SOS 2018-2019 Grantees Announced - May Newsletter from SOS

Resenda Sykes, City Greens Market; Matt Menietti, GlobalHack, Inc.; Betsy Reznicek, Home Sweet Home; Myrle Mensey, Throwing and Growing Foundation; Tami Timmer, iFM Community Medicine; Joe Miller, Lift For Life Gym; Katie Canale, Earth Dance; Laura Brinkoetter, The SoulFishers Ministries; Karen Kalish, Homeworks!; Amy LaBelle, Annie's Hope; Michelle Roberts, Magdalene St. Louis; and Marti Kelly, Crime Victim Advocacy Center.
The spirit was strong as SOS members came together to give at our annual Spirit Awards on May 23!  
In total, we will be contributing $209,333 to our community. Since our first granting year in 2007, SOS members have invested $2,274,733 in the St. Louis region.
We are grateful for the work that our grantees do every day to build a stronger metro region for everyone. Congratulations to our 2018-2019 Grantees:
SOS President Amy Inman and Karen Kirk, executive director of Lydia's House. 
Three-Year Grant
Lydia's House: $100,000*
Trains unemployed, financially struggling women for work in the culinary field, giving them immediate income and security.
One-Year Grants
Annie's Hope: $17,500
Offers free, in-school support services to disadvantaged children grieving the death of someone significant.
City Greens Market: $24,000
Revives a mobile vegetable market to reach elderly residents and disadvantaged
families from low-income neighborhoods.
Crime Victim Advocacy Center: $10,000
Supports and expands a free mental health counseling program focusing on women and children who are victims of crime.
GlobalHack, Inc.: $20,000
Increases the number of youth interested in technology careers through a summer camp program with a focus on under-represented backgrounds including girls, minorities and individuals with disabilities.
Home Sweet Home: $10,000
Assists in providing expanded warehouse space for basic household furnishings to help families experiencing poverty and toxic stress.
Home Works! The Teacher Home Visit Program: $20,000
Improves the overall learning experience for underperforming students by providing classroom teacher home visits.
iFM Community Medicine: $14,000
Provides a school-based nurse practitioner to offer free vaccinations and general
healthcare to recent immigrant and refugee children.
Lift For Life Gym: $10,000
Supports a program for low-income school children which includes sports, fitness, nutrition and education classes after school and during the summer.
Magdalene St. Louis: $20,000
Supports women who have survived abuse, sexual exploitation and addiction by
providing a workspace dedicated to teaching sustainable job skills and financial
The SoulFisher Ministries: $18,000
Expands a program for women involved with the criminal justice system by providing housing and services that support successful re-entry to a life free from drugs, alcohol and criminal activity.
Throwing and Growing Foundation: $12,500
Provides a free character development program for economically disadvantaged girls to enhance overall mental and physical well-being and improve self-esteem.
*To be paid in three $33,333.33 installments, beginning in 2017.
Girls Giving member, Hannah Long, assistant Meghan Bach, intern Lilly Wurm and President Michaela Bach.  
Girls Giving Grantees (Awarded November 2017)
Center for Social Empowerment - $1600
The grant will help fund STEM learning resources as well as food supplies for their Saturday Academy. The Saturday Academy provides resources to students who need to obtain foundational writing, reading, and math skills to match their grade level. In addition, a new STEM lab will bring a novel and interactive way to engage students in the sciences, critical thinking and exploration.
EarthDance Farms - $500
The grant will support the YEAH! (Youth Exploring Agriculture and Health) Program. YEAH! Enables youth to explore an organic farm in the heart of Ferguson where they learn about their food's journey from seed to plate and why eating fresh food is so good for you. The program includes field trips, volunteer opportunities and a jobs program for teens in Ferguson.
Ferguson Youth Initiative - $1000
The grant will help fund the Making It project, an entrepreneurial program helping middle-school aged youth gain valuable transferable skills and experiences. The seven-lesson curriculum educates students on proper business practices that will make productive entrepreneurs.   

A Message from Our President
Dear SOS Women and Friends,
What does a dung beetle, the ruby-throated hummingbird and the semi-metal graphene have in common?  They are all tiny and mighty.

The dung beetle is the strongest creature in the world, proportionally, lifting 1,141 times its own weight. (That's like me lifting six double-decker buses!)   
The ruby-throated hummingbird can fly non-stop 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico on a single belly full of nectar. Graphene, a single layer element of graphite (in pencils), is a thousand times thinner than paper but is 200 times stronger than steel.  
You don't have to be big to make a big impact. You can be tiny AND mighty.
Our SOS grantees are tiny. But they are changing our community. Volunteers in Medicine St. Charles took our investment last year of $20,000 and procured $400,000 worth of prescriptions for the uninsured.  
Home Sweet Home gladly accepted our SOS check of $6,000 and fully furnished homes for 28 families with everything from dishes and towels to beds, sofas, tables and chairs. That's a fully-furnished home for $214 dollars a family.  
STL Help in the last seven years with SOS funding has recycled and reused medical equipment. On an annual budget of just a few hundred thousand, they have loaned or donated over $13 million dollars of medical equipment to the underserved. For every dollar to STL Help, $10.67 of value is injected into the St. Louis Community. 
These are not large, national organizations that are making assumptions or informed guesses regarding community needs. They are local, grass-roots organizations that understand what is needed because they live and breathe their neighborhoods.  
They listen, they learn and they mobilize quickly. They know the needs because they are part of the communities they serve.
But they are seriously underfunded. They are the hummingbirds flying 500 miles on a single meal. They don't have marketing dollars. Their great work is invisible to most of St. Louis. 
We, the women of the Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund, see you. We listen. We learn. And we invest.  By pooling our funding together, we create impact.

