United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Women United has announced an additional $25,000 in funding for two special impact initiatives aimed at supporting local women and children, including:
- $13,600 for the Allentown Freedom Schools Partnership and
- $11,400 for a parent and community course in Trauma Informed, Restorative Practices, Emotional Intelligence and Equity (T.R.E.E.) in partnership with Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley and Resilient Lehigh Valley.
“We are focusing our immediate attention on emerging needs to make an impact when and where the community needs it most,” said Renae Yeager, Chair of Women United’s Signature Projects Committee. “Furthering our investments not only aligns with our existing Women United strategy, but also broadens our reach to address pressing issues such as racial justice and trauma resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This additional funding of $25,000 brings Women United’s annual investment to a total of $125,000. Other funded projects include programs at ProJeCt of Easton, The Literacy Center of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown School District’s Central Elementary School and New Bethany Ministries.
This announcement comes as United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley joins the Allentown Freedom Schools Partnership, making Women United a catalyst in the effort to elevate and advance the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools Movement across our region.
“When we see emerging needs in the community, our network is always quick to respond and join us as we work together to move important initiatives forward. Women United’s contribution is a testament to the power giving can have to create stronger educational systems that serve every child,” said Erin Connelly, Senior Director, Impact, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.”
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 by the Resurrected Community Development Corporation, Inc., students in grades K-12 participate in an intensive learning that includes literacy, enrichment, parent and family involvement, civic engagement and social action, intergenerational leadership development, nutrition, health and mental health.
Additionally, Women United will fund a full session of Trauma Informed, Restorative Practices, Emotional Intelligence and Equity (T.R.E.E.) for families in high-need, United Way-supported Community Schools. In partnership with Resilient Lehigh Valley, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley’s T.R.E.E. program coaches parents in the face of trauma and adversity, equipping families with tools to manage toxic stress and build resilience to break the cycle of family and community trauma.
“Our network of passionate women has been making great strides to strengthen our impact by considering new investment opportunities,” said Laurie Siebert, President, Women United. “By strategically contributing to innovative collaborations, we can continue to build resources that create equitable access for children and families to achieve their full potential. We welcome other passionate women to join our cause and further the impact.”
An affinity group of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Women United has invested more than $1.4 million into the local community since 2002. For more information, contact WomenUnited@unitedwayglv.org or visit www.unitedwayglv.org/wu.