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Washington Area Women's Foundation Awards $100,000 To 10 Local Nonprofit Winners of Leadership Awards


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Contact: Lisa Kays




Washington Area Women's Foundation Awards $100,000

To 10 Local Nonprofit Winners of Leadership Awards


Winners Picked by Local Volunteers; Public to Vote Online for Favorite


WASHINGTON, D.C., -- Boat People SOS Inc., helps women who are Vietnamese refugees in Silver Spring overcome the cultural stigma and family shame associated with domestic violence. Friends of Guest House is a small halfway house in Alexandria, Va., that helps women find jobs and housing after they are released from prison. Through the Kitchen Door trains battered women in the District of Columbia to cook healthy foods for their families and to work in a commercial kitchen.   


Those are three of the 10 local nonprofits recently selected to receive Washington Area Women's Foundation's 2009 Leadership Awards, each worth $10,000. The 10 organizations are located in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.


From March 16 to 27, the public will get to vote online for its favorite nonprofit from the 10 award winners. The winner will receive an additional award of $5,000. To cast a vote, go to


Washington Area Women's Foundation is the only donor-supported public foundation focused solely on improving the lives of low-income women and girls in the region and on increasing philanthropy by all women. 


A committee of nearly 60 volunteers selected the Leadership Award winners through a hands-on grant-making process. The volunteers, who are donors to The Women's Foundation, researched 54 nominated nonprofits through phone interviews and site visits.  After narrowing the list to 20 organizations, the volunteers met to select the final 10 recipients. Staffers from The Women's Foundation oversaw the selection process, but the volunteers directed it. 


 "The Leadership Awards is one of our most popular programs because it gives people a chance to try their hand at grassroots grant-making," said Phyllis Caldwell, president of Washington Area Women's Foundation. "This Awards program seeks out and recognizes outstanding nonprofits taking on enormous challenges and improving the lives of women and girls in our community."  


The 2009 Leadership Awards recognize small nonprofits whose work improves the health and safety of low-income women and girls. The awards focus public attention on these programs and help them gain additional funding and grow.


Washington Area Women's Foundation chose to focus on health and safety because the need is so great and because improving health and safety contributes to women's overall economic security.


The award winners are:


Boat People SOS Inc.

Boat People SOS helps Vietnamese refugee women in Maryland address the pressing issues of health and domestic violence and overcome the cultural stigma associated with those problems.


Calvary Women's Shelter

Calvary Women's Shelter provides a safe, caring transitional housing program for homeless women in DC. It offers a comprehensive program of services to help women make positive steps toward independence.


Daughter for the Day, Inc.

Daughter for the Day provides seniors over age 70 with free one-on-one personal assistance that ensures safe and dependable access to medical care.


DC Trafficking Intervention Program at Polaris Project

DC Trafficking Intervention Program combats human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the Greater DC region.


Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project

This organization works to overturn unjust trial court outcomes for domestic violence victims and to advance legal protections for victims and their children through expert advocacy and by training lawyers, psychologists and judges on best practices. It also spearheads domestic violence litigation in the Supreme Court.


Extended Day Program at Washington Middle School for Girls

This program in Southeast DC recruits girls from underserved communities at risk of dropping out of school. Once the school day ends, a number of after-school programs are available, including classes on financial planning, adolescent health, music, arts and dance.


Family Preservation and Strengthening Services

Family PASS in Vienna, Va., helps young women and their families in homeless shelters or transitional housing move into stable housing for up to three years, while also providing intensive counseling services that empower women to become self-sufficient. 


Friends of Guest House

Friends of Guest House is a halfway house in Alexandria, Va., that serves 10 nonviolent, female ex-offenders in a group home setting for four months. There, they find employment, learn life skills (financial management, fitness, conflict resolution), build support systems, repair personal relationships, and secure housing -- while working full time.


Second Chance Employment Services

Second Chance Employment Services in Washington, DC, assists the abused, the elderly, welfare recipients and other financially at-risk women who are looking for long-term employment.


Through the Kitchen Door's WIN WIN in Washington program

This organization trains battered women to cook healthy food for their families and to work in a commercial kitchen. The training programs are designed to build self-esteem, self-confidence, knowledge and skills.




Washington Area Women's Foundation makes empowerment and economic security a reality for women and girls in the Washington metropolitan area. Our mission is to enrich the community by engaging women in philanthropy, offering grants and operational resources to non-profit organizations and serving as a regional voice for women and girls.

For more information, visit


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