The Power of the Purse in Berks County focuses on funding programs that break the cycle of poverty by eliminating or reducing barriers for Berks County girls and women who want to enter or re-enter the workforce or seek the education to do so.
A group of women started the Power of the Purse in 2012. It functions as a women’s giving circle, where donations come together to create a bigger impact than each member would make alone.
Each year, group members review grant applications, visit nonprofits and vote to determine which programs will receive grants. Members are encouraged to attend four meetings per year.
Members commit a minimum of $1,000 per year if they are over age 35, and a minimum of $500 per year if they are 35 and under. The fund also accepts donations of any size from non-members.
Thanks to the generosity of local women, organizations that improve the lives of women and children in Berks County have received $180,903 in grants.
Here are just some examples:
- VOiCEup Berks provided weekly opportunities for middle school girls in the Reading School District to be involved in service learning and leadership development. Service learning combines educational efforts with community service projects. The program demonstrates to students their capacity to change their lives and their community through their choices and actions.
- Safe Berks ran the “Education, Empowerment, Employment!” program, which supports survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault with financial assistance and guidance for education, transportation, childcare, job searches and more.
- Reading Recreation Commission expanded its Girls Leadership Program, which teaches young women in urban environments to be leaders and gives them the tools to be healthy and successful.
We thank the women who have made this possible and done so much good for our community.