Katherine Wojtan, Mary's Pence Executive Director, shares what inspired her about the grantee organizations she has visited throughout spring and summer of 2016.
Pictured here: Katherine with employees of The Worker Rights Center, a resource for Latina workers
Determination and courage are the words I would use to describe the Mary's Pence grantees I have had the opportunity to meet in my recent travels. This year, I have been on the road a lot, meeting supporters and new friends at conferences. I also visited several grantees who shared their inspiring stories with me. Read on about the projects and the women involved.
HELPING LOCAL WOMEN ADVOCATE FOR FAIRNESS IN KINSHIP CARE
In March 2016 Mary's Pence awarded a grant to Cincinnati's Contact Center to support their advocacy efforts to change Ohio law so that kinship caregivers (relatives raising children) receive the same financial support from the state as foster care providers. Kinship caregivers, mostly grandmothers, currently receive only 50 percent of what a foster parent receives to care for the same age child. Mary's Pence Board member Karen Hurley lives in Cincinnati and visited the Contact Center to learn more about these efforts.
Contact Center Lead Organizer Lynn Williams welcomes political candidates and office holders to an advocacy event focusing on justice issues for women.
A key focus of the Contact Center's advocacy efforts is Ohio House Bill 458, which has sponsors from both political parties. It would provide the same level of support payments to kinship care providers as provided to foster care providers. This would be huge for Memory and Angela. It would mean their current monthly stipend of around $280 would double. Angela says she struggles to keep her growing 10-year old in shoes and school clothes, and routinely depends on supplements from St. Vincent de Paul and local food pantries.
Are you planning on attending any of these upcoming events? Make sure you visit the Mary's Pence booth. If you'd like to help or connect with us while we are in town, email
email@example.com and let us know!