Helping to Empower Women
Washington Women in Need celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Founded in 1992, the nonprofit’s founder, Julia Love Pritt, started WWIN to empower women and help them improve their lives. Inspired by her own mother’s struggles with poverty, and limited access to healthcare and education, Julia and WWIN have assisted more than 5,600 low-income women with education and healthcare grants, the two areas that have the most direct impact on improving the lives of women and their families.
In Washington, more than 460,000 women live below the federal poverty line—$11,880 for a single woman and $24,300 for a family of four. WWIN provides assistance to these women through 142 grants annually, ranging from $200-$5000. The recipients of these grants are, on average, 31 years old, have children, live in the Seattle metro area and most work full or part time. Almost 100 percent of grants recipients indicate going back to work or school is their primary goal for reaching out to WWIN.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act, WWIN’s grants were split evenly among healthcare and education. With greater access to healthcare and less need, the organization has shifted 90 percent of its grants to helping women achieve higher education. The recipients of educational grants are already enrolled in financial aid, but often looking for ways to help cover educational costs, which on average run $28,202 annually. More than 63 percent of recipients are the first in their families to attend college and on average hold a 3.6 GPA.
WWIN receives no government funding and depends on its community for support to help accomplish their mission. This year, for their 25th anniversary, they have taken on the additional goal of being able to fund 100 percent of educational grants. They hope to achieve this through donations as well as annual events. Their annual luncheon was held in March and drew over 1,000 attendees and included WWIN’s first grant recipient. In September, WWIN will be holding a wine and fundraising event at Novelty Hill Januik for the organization’s education grant recipients.
For more details or how to donate or get involved please visit them at WWIN.org.