September 2020
By Women, For Women
Project W Hosting Educational Event - Discussion Group of "What Does a More Feminist City Look Like"
Project W will host an educational event on Wednesday, September 30th from 7:00-8:30pm via Zoom to discuss the article by The Lily, Click here to read the article . It is an interview with feminist geographer Leslie Kern and it explores how cities are designed and influenced by our social progress. The interview covers topics such as gender inequity, the value of care work, motherhood and gentrification. Project W members Erica Barbuto and Lindsay Demczko will facilitate the discussion, and we hope everyone can bring their perspectives and experiences into the conversation.
Zoom link for September 30th at 7pm: 
Project W Joins Philanos
Project W has joined Philanos, a network of women's giving circle in the US and some overseas organizations as well. This is their website: We have found their resources and materials to be very helpful in structuring Project W and hope to benefit from working with other organizations.
Project W Final Grant Reviews Underway
Project W members divided into three grant committees, Education, Family, and Health, met for the initial grant application review back in the spring. After these meetings committee volunteers reached out to the applicants with additional questions. Second and final Grant Application review meetings are currently underway.

On September 9th the Family Committee with 23 members met to discuss the candidates once again and select one finalist out of the 6 applications received. The Education Committee will meet on September 17th followed by the Health Committee on September 22nd. to select a finalist for each of their committees.

Below is a screenshot of the Family Grant Committee meeting on the September 9th:
Member Spotlight
Project W recently had the opportunity to check in with two of its four 2020 Fellowship recipients. The Project W Fellowship Program provides a free one-year individual membership to four women who meet specific requirements. It is a way for Project W to diversify its membership allowing it to bring younger women's perspectives to the giving circle while at the same time introducing a younger generation of women to philanthropy. 

Meet Christina Valerio and Elizabeth Aimee who recently shared a little bit about themselves with us. We presented them with questions and their answers were inspiring. 
1. What inspired you to apply for the fellowship program?

Christina Valerio shared that she was exposed to Project W while meeting Lauren Sustersic, a Project W board member, at a co-sponsored TCF event. Christina said that Lauren explained to her Project W’s mission of improving the lives of women in Delaware County and introduced her to the Fellowship Program. As a recent college graduate, Christina was looking for a meaningful way to give back to the community and where better to do that than where she grew up and currently resides. It was the perfect opportunity! 

Elizabeth Aimee shared that after she became aware of the Project W Fellowship program she was inspired to apply in order to have a chance of positively impacting women in the county that she spent her whole life living in. Elizabeth was keen in fulfilling the responsibilities of the role while at the same time offering her perspective that may have otherwise been unrepresented as a woman who became a teenage single mother. Due to her experience as a young single mother Elizabeth said that the three categories of Grants offered by Project W can potentially make a huge difference in the lives of women and children who she can relate to. She added that it was very exciting to have the opportunity to be part of that process. 

2. How would you describe your experience with Project W? 

Christina Valerio said, “My experience with Project W has been wonderful so far. Everyone I’ve met from the kickoff meeting at the beginning of the year up to the virtual committee meetings has been super welcoming and gracious. This is a fantastic group of women to be involved with and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

Elizabeth Aimee responded, “I have really enjoyed my experience with Project W, I think it would have been a better experience if we weren’t living through a pandemic and we were able to meet in person but I think that Project W has really done a great job with making health and safety adjustments by meeting online instead of in person.”

3. As a new organization, we are constantly evolving and would appreciate your feedback for any improvements, and would you recommend Project W to others?

Christina Valerio suggested that maybe some more get-togethers with members could help boost morale! She shared that it would be great to meet more ladies through a virtual Zoom happy hour or “coffee date.” 

Elizabeth Aimee would absolutely recommend Project W to others. She suggested that one or two Project W members meet with the new Fellowship recipients before the yearly kick-off party. This way the new Fellowship members would see familiar faces at the kick-off gathering. Elizabeth also emphasized the importance of Project W members becoming more involved with the organizations and specifically with the people being impacted by the grants. She felt that although Project W is an incredible group of women trying to help other women, Project W would benefit by understanding more deeply the perspective of those individuals being helped. Elizabeth suggested that not only should we rely on statistics and data during the Grant Application review process, but that we should take the opportunity to meet the individuals in the community who we are trying to impact positively. 

Thank you Christina and Elizabeth for sharing your thoughts with our members and for your valuable input. A special thank you to all four 2020 Fellowship Recipients: Brianna Robinson, Kim Eckenrode, Elizabeth Aimee, and Christina Valerio for donating their time and input during this year’s Grant Review process. 
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!

Key Dates

  • September 17 - Education Committee Second Meeting
  • September 22 - Health Committee Second Meeting
  • September 30 - Project W Educational Event - Discussion Group
  • October 1 - Finalists announced
  • October 14 - Online ballot will be available to vote for 2020 grantees
  • October 23 - Midnight deadline to cast your vote
  • October 28 - Annual Meeting via Zoom. Results of 2020 grant recipients will be announced.  More information to come.  
Grantee Updates
Fellow Grantee Organizations Collaborate
Katie Owen from The Breathing Room shared with Project W that being able to meet fellow Grant winners at Project W's annual meeting last year created an opportunity for collaboration between the organizations.

Katie found out recently that Kai Qualls, from the Women's Resource Center, had reached out to their Board member Ryan Galvin, whom she met at last year's annual meeting, regarding job opportunities for her clients and he was able to provide support. Also, Kai recently had a client who was diagnosed with cancer and The Breathing Room Foundation was able to get her enrolled in their services and help with rental assistance. 

Kai shared that they would not have met The Women's Resource Center had it not been for Project W introducing them. Kai also said that had The Women's Resource Center not provided the financial assistance, her client would have had nowhere to turn.
17th Annual Valley Road Run Sponsored by The Breathing Room Foundation
The Breathing Room Foundation is hosting their 17th Annual 5K Run/ 2 Mile walk on Sunday October 4th, with a rolling start time from 8:30 am to 9:30 am. Both in-person and virtual options will be available for walkers and runners. The location of the run is Thomas J. Paul Building 1061 Rydal Road, Rydal PA 19046. The registration is Adult Registration: $35 Virtual or In-Person and Youth Registration – $15 ALWAYS (Age 14 & Under)

For more details go to:
Women's Resource Center - Update on COVID-19 Donation
Cheryl E Brubaker, Executive Director of The Women's Resource Center shared that the COVID-19 additional funds of $4,025 they received from Project W in August were greatly appreciated. $2,650 went toward the Delaware County Assistance Fund, restricted to rental assistance and the purchase of gift cards for groceries for clients residing in Delaware County. $1,375 will be used for a Delaware County client and her family towards the purchase of gift cards to Giant and Target for groceries. The funds will be used over 6 months at $230 per month. The Women's Resource Center thanked Project W for helping with sustaining a family in need as well as other residents with their rent and groceries.
Project W would like to thank the Von Seldeneck Gift Fund for their generous sponsorship gift.
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
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.

Be Part of the Project W Story