University City Women’s Group, a 28-year staple of north Charlotte known for its charitable work, has presented $4,000 checks to the representatives of three local nonprofits.
The recipients were Pat’s Place, a child advocacy center; Kids Rein, a therapeutic horseback riding program; and Hospice & Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region.
“It is truly my honor to give these checks to three deserving charities,” group President Bobbie Greene told the audience of about 100 women attending the Feb. 19 monthly meeting at the Oasis Shrine Headquarters.
Giving to local charities is a tradition begun when the group organized in 1987.
University City Women’s Group began as a way for women in University City to lift up one another and the community they share. Members – now numbering 114 – come from diverse backgrounds and include retirees, professionals and homemakers. Since its launch, the group has donated just more than $181,000 to local charities and nonprofits.
Numerous fundraisers, including annual fashion shows, Mardi Gras celebrations, used-book sales and the in-house auctioning of local business-sponsored gift baskets provide the money for the yearly donations.
This year the group raised $12,000 and split the amount three ways. It wasn’t an easy task, said Pearl Pruitt, the club’s charitable funds coordinator.
“Last month we had the daunting task of trying to pick three charities out of seven very deserving charities,” said Pruitt.
In December, members were invited to nominate a charity, with the group voting for the top three in January.
To many nonprofits, donations help establish new programs that were unaffordable in the past.
Pat’s Place, an advocacy center for children who have suffered or witnessed abuse, will use its $4,000 gift for a new mental-health program called Creating Hope and Achieving Transformation that offers ongoing therapy sessions for young clients.
“It was really important for us to have an opportunity for children to come back to a safe place to start their healing journey in therapy,” said Kris Taylor, director of victim services for Pat’s Place. Last year, Pat’s Place provided services for nearly 500 Mecklenburg County children.
For other charities, such Kids Rein, a therapeutic horseback riding nonprofit for children with disabilities, the group’s donation will go toward basic day-to-day operations.
“Our horses eat a lot,” said Teresa Tucker, the organization’s founder. In addition to feed, the nonprofit plans to use the donation to purchase program materials, helmets and other specialized equipment – all necessities that will make a real difference to local children, said Tucker.
Pam Gray, director of annual support for Hospice & Palliative Care of the Charlotte Region, said the organization would use its gift to make sure no one is turned away due to inability to pay for services.
“The advocacy and generous support we get from the community helps us to provide all sorts of care that gets no source of reimbursement,” said Gray of the nonprofit, which works independently from hospital systems.
Lisa Thornton is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Lisa? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.