Women's Fund awards $40K to nonprofits benefiting Valley residents

·2 min read

Jul. 11—METHUEN — Three non-profit organizations serving Methuen residents have collectively received more than $40,000 from The Women's Fund of Essex County.

The recipient organizations include Harvey Girls, Inc., the Lawrence Family Development and Education Fund and the Merrimack Valley Immigrant and Education Center.

Harvey Girls, which serves Lawrence, Methuen and Andover, offers emotional support to at-risk women.

Lauren Carroll, senior administrator of Debbie's Treasure Chest, a subsidiary of Harvey Girls, said her organization received $5,000 from TWF. That money will be primarily used to purchase clothing.

The Merrimack Valley Immigrant and Education Center serves Lawrence, Methuen and Haverhill. The organization supports low-income immigrants, 60% of whom are women. English language classes are also offered as well as programs to help clients secure health insurance, access food banks, food stamps and purchase affordable housing.

"We are ecstatic," said Citizenship Coordinator Karen Sheridan of the $10,000 that her organization received from TWF.

She said the funds will be used for employee benefits and to provide ongoing support for low-income immigrant mothers.

Serving Lawrence and Methuen, the Lawrence Family Development and Education Fund supports the SISU program for women ages 16-24 who are pursuing their GEDs.

"It is important to note that many of the Lawrence-based organization initiatives that received funding will benefit its surrounding communities' women and girls," said TWF spokeswoman Tracy Davis. "For example, there are many students from Methuen who attend the Esperanza Academy and Uncommon Threads supports financially disadvantaged women from the local area including Methuen trying to get back in the workforce."

The three grants are part of TWF's $250,000 effort to assist 34 non-profit organizations in Essex County.

TWF Co-President Wendy Roworth said the organization "strives to be a catalyst for change" in the lives of women and girls in Essex County.

"TWF firmly believes that stronger women and girls build stronger families and stronger families build stronger communities," she said.

Founded in 2003, TWF has awarded approximately 500 grants totaling more than $3 million to "provide local women, girls, and their families with the resources they need to find success at work, school, home and life." The organization has also received the George Peabody Award for Leadership in Philanthropy from the Essex County Community Foundation, the Champions Award for Community Impact from North Shore Community College and the Constance Grasso Award from the YWCA of Greater Newburyport.