August 2020
By Women, For Women
Welcome to Project W's Inaugural Newsletter
Update on Grant Review Process
Grant applications from organizations in Delaware County were due to Project W by April 17th.  We thank our grant applicants for their time, energy, and effort in requesting and completing the application. The grant review committees reviewed a total of 16 completed applications.  The breakdown of our grant committees and applications is:
  • Education committee - 23 committee members; 5 applications
  • Family committee - 23 committee members; 6 applications
  • Health committee - 21 committee members; 5 applications

Grant review process and status:
  • April - Grant chairs met to review applications and discuss training for committee members
  • May - Grant committee training sessions were held 
  • May - Each committee team met via zoom to review applications
  • June - August - Led by various teams of committee members virtual site (phone/zoom) visits are in process 
  • September - each committee will meet to select a finalist organization
  • October 7th - Contact finalist organization from each committee
  • October 28th - Annual meeting and winners announced
Since Our Beginning
Project W in the News
The organization The Philadelphia Citizen nominated Project W as Citizen of the Week. Read the article by Jessica Blatt Press from June 22, 2020. 
Member Spotlight
One of Project W’s strengths comes from the diversity of its members bringing their collective experiences and shared commitment to helping women and families in need.
Meet Kathleen Mark
There are several members who have invited their daughters to join Project W. It’s wonderful when mothers and daughters can do projects together, and even better when those projects involve helping others. 
This week I had the pleasure of speaking to one of our younger members, Kathleen Mark, daughter of Quyen Mark

We would like to get to know our members better. We would really appreciate if you could complete the form below and let us know your thoughts. 
Thank you for participating!
Community Outreach Updates

Due to the generosity of Project W members, the Community Outreach Committee has been able to raise additional funds to provide support to families in need in this COVID-19 environment.

In April Project W raised $28,710 in ten days to assist seven Delaware County nonprofit organizations in coping with increased needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

  • Family and Community Service of Delaware Country for food pantry purchases
  • Domestic Abuse Project to offset revenue loss from Nana’s Attic 
  • Family Promise of Delaware County for shelter necessities
  • Community Action Agency of Delaware County for shelter operations
  • Senior Community Services for food and pilot programs
  • Family Support Line for TeleMental Health Training
  • Community YMCA of Delaware Country to help reopen the facilities 

In July Project W members raised $4,025 for the Women’s Resource Center. The contributions will help a family in need of rent and groceries and will be allocated accordingly.

Key Dates

  • September - Second Grant Review by committee members
  • October 7 - Finalists organizations announced
  • October 28 - SAVE THE DATE for the Annual Meeting via Zoom. More information to come.
Grantee Updates
Read how our 2019 grantees used the Project W grants to make an impact on the lives of women and families in Delaware County
PathWays To Higher Education Progress Report

Below is the success story of ET - 2020 IDA Education Program Graduate, Adopt a Family Recipient and VITA tax client.

ET is a 55 year old single mother of two, grandmother of three and adoptive mother of her 13 year old biological granddaughter. She is a resident of Chester City and for the past 10 years has worked as a CNA. ET recently decided to pursue an LPN degree at DCIU in order to improve her family's financial situation. She found the nursing program to be quite challenging for someone who hadn't been in school for over 35 years and unfortunately, was forced to repeat the first semester. 

ET came to PathWays for assistance accessing resources to help pay for her spring 2020 tuition. PathWays PA’s Financial Counsellor helped ET enroll in the IDA savings program which provides a match of $3,000 if she successfully saved $1,000. ET worked with PathWays PA’s Financial Counsellor to create a budget and she successfully saved $1,000. The IDA match of $3,000 covered her entire spring 2020 tuition!  ET has decided to continue saving $150 a month in a money market account at her bank. ET also learned about PathWays PA’s free tax assistance program through her work with the Financial Counsellor and utilized the service to file her taxes. She received a significant refund which will provide a big boost to her savings account. ET plans to use her savings for a down payment on a home after she obtains her LPN degree.

ET was also able to give her grandchildren a joyous Christmas, thanks to PathWays PA's Adopt a Family Program. 
In addition to ET, there are 4 other IDA participants from Delaware County. Two have successfully saved the $1,000 and are in the process of having their match dollars processed. The other 2 are in the process of saving the required amount to qualify for the match. There are also 2 other women from Delco who are in the process of submitting applications for the program.
Breathing Room Foundation
Grant Report 10/1/2019 - 3/31/2020

Families Supported
55 new Delaware County families from 10/1/2019 - 3/31/2020
161 Individuals
41 Women battling cancer diagnosis and treatment

Family Story
One example of how Project W grant funds has touched a family in Delco in their time of need:
Ashley, a 32 year old mother of 4 was referred to BRF in May when she was newly diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. She and her husband have 4 children, twin 2 year olds, 11 year old and a 13 year old. The family lives in Lansdowne. The family was struggling with the loss of income and the increased medical costs, including high co-pays and transportation costs to and from treatments. When Breathing Room was made aware of the family’s needs we responded immediately with financial support toward co-pays and transportation costs and a large delivery of diapers for the babies, snacks, meals and a comfort bag for Ashley. Although Ashley passed in July, we continue to include the family in our children’s programs, including Back to School, Thanksgiving, Holidays, Valentine’s program and the Easter Program.

What We Have Accomplished
In the six month period between 10/1/2019 - 3/31/2020 we have responded to the urgent needs of our Delco families providing over $14,700 in services by:
● Providing 87 rides to life-saving treatments
● Ordering 7 individuals nutritional supplements
● Paying rent for 4 families
● Paying 7 utility bills to avoid shut-off
● Providing grocery support to 15 families
● Supporting the medical needs of 14 individuals including co-pays, medical bills and medical equipment
and supplies

In addition, 32 Delaware County families were included in our 2019 Holiday Program and Thanksgiving
The Project W grant greatly helped WRC to sustain and expand our Resource Coordinaon Counseling services with the hire of an addional paid staff counselor to start May 1. During this challenging me, we are facing a $100,000 deficit due to the postponement of our signature fundraiser this fiscal year. At the same time, we are continuing our Resource Coordination Counseling services, which clients need more than ever due to the anxieties and pressures brought on by the coronavirus crisis. In Delaware County, we have served 31 Resource Coordination Counseling clients, with 253 sessions this fiscal year so far, with a substantial overall waiting list that the additional counselor will help to take on! These counseling sessions have been called "transformative" by clients.
Membership Committee Chair Needed
To continue our growth, we need members like you to spread the word.
Reach out to Lauren Sustersic for more information at
Sponsorships Available
We are seeking sponsorship donations to offset our operating expenses. If you or your colleagues would be interested in supporting Project W, please reach out to Lee Kernen at or Kim D'Ambrosio at
Special Thanks to our Past Sponsors
Be Part of the Project W Story
Women can have a significant impact by pooling our resources and recognizing organizations that make a difference for women in Delaware County. In the process, YOU will be in the fellowship of other community-minded women and learn more about the many organizations that enrich and improve our daily lives.

Project W launched in February 2019 and was able to donate $35,000 in grants by October 31 ---within 9
short months --for immediate impact in our community. This was accomplished through the collective
efforts of 57 memberships, representing an annual contribution of $550 per membership.
For 2020, Project W has increased membership by 50% from 57 to 86 members. This collective
contribution along with additional donations will allow us to award $48,500 in grants to be given to
nonprofits at our annual meeting in October. One grant will be awarded in each of the following areas:
Health, Education and Family.

Be Part of the Project W Story
2019 Annual Meeting