WEST HARTFORD — Continuing its 20-year tradition of responding to the needs of women and girls in greater Hartford, the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation recently raised $20,000 to support community organizations addressing issues of food security, healthcare, shelter, childcare safety and education loss to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 50 donors stepped up to answer the call from the Aurora Foundation’s Women’s Giving Circle Rapid Response Fund, with 100 percent of their donations distributed to Interval House, Journey Home, Malta House of Care, Village for Families and Children, Horizons at Ethel Walker School and Community Renewal Team, according to an email from organizers.
“The response from our Women’s Giving Circle was the largest in its history and reflected our larger mission to help women and girls achieve their social, economic and career goals, especially in these very challenging times,” said Dr. Jennifer Steadman, executive director of Aurora Women and Girls Foundation, the only free-standing women’s fund in Connecticut. “Not only did our Women’s Giving Circle respond generously and quickly with monetary support, they also provided valuable insights for how the funding should address the challenges and issues facing women and girls in our area right now.”
“Aurora came to the rescue of women and girls at exactly the right time during the virus’s peak in our region, and we were SO grateful to receive one of their generous grants,” said Michelle Murphy, executive director of Malta House of Care, which provides free primary health care to uninsured adults. “This support helped us continue to provide testing, diagnoses, and reassurance to hundreds of patients who might otherwise have gone to the ER for care — or gotten no care at all.”
“We are tremendously grateful for the support of the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation. In June of 2020, in response to COVID-19, we launched the 1,000 Homes Campaign. Since that time, and because of the incredible support of Aurora, 30 families have been housed. One of the women the Aurora Foundation helped, Zaire, along with her family of seven, were able to secure permanent housing after experiencing homelessness. Unlike last December, this year she will be able to celebrate Christmas with her family in her new home,” said Sara Wilson, director of development and communications of Journey Home.
“I was thrilled to be a part of the Aurora Women’s Giving Circle presentation in May. Not only was it was an honor to be able to share Interval House’s mission and work with such a wonderful group of concerned women in our community and hear the remarkable work being done by the other attendees, the resulting grant we received could not have come at a better time to provide relief for my staff as they worked with our clients as we faced the pandemic head on,” said Mary-Jane Foster, president and CEO of Interval House.
On Friday, Oct. 16, the Aurora Foundation will host its largest fundraising event of the year, the Virtual Luminary Luncheon, a dynamic, engaging virtual event with special guest stars, community leaders, and the women and families that benefit from the foundation’s work. Funds raised from the Luminary Luncheon support women’s college success programs, empowering at-risk women and girls in Greater Hartford to earn a college degree.