Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona Facebook Page
Before the COVID-19 emergency reached our community, a group of young women in the Unidas after-school program were working hard to provide grant money for a local organization that aims to improve quality of life for women and girls in Southern Arizona.
The group, made up of high school students and led by the Women's Foundation of Southern Arizona, quickly adapted their approach to distribute $500 "micro-grants" to several organizations that are helping with COVID-19 relief and support. The effort is now being called the "Unidas Emergency Relief Fund."
“The COVID-19 crisis shines a harsh light on the difficult reality that women and girls in the US face on a daily basis,” said Women’s Foundation CEO Amalia Luxardo in a press release. “Mothers are the primary breadwinners in over 40 percent of families, earn less than their male colleagues, and face inequity at every turn. Providing the essentials for their families is a struggle for many under normal circumstances, and this pandemic amplifies these challenges in a way we’ve never seen before.”
Every semester, the Unidas group works together to research social justice issues facing women and girls in their community and determine a specific cause they want to support. They experience the process of creating a Request for Proposals (RFP), conducting application reviews and site visits, and selecting which organization should receive a $5,000 grant.
This year, that amount will be broken up into $500 amounts for a handful of organizations doing important work to prevent the variety of harmful effects that vulnerable groups can experience from the fallout of COVID-19.
The most recent recipients of their grant program were Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors and the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Arizona.
“We are unbelievably proud of these young women,” said Desirée Maultsby, Director of Program Engagement and Unidas facilitator, in a press release. “Despite facing their own personal challenges as a result of the pandemic, the Unidas participants have stepped up to the plate to help in whatever way they can.”
The Women's Foundation is encouraging organizations that support women and girls in Southern Arizona to complete their brief grant application form, which can be found here
. The deadline to apply is noon on Thursday, April 30.