We are thrilled to announce that WRC received a grant from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation to support unemployed women in our community through program enhancements and the addition of a bilingual Case Manager.  This partnership will allow us to expand our capability in serving our Latina community more effectively.

We are entering the second year of our partnership with the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust. This three-year grant provides funding to hire critical staff, such as our Director of Client Services, to support the growth and impact of our programming. The new staff hired through this funding have been invaluable to WRC as we pivoted all of our programs to a virtual delivery process in late March.

The Ralph S. French Foundation continues to support our Project UpLift program, which targets the ALICE demographic (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed). 70% of our clients live below the sustainable wage in our community. This program specifically supports these clients as they work toward financial security. The Ralph S. French Foundation was the first funder to invest in Project UpLift and we are proud that they continue to partner with us on this vital program. This program year we have served 696 individuals in Project UpLift helping them to gain employment, enroll in a post-secondary educational/training program, and make progressive steps in reaching their goals.

Community Foundation of Sarasota County supports Project UpLift through our 2Gen program in Sarasota County. This is a wonderful partnership with several Title I elementary schools in Sarasota County: Alta Vista, Emma Booker, Gocio and Tuttle. We refer to it as 2Gen because these schools are taking a holistic approach to serving children and their parents. Our Case Manager works with these mothers to set financial, relationship, career and wellness goals. We also provide support with budgeting/finance, and connectivity to resources such as educational and employment opportunities.

Bank of America Foundation started supporting Project UpLift in 2016 and recognizing that the pandemic was going to increase the need for people working in the service industry and retail, it increased its gift this year to support the needs of these clients. The Wilson-Wood Foundation and United Way Suncoast continue to invest in Project UpLift to help families in our region gain financial security.

We also received specific COVID-19 funding to enhance our technology and programming needs. This included a grant from the COVID-19 Initiative of Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation and the Gulfcoast Community Foundation. Support of our Client Emergency Fund from Manatee Community Foundation and United Way Suncoast COVID-19 Fund allows us to provide financial assistance directly to clients in need. The J Jill Compassion Fund gave all of their grant partners an additional $5,000 to support operations during COVID-19.

These vital investments from foundations, in conjunction with the support of all of our individual donors, and the time and efforts of our volunteers combine to build the foundation that makes it possible for WRC to serve our clients, virtually and in person throughout our region.

Ashley Brown CEO & President