AUSTIN, Texas – May 1, 2023 – The 52 members of Girls Giving Grants (g3) voted in late April to award their 2023 grant to Wonders and Worries, a nonprofit serving children and teens whose families face a serious health crisis. Since 2006, g3 has awarded $115,600 in 19 grants to the Greater Austin community.
Wonders and Worries was founded in Austin, Texas, in 2001. Now they report seven offices in Texas, several national services, and 58 registered Wonders and Worries providers in 23 states and Japan. To date, they have supported more than 14,000 children and teens dealing with a serious illness or injury in their families. Services are free of charge to ensure access for all families whose teens and young children are struggling with a parent’s tragic health diagnosis. Last year 31% of the families served by Wonders & Worries were living in low-income households. All Wonders and Worries services are available in English and Spanish, and face-to-face or virtual meeting options ensure access for families with transportation barriers.
The following was reported by Wonders and Worries: "Nearly 5,000 individuals are diagnosed with cancer annually in Travis County (National Cancer Institute, 2021). The American Cancer Society estimates 18% of families receiving a cancer diagnosis have young children living in the home (American Cancer Society, 2018). That means approximately 2,250 Austin-area families with young children are faced with a parent’s cancer diagnosis each year - and that doesn’t even account for young families struggling with other serious medical conditions, such as ALS, MS, heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious conditions. When a parent has a serious illness or injury, the risk for stress disorder in their children increases five-fold. Their children may experience pronounced mood changes including anger, sadness, fear and anxiety; academic changes like declining performance and inability to concentrate; enhanced somatic system disorders such as stomachaches, trouble sleeping and eating, and rashes; and social/interpersonal changes including acting out, denial, and withdrawal from relationships."
On behalf of g3, their 2022-2023 President Vera Powell (center) announced, "g3 is pleased to award this year’s grant to Wonders and Worries! Our grant will support their family events initiative, in which families with parents struggling with disease can spend fun, worry-free days together. We felt that their cause was extremely significant, and we can’t wait to see them put our grant to use!"
This year’s class of Girls Giving Grants includes 52 young women in grades 8 – 12. They represent 15 Austin-area schools: Anderson High School; Ann Richards School for Young Women, Austin High School, Austin Peace Academy, Bowie High School, Bertha Sadler Means YWLA, Bowie High School, Fusion Academy, Harmony School of Endeavor, Hill Country Middle School, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, McCallum High School, St. Andrew's School, St. Michael's Catholic Academy, St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Westlake High School.
The g3 membership contribution is $125 ($100 directly to the grant and $25 for g3 program materials and administration). Scholarships are available. Each year, $100 donations are combined into one meaningful grant of the group’s choice to a Central Texas nonprofit serving youth. g3 is a model of collective giving designed by Impact Austin to educate and engage young philanthropists.
To enable more Central Texas girls to have an even larger impact in the community, a local family foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to fund g3 scholarships and match awards during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. Through an ongoing collaboration with Bertha Sadler Means Young Women's Leadership Academy, a tuition-free, all-girls academy located close to downtown Austin, eighth-grade leaders at the academy have had the opportunity to join g3. In addition, the school has hosted g3's in-person meetings since 2021.
The group is volunteer-run by adult and teen leaders. Sue Breland, Impact Austin member and out-going co-chair of the Girls Giving Grants Committee, reflected on her five years as a g3 leader. "With each year, I see another class of brilliant young women leave g3 for other communities and endeavors with eyes and hearts that are enabled to recognize needs wherever they are with the tools to effect change." Sue urges other members and g3 parents to step up and support the young philanthropists as a g3 advisor or co-chair.
Enrollment for the 2023-2024 class will open in late summer. For further information on joining Girls Giving Grants, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Impact Austin
Impact Austin’s mission is to cultivate the collective wisdom and strength of women to transform ourselves and our communities through philanthropy. Impact Austin has now granted $8.43 million to nonprofit organizations and collaboratives in Central Texas. Learn more at impactaustin.org.
About Girls Giving Grants
Impact Austin’s youth initiative, Girls Giving Grants (g3), creates learning and leadership opportunities for Central Texas girls in grades 8-12. Each participant contributes $100 towards a Central Texas nonprofit working to improve the lives of children; g3 has awarded $115,600 since 2006. Learn more at impactaustin.org/girls-giving-grants.