The Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund 
is a component fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation and a 
member of the Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network, 
a growing, nationwide group of almost 50 organizations similar to our 
Fund and with more than 13,000 
members altogether.

May Newsletter - Final Letter from Gwen & Spirit Awards Recap
May Newsletter
A Final Note from Gwen   
SOS President Gwen Wesley with Grants Chair and future SOS President Amy Inman.
Dear Members and Friends,

The foundation for leadership of the Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund (SOS) was established in 2006 by our co-founders and co-presidents, Shelby Schagrin and Susan Block. 

Every two years since, the leadership role has been conscientiously passed to a new leader who brought her own style, talents, ideas and vision. 

The process works because each leader has demonstrated that she wants nothing less than to live in a community that is healthy, whole, secure and beautiful. 

It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to have served as president - "servant-leader" of the Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund for the past two years.

To the board, every committee, subcommittee, chair, co-chair and members-at-large -THANK YOU! No one can lead effectively unless someone is willing to follow.   

Thank you for listening, for taking risks, for considering different approaches, and collectively evaluating what and how we work together  to produce the most positive outcomes for our community and members.

SOS is truly a sisterhood of like spirits and I am so proud to be a member of the family. 

We welcome Amy Inman, our next president, with excitement and anticipation.  Our journey continues and what a marvelous journey it is!

Peace and blessings,

Spirit Awards 2017 Ignite 
  Enthusiasm and Passion for Giving
There was much to celebrate at our annual meeting and Spirit Awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 24 at the Lodge Des Peres.

Thanks to our members, we were able to award $204,583 in grants to 12 deserving agencies.

also marks the first time SOS awarded a three-year renewable grant.
Lydia's House - $33,333 multi-year grant to support its Job Training and Employment Program called Lydia's Ladle. This provides women who are escaping domestic violence an immediate source of income. Look for their chicken potpies in local grocery stores!
Angels' Arms - $20,000 grant to provide foster homes, resources and emotional support for foster parents who care for sibling groups and other hard-to-place children.
Annie's Hope - St. Louis Bereavement Center of Young People - $15,000 grant to provide critically needed in-school support services, free of charge, to underprivileged and disenfranchised youth who are dealing with overwhelming grief.
Eye Care Charity of Mid-America - $20,000 grant to provide free eye care services to 200 children in Ferguson during the 2017-2018 school year.
Home Sweet Home - $6,000 grant to help clients from partner organizations transition to their new living situations with much-needed furnishing and basics, providing a sense of ownership and a source of stability at a crucial time.
Home Works THVP - $10,000 grant to add 100 students to their program of home visits by teachers and school staff members, creating a partnership between families and teachers for children's success.
Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project - $20,000 grant to overcome barriers to justice by providing low-cost, high quality legal services to low-income immigrants and their families.
Pianos for People - $12,000 grant to break down financial barriers that prevent those from disadvantaged backgrounds from accessing the many benefits of learning to play the piano.
St. Louis Internship Program - $20,000 grant to provide the rigorous support, training, prep and networking which are essential for interns to succeed both in the workplace and in life.
Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective - $8,250 grant to fund "Not Another One! A Play 4 Peace" which is a live theatrical performance about gun violence based on 2015 conversations among teens, the police and civic leaders.
Urban Harvest STL - $20,000 grant to continue its work maintaining their downtown roof top farm and expand its reach further into the community by establishing more urban farm sites in partnership with other organizations.
Volunteers in Medicine, Inc - $20,000 grant to purchase medication for uninsured, low-income adult residents of St. Charles.
Marion McCord of CHADS Coalition for Mental Health with Girls' Giving President, Sidney Singer.
Thirty girls from nine area high schools participated in this year's Girls Giving grant program.

The girls met through the year and learned the fundamentals of grant making: understanding financial statements and budgets; dissecting a grant proposal; preparing for and participating in a site visit. Most important, they learned the value of coming together to give a large grant to an organization. 
The girls voted for CHADS Coalition for Mental Health to receive their $3000 grant. Their grant will be used to provide mentors to elementary schools participating in CHAD's Bullying Prevention program. 
Next year's Girls Giving will be a fall only program, and we are looking for girls to participate!! Please contact Kathy Frost, 314-302-0758 or kfrost326@gmail.com for more information. (Community service hours can be obtained through this activity.)


Thank you for your commitment to an organization that goes way beyond
your grant dollars!
YOU are the secret to our success!  

  • Kathleen Schumacher  - A native New-Englander, Kathleen has lived in St. Louis for many years now.  She met her husband Jim through their jobs in marketing and advertising and they have 2 sons together. She has worked with several companies in the St. Louis area including Anheuser-Busch, Nestle Purina (aka Ralston Purina) and Ralston Cereals, and volunteered with such organizations as Boys Hope Girls Hope.  We are excited to welcome Kathleen and know she'll be a great addition to the Marketing Communications committee.


In addition to welcoming our new members, we would like to recognize the accomplishments of our current members.  

If you have news to report about yourself or another member, please send an email to: chris.schmiz@mac.com  
  • Susan Thomson, SOS founding member, has been appointed to the Chapter, or board, of Christ Church Cathedral, the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. Thanks for your service, Susan!
  • Maxine Clark (member since 2013) - As one of his last official  orders of business, Mayor Slay proclaimed April 18, 2017 as "Maxine Clark Day." Congratulations, Maxine!
Looking at the six-month impact report of our 2016-2017 Grantees, SOS ended serving roughly 13,233 people in the St. Louis area
That means that each of us supported 60 people. It really is true that coming together allows us to go farther, collectively and individually. 
Thank you to all of our members for making this possible.
SOS is filled with great women -
and one of the great things about being a
member of SOS is getting to
know our fellow members.
So we are continuing this new tradition of selecting
one member at random each month to
answer nine questions.
Nine Questions & Answers 
with founding member Marilyn Gunther - the first of our founding members to renew for 12 consecutive 




1.   What brought you to St. Louis? 
My husband took a job at Anheuser Busch in marketing and brand management and we've been here ever since. I worked in marketing also at Citi. 

2.    What was the first charity you remember being involved with? St. Louis ARC.  I supported them because I had a handicapped child and knew of all the good they do in the community.

3.    Who first told you about SOS?   I was at a birthday party for a friend and Susan Block was there too.  She was talking about it and I thought it sounded like a great organization.

4.    What was the moment you KNEW SOS was a group you wanted to be a part of? Immediately sounded good to me!  Seemed like it was fitting a need for women to get organized and involved as a group.

5.    What has been your favorite part/memory of being in SOS?  Feeling the satisfaction of helping so many small groups that might otherwise not get the support they need.

6.    What's your favorite thing/place in St. Louis?  Brewery tour! (ha!)  I like seeing shows at the Fox Theater and Stages in Kirkwood.  You can get a touch of theater on a localized basis.

7.    3 words your friend's would use to describe you:  Loyal, funny, and humble. (The interviewer added the last word, as Marilyn was reticent to answer.)

8.    Where are you going next? We spend the winters in Florida, but we're going to visit my daughter in Denver.  She went to school there and never left!

Thursday, June 15, 2017 

SOS Summer Social  

Time:5:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Home of  
Kathy Frost 
422 Rolling View Rd 
St. Louis, MO 63141

Info: Susan Colangelo and Saint Louis Story Stitchers, our new grantee for 2017-2018, will share their story.
Click here to learn more and RSVP.

Open to members and guests 
so bring sisters of the heart!