How Rest Cottage Association’s Grants Benefit Grantees and their Clients

from Randi Jones, Director RCA, and Cheryl Finley and Jo-Ann Rodriquez, Co-chairs Social Services Committee

October 31, 2020

In 2020, 11 organizations received $10,000 each to support their critically important work. In the October EMagazine we told you about five of our grantees and this month we look at the remaining grantees.

Rest Cottage Association (RCA) gives over $100,000 in grant money annually to local non-profits serving women and their children.  Social Services, RCA’s partner, provides Ambassadors to these organizations. The Ambassadors work with the grantees to establish opportunities for Ebell members to make a personal contribution through our monthly E-blasts requesting your in-kind donations.

Jewish Family Services/Hope Transitional (Ambassadors: Eileen Brown and Joyce Davidson) housed 26 families experiencing domestic abuse, including 52 children. Twenty-one families have completed their program and 18 have obtained permanent housing. Due to the pandemic all resident children received laptops and tutors. RCA funding was used to support all these services and to provide therapeutic art workshops to both adults and children. In November, the Ambassadors plan to ask Ebell members to donate household supplies for families moving into permanent housing.

Journey Out (Ambassador: Betty Petitt) works with victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, providing street outreach services, trauma therapy, and job skills. RCA funding was earmarked for a program bringing the women together with shelter dogs, who also have experienced trauma and abuse. By partnering each woman with a dog to nurture and train, the objective was to help both to move beyond their trauma, and to develop trust, discipline, and responsibility. Due to Covid-19 restrictions this program has been postponed, but they were still able to purchase necessary supplies. Additionally, RCA funds were used for other forms of therapy such as art therapy, acupuncture, and mindfulness. Ambassador Betty will soon be asking Ebell members to donate items on their wish list for clients.

Union Rescue Mission/Hope Gardens’ (needs an Ambassador) program is designed to equip single mothers previously experiencing homelessness with the confidence and skills needed to secure employment and start building strong financial futures for themselves and their children. Services provided include job readiness, financial management, apprenticeships, and job placement. RCA funds provided 25 mothers with $300 each, plus two program graduates each received $1,250 to match their own savings to help with the expenses of moving into permanent housing.

WeSPARK (Ambassador: Stephanie Kaiser) provides services which help to alleviate the physical and emotional side effects of a cancer diagnosis, including education, counseling, family support, yoga, and meditation classes. This year, RCA funds provided salary support for two key positions: half of the grant award was allocated to the Guest Services Manager and half went to the Program Director. Both are actively involved in outreach to underserved populations. The organization is presenting fun virtual events to raise money and Ambassador Stephanie plans to share those event flyers with members in case they choose to participate.

New Directions for Veterans/Oasis Program for Women (Ambassador: Elizabeth Yeo) creates a therapeutic and safe environment where military women can heal from the stressors caused by active duty, return to civilian life, trauma, addiction, and homelessness. RCA funding provided for a half-time Behavioral Health Specialist with certification in Military Sexual Trauma.

Alexandria House (Ambassadors: Donna Eckholdt and Wendy Guzin) provides transitional housing and support services to women and their children in the process of moving from emergency shelter to economic stability and permanent housing. RCA funds were used for general operating expenses. Despite a devastating fire on March 19, 2020, AH has continued housing their residents and providing services. Covid-19 restrictions have not stopped Ebell members from continuing to provide healthy and nutritious monthly dinners to residents through the creative efforts of Ambassadors Wendy and Donna.

Also, the Ebell Square Club, led by Betty Petitt, provides handmade items to former and current RCA grantees supporting cancer patients. Last year they made and delivered 12 crocheted and knitted blankets to Helen’s Room at Good Samaritan Hospital and 17 blankets to WeSpark.

Please contact Randi, Cheryl, or Jo-Ann for more information.