The Women’s Fund of The Shelby Foundation recently awarded grants to help local nonprofits who have faced additional burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Director Carrie Kemerer stated, “These organizations work with limited budgets to provide direct support to underserved populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of our local organizations to expand services or to establish new programs to address needs. Seeing an opportunity, members of the “100 Women for Shelby” felt propelled to respond with financial assistance.”

The “100 Women for Shelby” members were asked to complete a survey prioritizing nonprofits they would like to see receive funding. Three area nonprofits received the majority of the votes: Domestic Violence Shelter, Richland Area Children Services, and Catalyst Life Services – Shelby location.

Kemerer added, “While the Shelter and Children Services are not physically located in Shelby, their services expand far and wide throughout the county, including this community. It is broadly reported that during this pandemic, domestic violence is on the rise, and many are struggling with the pressures of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.”

In 2018, the Women’s Fund launched the “100 Women for Shelby” initiative. The goal was to bring 100 caring, giving women together who share a mutual goal of enriching the community. Not only was the goal exceeded, but the movement has become extremely popular and continues to grow.

Earlier this year, the Foundation’s Board approved to distribute a percentage of the proceeds accumulated from the annual membership fees to fund programs in and around Shelby to promote intellectual, physical, emotional, social, economic, and cultural growth for women.

Lynn Wechter, chair of “100 Women for Shelby” said, “This is an incredible opportunity for our community. Who would have thought when we started this several years ago it would grow to what it is now? I only can see positive things coming from this initiative.”

The first grant cycle was introduced and thanks to the united effort from the 134 members, $8,000 was awarded in grants to local nonprofits, including the recent distributions to address the coronavirus. Other recipients from the inaugural grant cycle: Shelby Senior and Community Center, Shelby YMCA, Richland Pregnancy Services, Marvin Memorial Library, and Shelby/Plymouth Girl Scouts.

To learn more about the Women’s Fund or how to become a “100 Women for Shelby” member, please call 419-342-3686 or visit: