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February 24, 2015
The audience was moved as April Tamburelli shared her story about her path to self-sufficiency at the this year's WomenGive Luncheon. April has faced many obstacles and challenges in her life including not being able to read until the 7th grade.
Soon after completing high school, April became a single parent and was working as a pharmacy technician. It didn't take long to realize that she was not going to be able to support her family or have the time to raise her son the way that she had envisioned.
As April was navigating through these obstacles, which she referred to as a “blessing in disguise,” she stumbled upon United Way's WomenGive program and became a recipient of the WomenGive Childcare Scholarship. The WomenGive Scholarship provided her with financial support for quality child care, and the ability to return to school. April is now a full-time mother and full-time student working toward her degree in Environmental and Chemical Engineering at Colorado State University.
The impact of WomenGive has gone far beyond simply being a financial resource. She explained that WomenGive Connection Committee Members send Mother's Day cards, something that single mothers rarely receive. WomenGive has also helped April provide holiday gifts for her son.
“WomenGive did not give up on me financially or academically. They are a team of motivating individuals.” April's story is just one of the inspiring stories celebrated at the 9th Annual WomenGive Luncheon held on February 19th, at Embassy Suites Loveland.
Click through the slideshow to see photos of the event, or find us on Facebook.
Photos provided by Zebra Jellyfish Photography
Over 650 attendees gathered around to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women like April Tamburelli. Kim Winger, a WomenGive Milestone Member and Co-Chair opened the event with a warm welcome. She shared that over the past 9 years WomenGive members have invested $1.6 million to support single mothers pursuing higher education goals. To date, WomenGive has provided over $330,000 in funding to support the Women's Foundation of Colorado (WFCO) in their public policy efforts.
Christine Chin, a WomenGive Charter Member and member of the WFCO Board of Trustees, took the stage next to share her appreciation for the partnership between WomenGive and the Women's Foundation. She explained that the alignment of these organizations is what creates real change and positive impact stating, “Together we are powerful.”
Jan Carroll, a WomenGive Charter Member and honorary trustee for WFCO, presented this year's Philanthropist of the Year award. As she stated, “Philanthropy is the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people, goodwill to fellow members of the human race, especially active effort to promote human welfare.” She awarded Pat Kendall as Philanthropist of the Year for her volunteerism, generosity, engagement, modesty, compassion and goodwill. Many have been positively impacted by Pat'scommitment and support of these wonderful organizations in Larimer County.
Debbie McCubbin, a WomenGive Member and Co-Chair of the WomenGive Scholarship Review Committee, shared some daunting statistics about women, children and poverty in Larimer County. One in seven individuals living in Larimer County is living in poverty and women make up forty-four percent of those people. For them, the cost of childcare is, by far, the biggest barrier to achieving economic self-sufficiency. The median income for women is $29,000 while the cost of child care is $14,000. These statistics show that nearly half of a woman's income is spent on childcare.
These numbers highlight the importance of WomenGive in creating positive impact for generations to come. Debbie stated, “When a woman graduates, we all win, and WomenGive is committed to graduation completion.”
Following April's story, Chandra Maas, a WomenGive Scholarship Graduate, shared her experience with WomenGive. Chandra was overwhelmed with her workload at school as well as the expenses of childcare. She was relieved when she discovered WomenGive. It gave her peace of mind to have a safe place for her son and allowed her to immerse herself into her school work. Chandra has now graduated from the University of Northern Colorado and is thankful for the opportunities she has had, and the obstacles she has been able to overcome due to the support of WomenGive.
Thanks to the support of WomenGive Members, Chandra is one of 75 single mothers that have graduated with the help of a WomenGive scholarship. As Hadley Iacovelli, another graduate, explained, there are many other women in Larimer County that are in need of these resources and are unable to receive them. It is, “not because they don't meet the rigorous academic requirements or have the drive to complete their degree, but simply because WomenGive doesn't have the financial resources to grant their application requests.”
Watchthe WomenGive video below to hear more first-hand stories of how WomenGive is changing lives for good right here in Larimer County.
WomenGive Member Amanda Miller closed the programby encouraging everyone to join WomenGive in membership to help ensure the success of women like April, Chandra and Hadley. WomenGive wants to say “yes” to every qualified student and needs the help of the community members of Larimer County to make this positive impact that leads to real change. As Debbie McCubbin stated, “We don't dream of becoming a single parent but life happens.”
WomenGive Members are the driving force in creating opportunities and combating difficult issues that single mothers face on their path to self-sufficiency. Anyone can become a Member by investing $500 or more a year ($41.67 a month) to help women build a brighter future for their families in Larimer County. To learn more about becoming a WomenGive Member or WomenGive Business Member, contact Savannah Geasey at 970-407-7017.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County