United Way Women United Host Annual Meeting to Kick off the New Campaign Season and Honor 2022 Betsy Torrence Philanthropist of the Year

On the evening of October 13, Women United, a United Way affinity group, hosted their annual meeting–the first in-person annual meeting held since 2019. About 85 members and guests gathered at the beautiful Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem to mingle, celebrate and learn about the work at their Signature Projects: Central Elementary School in the Allentown School District, New Bethany Ministries, ProJeCt of Easton and The Literacy Center.

Congratulations to Laurie Hackett who was recognized during our celebration for our highest honor—the 2022 Betsy Torrence Philanthropist of the Year. Laurie is the true definition of a philanthropist and her selfless service has greatly impacted our community.

Special thanks to the Women United 2022 sponsors: Capital Blue Cross, Fulton Bank and People First Federal Credit Union, and favors provided by Frosted Chaos.

During the annual meeting, Darlene Pors, WU President, and Lisa Daugherty, Vice President, made the exciting announcement that the next round of impact investments for 2023-2026 were finalized. Because of the contributions designated to Women United, $268,000 will be invested annually in 10 Signature Projects to directly benefit the women and children in our community:

New Bethany Ministries – Women & Children in Transition

  • Work to mitigate the trauma of homelessness and help women and their children work their way to self-sufficiency through one-on-one coaching and supportive services
  • ​16 single mothers and children/year

ProJeCt of Easton Inc. – Family Literacy and Parent Education

  • 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

Boys and Girls Club of Allentown Inc. – SMART Girls

  • 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

The Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley – Women Rising Administrative Professional Job Training Program

  • The program prepares women for administrative office positions
  • The program will help 20 women from the community find employment as administrative professionals

Communities In Schools of Eastern PA – Out of School Time and Kindergarten Readiness

  • Central Elementary School in the Allentown School District
  • Programs (before enrollment and after enrollment) focused on reducing barriers to school and family success

Community Bike Works – G.E.A.R.S.S. (Girls Evaluating and Redefining Social Standards)

  • Three “Girls Earn a Bike” classes each year in which girls will 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
  • 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

  • Expand bilingual staff in order to serve Spanish-speaking women who have experienced rape or sexual assault
  • Funding would be for a part-time person​

Unidos Inc. – Emergency Kits for Families in Need

  • Various kits to support crisis and disaster response (e.g. FireSafe Prevent, Rapid Response, FosterCare, etc.)

Resurrected Community Development Corp – James Lawson Freedom Schools

  • Evidence-based, summer learning literacy model created by the Children’s Defense Fund that contains a research-backed literacy curriculum focused on: academic enrichment, parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational servant leadership development, and nutrition, health and mental health
  • Focused on addressing academic losses over the summer that widen the achievement gap between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • Funding would support approximately 17 children

Mother2Mother – Closing the Equity Gap

  • Utilize Grief and Healing workshops to educate families on healthy coping skills and strategies for the loss of a child due to violence, drug overdose or unexpected death
  • With your continued support, we’ll be able to invest $1 million in the next 4 years. Give todayTo learn ​more about Women United, visit