Women Who Care Grant Gives a Lift To Grieving Children

ECCF: 20 Years: celebrating our past ~ inspiring our future

This is the 6th in a series of articles on the Elk County Community Foundation (ECCF) during its 20th anniversary year, highlighting its history and impact in the community

St. Marys, PA

Women Who Care (WWC) is a woman’s philanthropic organization that brings women from diverse backgrounds together to combine their philanthropic leadership and strengthen the Elk County community through the power of collective giving. Since its beginning in 2019, WWC, a project of the Elk County Community Foundation, has awarded nearly $225,000 to local non-profit organizations that serve women and their families. In 2011, one of their first grants was a $2,500 award to the Community Nurses to help expand Camp Flutterbye, a camp for children who are grieving the death of a loved one.

Camp Flutterbye is offered in a relaxing, beautiful environment with fun activities structured to help kids, K-12, understand that grieving the loss of a loved one is healthy and normal. The camp is offered twice a year, normally a two-day camp in the summer and a one-day event in late fall to prepare the children for dealing with the holiday season. Along with Community Nurses staff and volunteers, Dickinson Center, Inc. staff and summer workers offer their expertise, time and talents to the Camp Flutterbye program.

Research indicates children who experience a loss through death are at a much greater risk for depression, suicide, poverty and substance abuse. Untreated grief in children can have a significant impact on their wellbeing as an adult. Joanne Straub, MSW, Community Nurses Social Worker, stated, “The goal of our grief program is to make available to families the resources they need to deal with their grief. It’s essential that we address the grief needs of children. Flutterbye gives them the opportunity to understand their feelings and gives them the tools to work through grief in a healthy and positive way.” There are no fees charged for bereavement programs and services.

The over 240 members of Women Who Care award grants each fall to worthy projects like Camp Flutterbye that make a difference in the lives of women and their families. A member of WWC can be any philanthropic woman seeking to support community needs in Elk County. Membership is on a yearly basis with women making a membership donation each year. All donations are pooled together and awarded in the form of grants at their annual meeting to local non-profit organizations. New memberships are still available for this granting year. Membership dues are due by the end of June to allow members to vote on grant awards at the 2020 fall annual meeting.

For more information on Women Who Care and Elk County Community Foundation funds and programs visit their website at www.elkcountyfoundation.org.

Photo: Camp Flutterbye, a project of Penn Highlands Community Nurses, lifts the spirits of children who are grieving due to the death of a loved one. In 2011, Women Who Care, provided a $2,500 grant to expand the camp and provide more services to the kids and their families.