Winners of first WIN grants announced

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WIN announced recipients of its first-ever grants on Sept. 27.

Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) announced recipients of its first-ever grants during an awards ceremony Sept. 27 in Lincoln.

The newly formed philanthropic organization awarded a total of $154,850, an amount the women will strive to increase each year.

The goal of WIN is to provide philanthropic support to Nebraska groups striving to address critical community needs or wishing to make a significant local or state impact. The organization was established in 2011 by the University of Nebraska Foundation and its women in philanthropy committee to connect women and involve them in local philanthropy.

The Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers was awarded $77,425 to help launch a statewide training initiative focused on prevention, identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. According to the Alliance, this initiative is vital because every adult needs to know the signs of child abuse, how to report child abuse and how to prevent maltreatment of children.

The initiative includes four programs, including a training workshop for law enforcement personnel; a training program for adults involved with organizations serving youth; a training course to prepare individuals who are mandatory child abuse reporters, such as teachers, day-care providers and others; and a web-based training program for anyone wanting to learn more about preventing, identifying and reporting child abuse.

The Alliance enhances response to child abuse through its centers in Grand Island, Kearney, Lincoln, Norfolk, North Platte, Omaha and Scottsbluff.

Ivy Svoboda, state chapter coordinator for Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers, said the grant is especially important because an estimated 45,000 children in Nebraska may be suffering in silence from unreported abuse.

“We are very blessed to receive an opportunity through this grant to serve our children by educating the community on what people can do to ensure children are safe from abuse and neglect,” Svoboda said. “Child abuse is a huge issue that impacts every fiber of our community. In 2011, our seven centers provided services to 4,500 children throughout every county, and national statistics tell us for each case of child abuse reported another 10 go unreported.”

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing was also awarded $77,425 to help improve health care services to the elderly who live in rural areas around Kearney. According to the university, this program is especially needed because of current gaps and disparities in health care for older Nebraskans in this area.

The College of Nursing will use the grant to improve its geriatric health care services offered through its Mobile Nurse Managed Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Project. It will provide health care services administered by various professionals for rural residents while providing needed experience for primary care physicians and nurse practitioners in training.

Claudia Chaperon, assistant professor and project director at the College of Nursing, said her team is “so moved” by the Women Investing in Nebraska grant award.

“We are a group of women nursing faculty who are dedicated to increasing access to high quality comprehensive geriatric services for vulnerable older adults in rural Nebraska,” Chaperon said. “How very appropriate and touching that a group of women investing in Nebraska has chosen to support our work.”

About the inaugural grant awards, Lisa Smith, chair of the Women Investing in Nebraska executive committee, said, “We couldn’t be more pleased about what the award recipients have promised to do for Nebraskans with our investment. Because of these grants, our recipients have promised us fewer Nebraska children will experience unreported abuse and more elderly people will receive timely health care. This is beyond rewarding for all of us.”

After calling for proposals in January, WIN received 23 funding requests from University of Nebraska organizations and 139 requests from Nebraska nonprofit corporations.

Members of WIN pledge to make a gift each year for three years. Its members then vote to grant 50 percent of their combined annual contributions to a Nebraska nonprofit organization and 50 percent to a University of Nebraska organization or group.

If you would like to join an extraordinary group of women who care deeply about Nebraska and its future, visit or call Tracy Edgerton at 402-458-1160 or 800-432-3216.

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