April 2022 Newsletter
Spirit Awards & 15th Anniversary Celebration
Come celebrate SOS’s 2022 grantees and 15 years of giving together.
Wednesday, May 18th, 5:30-8:00pm
Blanche Touhill Performing Arts Center on the
University of Missouri St Louis Campus
1 Touhill Circle, St. Louis, MO 63121
All are welcome.
Members, guests, non-members, all SOS Grantees
$15 per person
Register here, https://spiritstlwomensfund.org/events/.
Noteworthy SOS Member News
On Sunday, March 27th, at Amherst Place & Page, after four years, $3.2 million of American Rescue Act’s MO Early Childhood Education funding, hard work, and many partnerships, SOS member Cortaiga Collins celebrated the completion of her vision to expand her facility and programs to a second building encompassing an Infant Toddler Center in the City of St. Louis. Congratulations Cortaiga and thank you for your vision and dedication and the following fearless words:
I am fierce advocate for children and families and the cutting of this ribbon symbolizes so much more than the completion of a new facility. It symbolizes cutting fear and anxiety from an entrepreneur, so they know with perseverance great things are possible.
It symbolizes cutting feelings of inadequacy from the single mother who is working tirelessly to provide for her family when everyone else sees her as just a statistic.
It symbolizes cutting down barriers to achievement so children from marginalized communities can excel in a flawed education system that seems designed for them to fail. It symbolizes cutting out toxic stressors in homes so children arrive healthy and ready to learn.
It symbolizes cutting off cycles of poverty and dysfunction in families, so they emerge stronger, unified, and poised for transformation.
I’m just the front person for this great work. A willing pawn in a plan to create stronger communities. It is my hope that Good Shepherd will be a spark that ignites a transformative fire in the residents in this community, so we are no longer relegated as marginalized, crime riddled and neglected but as a formidable community comprised of socially and academically prepared children, stable families and thriving businesses. May this program be a beacon of change in the lives of children, families, communities, school boards and government.
I’ll end with my favorite quote from Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world.” So, fellow stakeholders, I invite you to join me as we cut the ribbon to enter this world-changing facility.
Owner, Good Shepherd Preschool & Infant and Toddler Center
Proud SOS Member
Welcome New Members
Save the Date
SOS Virtual Ballot Fair
Wednesday April 13, 2022
Come learn about the organizations on our ballot and support work that creates safer, healthier and more equitable communities.
Voting is open through April 29th. Register here: https://spiritstlwomensfund.org/events/
Zoom information will be sent upon registration.
SOS Book Discussion
Here We Are
A memoir by Aarti Namdev Shahani
NPR journalist Aarti Namdev Shahani writes an insightful and provocative memoir detailing her family ’s search for the American Dream and the triumph and tragedy resulting from this search. Her account of how the American dream gave her the chance to succeed while simultaneously destroying her immigrant family reveals the dark side of the American judicial system towards the immigrant population. The many pitfalls for people of color within a landscape of white privilege are presented as are the complications of immigration.
Tuesday April 26th at 5:00pm
In-person at The Community Foundation
2 Oak Knoll Park St Louis MO 63105
Wine and light appetizers will be provided
Register here, https://spiritstlwomensfund.org/events/
What is a Capacity Building Grant?
Broadly capacity building grants are grants that direct funds toward activities that strengthen the Governance, Management and Infrastructure of an organization.
Find out more information about GOS grants here, https://spiritstlwomensfund.org/2021/11/08/a-case-for-general-operating-support-gos-grants/.
These grants do not directly impact the population that an organization serves. However, these grants are instrumental for organizations to develop stronger, more efficient and impactful internal systems thus increasing the quality of the services they can provide to their clients.
Such grant requests might be directed towards:
- Organizational assessment
- Evaluation of overall effectiveness
- Strategic planning
- Board development
- Staff training
- Fund development planning
- Succession planning
- External communications strategies
- Mergers and other restructuring efforts
- Membership development
- Technology improvements
Capacity building grants afford organizations the ability to identify their needs and find ways to meet them. Engaging evaluators and consultants can help identify strategies that increase efficiency and effectiveness thus improving the services agencies offer their clients. Not only do capacity grants help organizations get better at what they do they also improve the ability to measure and illustrate the impact the organization’s work has in its community.
The Last Children of Mill Creek book discussion featured author Vivian Gibson who shared a history of the region, showed pictures and maps and told her stories. The book is a memoir from Vivian’s 8-year-old experience of growing up in the tight knit, supportive community of Mill Creek. The stories in the book paint a picture of everyday life and address the injustice of the ‘urban renewal’ that destroyed 454 acres and displaced thousands of homes in the final chapter. Vivian’s slideshow made the book come alive and also educated attendees on the reality of that community and the vast destruction of the area.
House Equity 101
Housing Inequity 101, an SOS educational event was presented by Chris Krehmeyer, Beyond Housing president and CEO. Chris outlined the laws that intentionally created segregation in America, and then focused on the impact these laws had on St. Louis communities and how Beyond Housing’s community-based approaches are transforming lives in their service region today.
If you were unable to attend, you can view the presentation here: https://vimeo.com/689821007.
Volunteering with SOS
One benefit of being an SOS member is having the opportunity to do hands-on work for grantee organizations through volunteerism.
SOS members Sandy Welgus, Marianne Baer and Nancy Willinger packed give-away bags for school enrichment and arts and learning for Springboard To Learning (SOS grantee 2016). Springboard to Learning develops children’s abilities to think critically, create, collaborate and communicate.
Know a school interested in receiving Arts & Learning Packs at no cost? Sign up at bit.ly/ArtPackRequestForm.
Check out the next opportunity to volunteer Friday April 22nd with Story Stitchers at https://spiritstlwomensfund.org/events/.
Reminders & Housekeeping
Annual memberships are due by March 15th. Please follow the link below for easy renewal
Automated emails will be sent to those who have not yet renewed on Feb. 15th and March 15th.
Social Hour Recap
Thanks to the membership committee for creating a great Social Hour, held on Wednesday February 9th. It was the next best thing to being in person! For a few like Amy Garrison and Sara Pixley (pictured here), they turned virtual into an in-person in a small way, and attended the event virtually together.
Here was a first time attendee’s response to the event:
“Social hour the other night was so much fun. It’s the first I’ve participated in and found the women to be caring and off the charts smart. Thank you for setting and hosting it.” – New Member (2021)
If you missed it this time, be sure to join our next social event!