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We are excited to announce that a total of $50,000 has been awarded by the Junior League of Columbia to organizations proposing transformational projects and initiatives related to our mission and focus area and specifically addressing poverty and basic needs of children and families in the Midlands. Read more about these projects and how they impact the community below. Thank you to all of the dynamic organizations that submitted a proposal for this year’s grants. We appreciate all you are doing in our community!



Power in Changing, a Midlands based diaper bank, was awarded $20,000 for their bi-monthly Family Empowerment Workshops. These workshops provide an intimate setting for families to learn, set goals, and define their family values using evidence-based programming for new and young parents and/or caregivers. The workshops allow low-income families to improve upon basic life skills, in a supportive, peer, environment where discussions about balance, couponing, potty training, family, career, depleting budgets, integrity, education, networking, and more can take place. Part of the program also provides these families with incentives (inc. diapers, wipes, and baby clothing). Power in Changing plans to serve over 200 families using Junior League volunteers over 20 workshops. This program is designed to promote and strengthen parents/caregivers in new competencies so that parents have the knowledge and skills needed to carry out child-rearing responsibilities and provide their children with experiences and opportunities, in addition to, reducing parental stress preventing health and wellness related issues of children under the age of five.



The Hive, a peer survivor based nonprofit, founded in 2015 to serve young women age 14+ who have been impacted by interpersonal violence, was awarded $17,500 to implement a new program geared towards marginalized women and girls from underserved and high poverty households and communities who are often disconnected from appropriate services. Last year The Hive participated in the UofSC’s i3 Human Centered Design Program to develop a new preventative model that would address how to normalize interpersonal violence education to increase engagement and disclosure particularly within low-income and marginalized communities. This led to the creation of the BuzzPack, which seeks provide a measurable increase in participants’ ability to understand and recognize behaviors, power dynamics, and factors that influence unhealthy relationships. It also includes a module for parents to help parents and guardians increase their communication skills with their children and even talk about dating relationships. No other curriculum exists for this targeted population.



The Midlands Reading Consortium, administered by the United Way of the Midlands, was awarded $12,500 to host five Family Engagement Events for the parents of MRC students. The goal of the events is to empower families to use their knowledge and skills proactively to support their child’s reading success and to make the home-to-school connection. This is a critical need because parents are instrumental in their child’s reading success, but many parents are not equipped with the knowledge and confidence to effectively support reading at home. These research based events will be hosted for parents of MRC students who attend elementary schools where the students in poverty rate is 70% or above.

A special thank you to our grant review committee:

Robyn Adams
Rebekah Matthews
Lauren Libet
Ebony Young
Misty Burton
Bonnie Anzelmo
Andrea Lance
Amy Larkin
Mary Kay Owens
Rania Jamison
Lee Patterson, Chair

We enjoyed celebrating all of the recipients along with our membership at the year-end celebration earlier this month!