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Full Circle News


April 2023

Message from Leadership

All Together Now as Spring Arrives!

Looking out our windows, we see the cheerful signs of spring everywhere and are reminded that even small things – a new flowerbed, a little more sunlight each day, being able to get out more often for a walk – can have a big effect on how we experience the world. AAWGT is built on amplifying the efforts of individuals to make a difference through the power of collective philanthropy. We look forward to illustrating that at our April 19 Open House so please DO JOIN US! And take a look at the Grants update below to see how the selection process is going for our 2023 grant awards.


Susan Cook, President
Margaret Davis, Vice President

Grantee Spotlight: Providence Center

Supporting People with Disabilities

Providence Center, a nonprofit that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, was thrilled to receive an $8,064 grant in 2022 from Anne Arundel Women Giving Together. The grant provided healthy relationship and abuse prevention training to enhance the organization's mission to support people as they discover and live their best lives. 

Most resources in the mental health field for people who have experienced abuse are allocated to providing treatment for trauma after the traumatizing event takes place. Phil Fanara, Providence’s psychology associate, says, “There is an urgent need to reallocate resources towards abuse prevention, and this is especially true for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are more likely to experience abuse.”

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Providence is using funding from AAWGT to prevent abuse by providing individuals with education, skill development and a customized resource “toolbox.” This includes training led by Dr. Karyn Harvey, a national expert in trauma-informed care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through the training and coaching sessions, people are learning the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, appropriate boundaries, signs of abuse, and ways to prevent abuse. At the end of the program, each person will have a reference tool that works for them including contact information for individuals they can call if they need support.

While the focus is on women, everyone can benefit from the topics covered and staff are also gaining tools to be in a better position to assist and reinforce the information presented in the trainings and to support any woman who may be experiencing trauma and need help navigating the situation.

Karen Adams-Gilchrist, Providence’s president and CEO, said, “We are so proud of the work being done through Healthy Minds/Healthy Lives and are so grateful to AAWGT for helping us build this critical resource for the people we support. We believe that everyone should be engaged in their community in meaningful ways and an important component of this is working alongside each person to ensure they have the skills needed to live their best life.”

For more information on Providence or the AWGT grant, please contact them here.

AAWGT Member Highlight:

Meet Shari Friedman

Shari Friedman is a career educator who taught in the public school system, facilitated programs in Montgomery County nonprofits and developed a focus area of working with children with learning differences and executive functioning challenges. She is the founder of SF Academic Coaching where she helps young people understand and embrace their learning styles, get excited about what they are studying and identify strategies that will help them reach their goals.

Upon relocating to the Annapolis area from Montgomery County in 2020, Shari discovered AAWGT while looking for a way to connect with people in the community. She was so excited to find a group of “bright, capable women with varied careers and experiences who were engaged with under-served communities.” Shari was interested in continuing her many years of partnering with local nonprofit organizations and found that AAWGT offered a variety of outlets for “heartwarming problem-solving” in the community.

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Shari jumped right into AAWGT’s Grants and Post Grants Evaluation committees. She loved the opportunity to be able to understand the needs of applicants and then actually maintain an authentic connection as the grantee implements the work. She sees the post grants evaluation process as a great avenue to form a respectful partnership with organizations. Shari has also participated in the Racial Equity Study Group which she sees as an important part of AAWGT’s growth and involvement in the community.

Shari loves AAWGT’s mission to learn more about the many community organizations that are working hard to make life better for women and their families.

They enjoy the local music scene and look forward to discovering more of the activities coming to life now as venues open post-pandemic. Shari is an avid reader and enjoys hiking, yoga, Pilates and travel.

AAWGT Open House

April 19, 2023, 5:30 pm with program at 6:30 pm, The Golf Club at South River. Register here.

This event is free and open to the public.

Save the Date: AAWGT Education Event: Safe Communities

Thursday, June 15, 2023, 6-7 pm, via Zoom. Registration will open in mid-May.

This event is free and open to the public.

Join AAWGT Today!

Are you interested in helping improve the lives of women and families in our community through your generosity? We are always seeking new members who want to join other community-minded, philanthropically focused women. Your membership dollars translate into increased grant support to local nonprofits doing positive work in our community. Our new membership options make joining AAWGT more financially feasible for all women in our county. PLEASE JOIN US at one of these membership options:

      • Friend: $175/year
      • Catalyst: $375/year
      • Ally: $575/year
      • Sustainer: $1,075/year

Grants Update

AAWGT members serving as 2023 grant reviewers are continuing their work to carefully review each of the 53 grant proposals received in early February. These proposals from area nonprofits identify the wide range of unmet needs in our county and demonstrate the ways in which grassroots initiatives are addressing them.

Following an extensive review, the Grants Committee will present all AAWGT members with a final ballot to cast their votes for grant selections in early May. Please watch for the ballot in your email … and be sure to VOTE!

News from the DEIA Committee

Organizations benefit when they embrace DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility) and welcome the voices of individuals who reflect the range of racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic, cultural, sexual orientation, age, lifestyle and disabilities in their communities. It is a set of principles and values that organizations, including ours, are incorporating into their businesses, government agencies, nonprofits and colleges.

AAWGT began its DEIA efforts in November 2018 when we co-sponsored a community-wide Racial Equity Institute presentation at Maryland Hall. We then created the Racial Equity Study Group (RESG) in early 2019 where interested AAWGT members could come together to study racial inequities. RESG arranged for bias training for grant reviewers and the membership at large, and spearheaded the formation of the DEIA Committee.

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RESG has embedded its work in the organization in the following ways:

  1. Our grants and post-grants committees are embracing trust-based philanthropy, most recently making our grant application simpler and releasing it in both English and Spanish.
  2. Our education programs, always open to the public and recently offered by Zoom, have focused on diverse topics such as the February 28th Zoom session, “A View From the Inside: Needs of the Anne Arundel Community.”
  3. Our recently adopted (Oct. 2022) tiered membership makes it easier for nonprofit leaders, younger women, and those with more limited resources to join us in our collective philanthropy mission.

  4. The new membership levels are:
    • Friend $175
    • Friend $175
    • Friend $175
    • Friend $175
  5. Our DEIA Committee has:
    • Become a standing committee in February 2023.
    • Voted to hire a DEIA expert, first for a 5–6-hour training and then, an expert who is qualified to work with giving circles and who will be able to build on the DEIA work the organization has already completed.
    • Liaisoned with other AAWGT committees to include a DEIA perspective in every aspect of the organization.
    • Met with Anne Arundel nonprofits, local organizations and other giving circles to discuss the needs of residents that we serve and how to incorporate DEIA in our work.

If you have a question about what the DEIA Committee does or if you have any thoughts or suggestions for the Committee, please email DEIA chair Sue Russell.

A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Members: Christine Ruppe and Betsy Caine

Find us on Facebook:
Anne Arundel Women Giving Together |
AAWGT is a component 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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