Women United’s Signature Projects are deeply committed to supporting local organizations and schools that strive to create opportunities for women and children in our community.
Your ongoing support helps our funded partners teach clients the skills needed to secure an economically successful future.
Boys and Girls Club of Allentown
United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley has a long-standing commitment to the Boys and Girls Club of Allentown. Women United is proud to support their SMART Girls Program—a small-group health, fitness, prevention/education and self-esteem enhancement program designed to meet the developmental needs of girls in 3 age groups.
Through dynamic sessions, highly participatory activities, field trips and mentoring opportunities with adult women, Club girls explore their own and societal attitudes and value as they build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care and developing positive relationships with peers and adults. SMART Girls will be offered to a total of 80 girls annually.
Community Bike Works
G.E.A.R.S.S. (Girls Evaluating and Redefining Social Standards)
Community Bike Works is committed to teaching local youth life lessons that provide students with the STEAM, social-emotional and healthy living skills they need to succeed. Their “Earn a Bike” program connects youth with mentors to learn lessons in bike mechanics and safety and also practice life skills including communication, teamwork and perseverance.
Three “Girls Earn a Bike” classes will be offered each year offering girls an opportunity to work with women mechanics to learn bike mechanics and bike riding in order to build self-confidence and esteem. Girls who complete a class will then be invited to deepen their relationship with women mentors, including through youth-led discussions, STEAM activities, bike rides, and field trips. Thanks to funding through Women United, the program will allow 60 girls/annually to take classes.
Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, Inc.
Rape Crisis and Support – Expand Bilingual Staff
Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization that has been deeply committed to the Lehigh Valley since 1973 by providing nonjudgmental support and services to victims of all violence, their families and significant others.
With support from Women United, Crime Victims Council can expand bilingual staff in order to serve Spanish-speaking women who have experienced rape or sexual assault.
James Lawson Freedom Schools
Established and led by Resurrected Community Development Corporation, the James Lawson Freedom School empowers school age children to excel and believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, country and world with hope, education and action. Freedom Schools improve student literacy while encouraging Black and Brown children to fall in love with their identities, aligning with United Way strategies to support racial equity and summer learning.
Based on the Children’s Defense Fund model and implemented in Allentown, students in grades K-12 participate in intensive learning that includes literacy, enrichment, parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational leadership development, nutrition, health and mental health. With support from Women United, more students will be able to enroll in this summer literacy program.
The Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley
Women Rising Administrative Professional Job Training Program
Women United members’ generous philanthropy will allow the Women’s Administrative Professional Job Training Program to continue, helping 20 women from the community find employment as administrative professionals.
Since 1977, The Literacy Center (TLC) has been providing educational programs that help Lehigh Valley residents improve their literacy skills. Over 30,000 adults in the Lehigh Valley have benefitted from TLC’s programs, which are dedicated to high-quality, neighborhood-based literacy education.
Closing the Equity Gap
Mother 2 Mother isa nonprofit organization created to help strengthen mothers and caregivers, assisting them to be the best advocates for their loved ones. Mother 2 Mother is dedicated to bringing education, empowerment and awareness to communities while providing support to special needs families.
Through funding from Women United, more families can utilize Grief and Healing workshops to educate participates on healthy coping skills and strategies for the loss of a child due to violence, drug overdose or unexpected death.
New Bethany Ministries
Women and Children in Transition Program
Since the 1980s, New Bethany Ministries has impacted the lives of more than 100,000 people and has been instrumental in establishing a Transitional Housing Program (THP) in the Lehigh Valley.
Women United supports New Bethany’s Women and Children in Transition Program, part of THP, that works to mitigate the trauma of homelessness and help women and their children navigate their way to self-sufficiency through one-on-one coaching and supportive services.
ProJeCt of Easton, Inc.
Family Literacy and Parent Education Program
Women United is proud to support ProJeCt of Easton Inc.’s Family Literacy and Parent Education Program. The program utilizes a “teach the parent, reach the child” model to assist parents in becoming the first and most important teacher, promote a child’s success in school and advance the family educationally and economically.
Since 1968, ProJeCt has been building a stronger community by helping those in need help themselves. ProJeCt provides assistance to more than 4,000 at-risk individuals annually through tiers of emergency and literacy services and advocacy, providing research-based, outcomes-driven interventions intended to break cycles of poverty.
Emergency Kits for Families in Need
Unidos, Inc. was chartered to improve the quality of life of underserved and marginalized communities through education, safety and social inclusion initiatives while exemplifying unity and local investment. Women United supports Unidos’ initiatives to provide safety to our disadvantaged communities and equity of access to resources for our children and families. Through WU funding, more kits to support crisis and disaster response will be distributed to families in need.
United Way Community Schools
Central Elementary School Out of School Time and Kindergarten Readiness Programs
Central Elementary School in the Allentown School District set a goal to improve student attendance by 5% and surpassed it with an 8% increase in 21-22. The Community School Coordinator focused on family engagement and communication via phone and a virtual app to promote awareness for events, activities and important dates, as well as implemented a class rewards system recognizing those with good attendance.
Women United is committed to Central’s Out of School Time and Kindergarten Readiness programs that are focused on reducing barriers to school and family success before and after enrollment.
women united spotlights
Photo Gallery: On October 12, over 130 Women United members and guests gathered at the Centennial at Homewood Suites in Center Valley to mingle, celebrate, learn about the work at their 10 Signature Projects and honor the 2023 Betsy Torrence Philanthropist of the Year, Anne Baum.
Baum will be presented with the award at the group’s annual event, Women United 2023, to be held on Thursday, October 12.