New nonprofit gets a big boost from Women’s Giving Fund
A newcomer to the Park City nonprofit landscape, PC Tots has won the first annual Women’s Giving Fund grant. The anxiously awaited announcement was made at a festive, sun-drenched event at Deer Valley on Thursday.
The group’s goal is to provide affordable childcare for local working parents. In the process, organizers say they hope to promote more social interaction between diverse socio-economic groups at an early age.
The $30,000 grant was generated by a $1 million-plus endowment established last year to provide a perpetual source of support for women and children in Summit County. The funds were raised by the Women’s Giving Fund, under the auspices of the Park City Foundation.
During a year-long campaign the Women’s Giving Fund asked local women to contribute $1,000 each. It was a successful effort, surpassing the $1 million goal by nearly $200,000 thanks to donations from individuals and corporate sponsors. As inaugural donors, members were given an opportunity to vote on who would receive one, high impact grant every year.
According to Park City Foundation Executive Director Katie Wright, 14 local groups applied for the grant. That list was pared down to six and then three finalists by a steering committee after extensive application reviews and site visits.
Those top three applications included requests for funding from:
According to Park City Foundation Director Katie Wright, narrowing the field of applicants was difficult. After each site visit, she thought "Oh my gosh this is the best," and she added, "We felt a huge responsibility to get it right."
The three finalists chosen by the steering committee posted videos about their projects on the Women’s Giving Fund website. Members were given about a month to review the videos along with additional information.
In the end, PC Tots received the most votes, although Wright said she hoped the exposure helped all three organizations.
Thursday, Nenna DeCamps, one of the founders of PC Tots and program manager for Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, offered an emotional thank-you to the Women’s Giving Fund board and those assembled for the announcement.
"Thank you for putting yourself in someone else’s shoes," she said. DeCamps explained the organization was established in response to community needs identified by several organizations including Holy Cross Ministries and Mountainlands Community Housing.
DeCamps told the crowd of instances where parents are unable to work because they cannot afford childcare and others where one or two teens are left at home to take care of several infants and toddlers so the parents can work.
According to the PC Tots application, the group, which received its nonprofit status in February, plans to establish an early Childhood Learning Center that will provide affordable day care for children ranging in age from newborn to 5 years old. They hope to offer care that is flexible and more responsive to parents’ work schedules. Services will be offered on a sliding fee scale and DeCamps said she hopes families from diverse cultural and economic segments of the community will participate. With the surprise award from the Women’s Giving Fund, PC Tots hopes to open the center in time for the 2015-16 school year.
A critic of a Park City workforce or otherwise affordable housing project in Old Town said he is considering an appeal of the Park City Planning Commission’s approval of the development.