a preamble to Frachou’s words, Nubia Pena, director of Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs, gave a keynote speech about domestic violence and child abuse in Utah.
And when it came time for Gardner to receive Holy Cross Ministries’ award, she, like many who joined the Zoom conference, were in tears.
“As Nubia pointed out in her presentation, we have seen an increased need in calls and requests for moms and little ones based on their current situations where home is not a safe place to shelter in this time of the COVID pandemic,” she said.
Holy Cross Ministries finds itself among past Women’s Giving Fund recipients such as PC Tots, an affordable day care center; the Summit County Children’s Justice Center, which provides a safe setting for child abuse victims; Peace House, a nonprofit providing shelter and case management to victims of domestic abuse in Summit and Wasatch counties; and the People’s Health Clinic, which provides health care to the uninsured in Summit and Wasatch counties.
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“The goal with these workshops is to give providers and parents a framework and some tools so they can triage resilience on a daily basis, whether it’s with a 4-year-old who has a meltdown or with a colleague or ourselves.”