Full Circle News

investing...informing...inspiring

March-April 2022

In This Issue: Leadership Letter | 2022 Grants Voting | The Innocence Project | Bylaw Changes |  Membership |  Women Leaders in Climate Action |  Grantee Spotlight - Hope For All | 2022 Open House | In Memoriam


Leadership Letter

Philanthropy brings us together. Community makes us stay. Those words really sum up our open house on April 13. Over 70 women gathered to talk and learn about our giving circle. We couldn’t help but be moved by the energy of our committee chairs and assistant chairs when they presented to the group. And while we are all philanthropists who want to give back, we wouldn’t stay AAWGT members if the sense of community weren’t evident every time we got together.

Our giving circle works because of the tireless efforts of many people you don’t notice right away but who make our operations hum: Grants database managers – check! Event planners – check! Bylaws and governance experts – check! Treasurers – check! Without those behind-the-scenes members, we wouldn’t be able to do our important work of giving grants to local nonprofits and holding education sessions that teach us about the needs in the community.

Now on to the obvious benefits of belonging to AAWGT. The Grants Committee has worked tirelessly this year under the guidance of chair Cindy Whittle and assistant chairs Ginger From and Karen Smith. Their team of reviewers winnowed down a record number of applications to those that will appear on the voting ballot. That ballot has some of the most compelling and worthwhile grantees you’ll find in our county. You will be getting your ballot on May 4 and we urge you to read about the grantee applicants and then vote. Voting is an important step in providing funds to amazing, local nonprofits working to help the most vulnerable among us.

Here’s another benefit: We guarantee that if you get involved in AAWGT, you will make lifelong friends who will inspire you, motivate you and make you laugh. It’s a real sisterhood.

Philanthropy and community are what we get from AAWGT. This month, the fresh air, blue sky and perfect temperature enticed us to the open house. The camaraderie that enveloped us as we learned more about AAWGT kept us there.

Warmly,

Maryann Gosnell, President
Susan Cook, Vice President

     Event Recap:
     March Women In Leadership Event

Women Leaders in Climate Action: Making a Positive Difference for Anne Arundel County Women and Children

On March 16, in recognition of Women’s History Month, AAWGT's Leadership Development and Nominating Committee presented an energizing panel discussion for members and the community on women leaders in climate action and environmental justice. The virtual presentation included three experts in local and regional environmental issues affecting the health and welfare of women and children in our county. Read the recap and watch the video here.

   

Membership

A Warm Welcome to our Newest Members!

Rosemary Claire
Kristen Krall
Michele Perry-Boucher
Jane Schindler

Event Recap: 2022 Open House

The weather was wonderful, the doors and windows were open and London Town once again was the perfect venue AAWGT’s annual Open House. AND we met in person! It was inspiring to actually see so many members and guests, over 70 in attendance. This annual meeting has always been directed at inviting new and potential members to see who we are and what we do.

To further explain how AAWGT engages its members, all our committee leaders presented their committee’s mission, impact and goals. The energy was electric and everyone was engaged. We had 12 attendees state they were interested in joining and to date, we have four new members who already have joined. A successful event!

Thank you to our Event Logistics Committee and our Membership Committee for making this event happen.

IN MEMORIAM


Barb Cooke

We are saddened to lose Barb Cooke this year, who was a 6-year member of the Giving Circle. Barb was a stalwart volunteer, consistently helping lead and assist with our marketing and communications efforts. We are saddened to have lost Barb, but her contributions will be remembered for many years to come.


2022 Grants Voting

Look for an email with information on the AAWGT grant finalists for 2022. It will contain information on how voting works and the voting deadlines. The email will have a link to a webpage with information about each finalist and the program they would like AAWGT to fund, plus a link to the ballot.

Thank you for taking part in this important part of your AAWGT membership!

    Bylaws Changes

The AAWGT Governance Committee requests that interested members review the organization’s bylaws and provide suggestions for changes to governance@givingtogether.org by May 4, 2022. Members can click here to view the bylaws on the Documents and Policies page of our website.

   Upcoming Event

The Innocence Project: 

Correcting Incarceration of Innocent People


Wednesday, June 8, 2022

6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Michael E. Bush Annapolis Library, 1410 West Street, Annapolis, MD

Join AAWGT for an essential conversation with The Innocence Project and Lisa Lunt, a former federal public defender who now teaches hundreds of federal public defenders and court-appointed panel lawyers. The conversation will explore what the Innocence Project is, its impact and how we in the greater Anne Arundel community can support these critical efforts.

The Innocence Project works to free the innocent, prevent wrongful convictions and create fair, compassionate and equitable systems of justice for everyone. Founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the organization is now an independent nonprofit. Their work is guided by science and grounded in anti-racism.

Since its inception, the Innocence Project has used DNA and other scientific advancements to prove that a conviction was wrongful. To date, they have helped to free or exonerate more than 200 people who, collectively, spent more than 3,600 years behind bars. Their efforts have led to the passage of more than 200 transformative state laws and federal reforms. Today, the Innocence Project continues to fight for freedom, drive structural change and advance the innocence movement.

Moderator: Carl Snowden, Convener of the Caucus of African American Leaders in Anne Arundel County

Panelists:

  • Robyn Trent Jefferson, The Innocence Project
  • Michelle Murphy, Exoneree
  • Lisa Woodward Lunt, Administrative Office, U.S. Courts, Training Division

You will receive on May 8 an email with the link to register for this event.

Grantee Spotlight:

HOPE For All

Maura’s Story

Anne Arundel Women Giving Together’s aim to improve the quality of life for women and families is the perfect fit with the mission at HOPE For All. Helping to stabilize a person’s life with all of the things that most of us take for granted—clean sheets and a warm bed, a kitchen table to enjoy a meal, a comfortable chair, a warm coat—is what their nonprofit has to offer someone who has moved out of homelessness and is seeking the basic comforts that we all need.

Their client Maura is one of thousands of people in our community who experienced the struggles of homelessness and the need for HOPE For All. Her journey took her from living with family, to staying with friends and then to a shelter until an apartment became available for her.

The blessing of housing comes with an attendant problem: how to furnish that home. This is how HOPE For All supports churches, government agencies and nonprofits that work directly with people in need. Through a referral from one of their partners, in this case the Arundel House of Hope, they met Maura at her apartment and found out the essentials that she could use to help turn her house into a home.

In early January, the community gave Maura a new year of promise with donations of furniture, lots of kitchen supplies and linens. Maura’s patience and reward were bittersweet; while her housing journey came to a positive end, she is well aware that she is just one of many. We join in Maura’s wish that we not forget all of those who are still homeless and still waiting for a home of their own.

Every “win” is a reason for celebration, but the need in our area is pervasive. AAWGT’s support encourages HOPE For All to continue and reach out to provide assistance to improve the quality of life for their clients and to make a real difference in their lives—one person at a time.

Visit HOPE For All to learn more.

     Save the Date:

Annual Field Trip, June 23, 2022

Details and location to be announced soon.

Not a Member Yet?

Please email us at membership@givingtogether.org if you’d like to be added to the invite list for our next prospective member event, which we will continue to host by Zoom until it’s safe to meet in person again.

Find us on Facebook:
Anne Arundel Women Giving Together | giving@givingtogether.org
AAWGT is a fund of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County
AAWGT is a member of Philanos: Accelerating Philanthropy through Women’s Collective Giving


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