Women United Announces $100,000 in Grants to Create Opportunities for Women and Children

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The affinity group of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley announces four grant recipients for 2020-2021 Signature Projects.


Allentown, PA, June 29, 2020 United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Women United announced that members have pledged $100,000 in 2020-2021 to support four organizations in the Lehigh Valley. Women United is committed to supporting local nonprofits and schools that create opportunities for women and children in the Lehigh Valley.

Recipients of Women United 2020-2021 Signature Project funding are:

  • $30,000 to Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley for school-based programs at Central Elementary School in Allentown School District
  • $25,000 to ProJeCt of Easton for family literacy
  • $25,000 to The Literacy Center for female professional job training program
  • $20,000 to New Bethany Ministries for women and children homeless services

“Women United has traditionally focused their signature project funding on improving educational outcomes for women and children,” announced Laurie Siebert, President, Women United. “In late 2019, we expanded the focus areas to include homeless services and financial stability. We could not have imagined how the current pandemic would exacerbate the need to move families from homelessness to stable housing. We are so pleased to have the resources to make a difference.”

ProJeCt of Easton, The Literacy Center and Central Elementary School have been awarded Women United grants in previous years. A new recipient this year, New Bethany Ministries, creates opportunities for a secure future for the homeless, hungry, poor and mentally ill of the Lehigh Valley. For 35 years New Bethany Ministries has been a first responder to the social needs of our local community.

“Our program increases access to housing and prevents homelessness for women and children. Single mothers are provided with the direct support and care needed to achieve their goals via case management, linking to resources and mentoring,” said Marc Rittle, Executive Director of New Bethany Ministries.

With the help of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem and support from the City of Bethlehem, New Bethany Ministries was founded in March of 1985. The first New Bethany program, the Transitional Housing Program, began in December of that year. In 2019, the group served more than 37,000 meals and since the pandemic, has been instrumental in establishing a transitional housing program with Comfort Suites in Bethlehem. The organization is also working locally to support the Eviction Protection Program.

ProJeCt of Easton will also step in to support at-risk families. Their program provides an integrated array of services and activities that enable parents and their children to build language and literacy skills, increase education levels and improve their future school success and economic potential.

“Today, the Coronavirus has emphasized how important parents are in the lives of their children as they model engagement with learning and advance their families economically. By providing parents with the means of advancement and support, generations are impacted and the community at large reaps a huge return on investment,” said Janice Komisor, CEO of ProJeCt of Easton.

ProJeCt of Easton has served the community since 1968 as a respected community-based organization with a mission to help people help themselves. ProJeCt provides assistance to more than 4,000 at-risk individuals annually through tiers of emergency and literacy services, providing advocacy and research-based, outcomes-driven interventions to break the cycle of poverty.

An affinity group of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Women United has invested more than $1.4 million into the local community since 2002. The 2020-2021 investment year will begin July 1, 2020.

About United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Women United

United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Women United makes a difference in the lives of women and children in the Lehigh Valley with philanthropy, advocacy and volunteer efforts. Women United is part of a global network of more than 70,000 women in 165 communities across six countries, all dedicated to improving lives and creating stronger communities. Click here for more information.

Mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley

The mission of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley is to provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community. We remain committed to these goals and sincerely appreciate the continued support of partners, program providers and donors throughout the Lehigh Valley. www.UnitedWayGLV.org

Information provided to TVL by:
Laura McHugh    
Associate Vice President, Communications and Media Relations 
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley
Celebrating 100 years of service to the Lehigh Valley.
1110 American Parkway NE  Suite F-120  Allentown, PA 18109