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WHWF February Newsletter


A message from Board President, Kristi Gravelle: 2020 was a tough year. And while there are still many obstacles ahead, we know that our community will remain resilient. Our experience has shown that when Spokane comes together amazing things happen. We have brought people together at our Annual Luncheon for decades. But we heard that many of you would like to get involved more than once a year. This notion inspired us to launch our new collective giving community. Becoming a member of this giving community allows you to engage beyond an annual donation. You can magnify your impact, learn more about the needs of women and children, and take a more active role in local philanthropy. Collective giving is a rapidly growing philanthropic movement that allows you to pool your contribution with others and participate in the grantmaking process. While we plan to continue the Luncheon in 2022, we encourage you to join Women Helping Women Fund as a member. Learn more or join today! Thank you for your continued support.



  • In 2020 over 150,000 lbs. of food were donated through individual donations and food drives. Spokane Valley Partners needs this type of support now more than ever. If you want to help support those suffering from hunger, host a drive! Just visit their website and request a barrel for your drive dates. They'll even do the heavy lifting.

  • February is Teen Dating Violence Action Month or TDVAM! Throughout this month, the YWCA will post to raise awareness and generate action around teen dating violence. They plan to close out the month on Friday 2/26 at 10am with an online Teen Dating Info Session (more event details to come). Watch their first video here.

  • The first donation as part of the “Extend the Love” campaign was delivered to the Women and Children’s Free Restaurant last month. The campaign was inspired by Spokane actress, Sydney Sweeney. Lifewise Health Plan, Washington Trust Bank and Spokane County each matched her donation. Read the article.

  • In response to statewide school closures, Vanessa Behan provided care to 512 children ages 7-12 in 2020. In total, they cared for over 5,550 children last year. Thank you Vanessa Behan for providing immediate refuge for children and support to strengthen families.

  • Meeting the basic needs of women experiencing homelessness in Spokane can be a struggle for VOA's Hope House and Transitions. You can help! Host a virtual Mardi Bras Party and collect monetary donations, bras, underwear, deodorant, tampons and bus passes.

  • The Career Path Services podcast, The Dignity of Work, aired an episode about Proactive Success Coaching. This program was funded by WHWF in the 2020-21 grant cycle. Give the episode a listen (Episode 64) and learn more about how this impactful program is helping women in our community.



A scholarship fund was established in 2006 to honor WHWF Co-Founder, Vivian Winston. Winston focused on social justice work, long before it was trendy. She was an early advocate for women and children, a member of Spokane’s chapter of the League of Women Voters from its inception in 1948, as well as the first woman president of Spokane’s United Way in 1969.

Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, exemplary character with preference given to students demonstrating financial need. The value of the award is $1,500 to $4,000. Applications are now open through March 22, 2021.



Thank you to The Inland Group for supporting WHWF as a Caring Heart Partner! Together we're empowering women and children throughout Spokane County!

We're building a new kind of giving community. As we look toward the future of the organization, we are focused on providing increased value and voice to our donors, investors and corporate partners. We are asking companies to shift from being an event sponsor to an organizational partner to make a greater impact on our mission during these trying times while providing you with a more unique branding opportunity.

This year has been incredibly tough for so many businesses—we're proud of the way our community is keeping spirits up and continuing on! Please contact for next steps. We look forward to partnering with you!



Mark your calendar! Women Helping Women Week will take place again this year on March 8-14. Women Helping Women Week is a week-long public awareness campaign to uplift, recognize, support and celebrate fellow women in our community from all walks of life. It all kicks off on International Women's Day on March 8, 2021.

We are excited to host this week with Numerica Credit Union as the presenting sponsor. The City of Spokane will officially declare the week as Women Helping Women Week to coincide with International Women’s Day.

We will share more about the week closer to March 8. In the meantime, follow us on social media so you don't miss any updates.



Our grantmaking process is moving right along! This month, current and former board members will meet with each grant applicant for a virtual site visit. Through these visits:

  • We meet the staff and volunteers involved with the program

  • Discuss the program which leads to in-depth and insightful questions

  • Program representatives have the opportunity to learn more about WHWF



Our January InstaGrant recipient is the Inland Northwest Diaper Bank, a program of Spokane Valley Partners. We've committed the first $500 an additional $320 has been raised!

Thank you for helping to close the diaper gap and keep babies clean, dry, happy and healthy.


Below is a story from 2020-21 Grantee, YWCA, about how your gift is making an impact:

“Kate, who works in our Mobility Mentoring program, met Stephanie last January. Stephanie wanted a divorce from her abusive husband, but she feared becoming homeless. She knew she would need to file a protection order against him when she left, but she also worried how she would work and care for her two children, one school-aged and the other, a toddler.

She worked with Kate to set some goals for her immediate future and decided to contact the creditors who kept calling her because her husband had failed to make several payments and their divorce was not final, so she was listed as a contact.

Once she reached a resolution with them, she decided to focus on employment. She completed her resume, polished her interview skills, and began applying for living wage jobs. She was thrilled to report back that she recently received two different job offers, including one that comes with a pension! She also secured a childcare option for her 3-year old to attend preschool.”


Your kind heart makes it possible for local women and children to access life-changing programs when they need them the most.

We appreciate your support!


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