More than once Kathy Tuckey has been told that new programming offered through the Augusta office of the Alzheimer’s Association is changing lives.
Nearly 100 people have taken one of two new courses in caregiving, thanks to a grant awarded by Women in Philanthropy.
The association, however, is just one of several local non-profits to benefit from Women in Philanthropy grants. The charitable organization celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, having awarded $217,500 to date, with another $93,000 planned Friday.
“The individuals that are going through the classes, their lives are being changed. They’re telling us that it’s changing the way they care for their loved ones,” said Tuckey, the program and services director of the Augusta region of the Georgia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Last year, Women in Philanthropy awarded the Alzheimer’s Association $27,000 for two new classes: Powerful Tools for Caregivers, a six-week program to help caregivers learn to take care of themselves, and The Savvy Caregiver, a four-week program to help them take better care of loved ones. The grant also funds a caregiver respite program that reimburses the cost of relief caregivers when primary caregivers need a few hours away.
“Our caregivers aren’t asking to go away for a week,” Tuckey said. “They’re asking, ‘Can I go to the grocery store for two hours a week?’ It’s an invaluable resource.”
Five groups will be awarded grants Friday, said Faye Hargrove, the Women in Philanthropy’s grant committee chairman. They represent a variety of local agencies that, in one way or another, benefit women or children in Aiken, Burke, Columbia, McDuffie or Richmond counties.
That’s at the heart of the mission of Women in Philanthropy, Hargrove said. The organization was founded in 2007 by more than 100 local women, but has grown to nearly 150 members over the past five years.
“They run the gamut from professionals to stay-at-home moms,” she said. “They all want to make an impact. These are women with a heart for giving.”