Interestingly, from our member survey, more than half of our members (59%) have been inspired to get involved with one or more of our grantee agencies. Of those who get involved, 76% have donated money, and another fourth have either volunteered time or in-kind items.

This speaks to the kindness and generosity of our member's hearts, but also to what happens when our eyes are opened. When, in 2006, Shelby Shagrin met Susan Block with this cutting-edge idea to start SOS, who could have guessed the incredible impact we would have in boosting these wonderful tiny but mighty agencies. And it is all because of you! Thank you! 

Amy Inman
President and Proud Member
Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund
Calling All Members!
As a member of Spirit of St. Louis Women's Fund, you are automatically a member of the WCGN, Women's Collective Giving Grantmaker's Network.  
The WCGN is a national network that links women's collective giving grant-making organizations to amplify the power of giving together.  
Connecting groups in 25 states, the District of Columbia and Australia, member organizations have granted more than $100 million to nonprofits.  
Every 18 months, the group comes together to hold a conference to educate, offer networking opportunities and share best practices. Attending the conference is an inspiring experience, one that we hope you will consider sharing.
Please join us at the WCGN's 2018 Conference:
Changing the Face of Philanthropy
Engage with women empowered by collective giving, grant-making  
and its community results!
October 21 - 23, 2018
The Logan, Philadelphia's Hotel
For more information and to register click here:

Summer Book Read - 


My Own Words 


The next SOS Book Club gathering will be July 20 at 11:30 a.m. at Leslie Corey's home.  
We will be discussing My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
To RSVP click here.

Please like us on Facebook
Together we can spread the word about SOS by promoting our events, newsletters and grantees via our SOS Facebook page. 
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. If you haven't visited the SOS Facebook page, please go to 
2. Expand the reach of our Facebook posts by clicking the "Share" button on upcoming events, newsletters, "Why We Give" grantee features, and event follow up posts. By clicking "Share", you can choose to share our posts with all of your Facebook friends or select individual friends. 
3. Write a comment on one of our Facebook posts by simply clicking the "Comment" button under a post and sharing your thoughts about an event you attended. You can also select the camera button on the comment line to add photos. If you don't have a comment or photo, just simply hit the "Like" button. 
4. Add a hashtag (#) to your post which becomes a searchable phrase for anyone who is interested in SOS, women and/or giving. Once you search for these items on any social media outlet, your post will appear as one of the search results. Listed below are recommended hashtags to use in future social media posts. 

Questions about Facebook? Please contact Amy Garrison at . 

Thank you for your commitment to an organization that goes way beyond
your grant dollars!

YOU are the secret to our success!  

  • Marcia Harris has been successfully finding and selling homes for over 35 years and still has the same enthusiasm as when she first began. She is currently with Dielman Sotheby's International in Clayton. Marcia has one married son who is a music producer and recently moved back to St. Louis after spending over 20 years in the northeast. Mom and son are both happy with the move! Among her passions are movies (she was instrumental in starting Cinema St. Louis), books (having started the East Drive book club) and creating beautiful gardens.

  • Karen Casserly has been married to her husband Paul for 25 years. They have two children, Katelyn (24) and Kyle (21). Karen worked in the insurance industry for over 36 years, most recently as the Director of Client Services for a national carrier. In March, she changed career paths and joined Business and Legal Resources as their Business Development Manager. In her spare time, Karen enjoys sewing, quilting, traveling, planning parties for friends and spending time with her buddy, Mr. Edward Bennington, the cavalier.

  • Vicki Dimmich sells real estate for BHHS Alliance RE. She and her husband have two children and two grandchildren. Like many grandmothers, Vicki happily spends much of her time at soccer, softball and LaCrosse games as well as swimming meets. She loves to travel and read and is looking forward to joining the SOS Book Club. After living in the city for several years, Vick and her husband now live in Chesterfield.


We are proud to report that past grantee Springboard to Learning and current grantee,
Home Sweet Home were both honorees in FOCUS St. Louis' "What's Right With The Region 2018."
Home Sweet Home was honored for 'Demonstrating Innovation Solutions' for their innovation and vision in making the St. Louis region a better place to live, work or visit.
Springboard to Learning was honored for 'Improving Racial Equality & Social Justice' demonstrating a commitment to promoting diversity, access and opportunity for all.
In addition, Ready by 21 St. Louis, who spoke last year at our Discovering Our Community event, was honored for 'Fostering Regional Cooperation,' bringing entities together to create a new synergy and improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Please RSVP - and remember to invite your friends.

SOS events are always open and we welcome all women who share our passion for strengthening our St. Louis community!

Summer Book Discussion  
11:30 a.m. July 20 
Click here to register.