Heels Together: Women Stepping Up

Heels Together is a women-led initiative uniting money, ideas and actions to create a lasting change for women and girls, their families and communities. 

Why help women and girls? Only 7% of all philanthropic dollars each year are specifically allocated to address needs of women and girls, yet 70% of the world’s poor are women. In Kentucky, 18% of women older than 18 live in poverty. Funding projects to address these issues and improve individual lives will strengthen our community.

Overview

Heels Together was established as a Central Kentucky Community Foundation initiative in 2014 by a group of community-minded leaders who wanted to invest in long-term solutions for transforming the lives of women and girls and improving the well-being of our entire community.

Heels Together focus’ on women-led solutions by providing leadership and stewardship in identifying the needs and supporting solutions for women and girls. It’s a catalyst, identifying challenges, marshaling resources and pursuing opportunities in Central Kentucky. 

Heels Together is supported by a $1,000 annual gift from individual investors. Half of the annual gift is set aside in an endowment fund to forever carry out our mission and the other half is used for annual grant-making putting our beliefs and desires for women and girls in our community into action today. At the yearly Heels Together banquet, investors hear presentations from grant finalists and vote to select the winning grants.

Grant funding is awarded to programs addressing:

  • Achievement of economic self-sufficiency for women
  • Prevention of violence and crime against women and girls
  • Promotion of health and physical well-being and talent for women and girls

Together, we can unite money, ideas and actions to create lasting change for females and their families.

Investors

Heels Together – Join Us!

Heels Together strives to connect women and girls with resources that bring health, hope, education and enrichment. Join us and help grow the Heels Together endowment and grantmaking abilities.

Heels Together is supported by a $1,000 annual gift from individual investors. Half of the annual gift is set aside in an endowment fund to forever carry out our mission and the other half is used for annual grant-making putting our beliefs and desires for women and girls in our community into action today. The endowment, a fund that preserves the initial investment and only spends the earnings, provides for the forever impact of Heels Together.

In 2019, we celebrated our 5th anniversary, reached 50 investors and grew our endowment to $145,000!

At the yearly Heels Together banquet, investors see presentations from grant finalists and vote to select the winner.

We believe that when a woman is successful, her community is strengthened. Join us in strengthening our community! If you have a passion for improving the lives of females in our community and want to learn more contact Davette B. Swiney, President/CEO at dswiney@ckcf4people.org or 270-737-8393 .

Grants

Each year, Heels Together awards grants for programs to enrich the lives of women and girls in our community. Annual grant-making puts our beliefs and desires for women and girls in our community into action today. 

In five years, Heels Together has awarded $110,000 in grants. 

To apply for a Heels Together grant, organizations must qualify under IRS Code Section 501(c)3 with at least one full year of financial records. Applicants are required to submit a Letter of Intent to Apply and include the total amount to be requested. While the grant’s purpose is not to fund an organization’s salaries, requests of up to 30% of the total project will be considered for salary use. A mid-year status report is required from organizations that receive a Heels Together grant. Organizations are not eligible to receive a Heels Together grant in consecutive years. Applications are closed for 2020 and will be available again next year.

Congratulations to our 2019 Grant Winners!

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College: Camp Forge Ahead $15,000

Hardin County Attorney’s Office: Breaking the Silence on Dating Violence $10,000

Past Grant Recipients

2018

  • Community Health Clinic: Women’s Health Initiative $15,000
  • Warm Blessings: Ride to Independence $7,000

2017

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana: Project ReacHER $5,000
  • Elizabethtown Independent Schools: STEM-tastic SumMIT $5,000
  • Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Recovery Services: Healing Garden $8,500

2016

  • Communicare Inc.: Passages Transitional Housing Program $15,000
  • Hardin County Schools: Shattered Glass Summit $4,850

2015

  • Helping Hand of Hope: Heels Academy $12,000
  • CASA of the Heartland $12,500

Investors' Banquet

2019 Heels Together Investors’ Banquet

Heels Together celebrated our 5th year of women helping women and awarded $25,000 in grants to two nonprofit organizations at our annual Investors’ Banquet.

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College and the Hardin County Attorney’s Office were presented grants at the fifth annual Heels Together Investors’ Banquet, which was held Oct. 24, 2019, at the Home of Philanthropy. It was our first event in our new building.

Receiving the most votes, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College was awarded $15,000 for its Camp Forge Ahead. The program will allow middle school girls from Elizabethtown Independent and Hardin County schools to participate in a week-long immersive program of traditionally male-dominated career paths, including welding, advanced manufacturing, automotive and diesel IT, and agriculture.

“We were thrilled to be invited and humbled witnessing such a deeply passionate, caring group of women being catalysts for improving the lives of girls/women in this community,” said Stacy Westover, ECTC’s Director of Grants and Contracts. “We cannot adequately say thank you for the $15,000 for our Camp Forge Ahead. Through the camp, we hope to continue the tradition of excellence by inspiring local middle school girls to explore traditionally male career paths. With a growing demand in these fields locally, we want more women to choose them as a career pathway.”

The Hardin County Attorney’s Office placed second in the voting. They were awarded $10,000 for its Breaking the Silence on Dating Violence program. The initiative seeks to end dating violence by sending a victim advocate into classrooms throughout Hardin County to provide information to middle and high school students on definitions of dating violence, how to identify dating violence, and what to do when they or someone they know is experiencing dating violence.

“We didn’t have resources for this program, so we thought of Heels Together and it was a perfect marriage,” Hardin County Attorney Jenny Oldham said. “I was just excited I could tell a staff member, ‘I know how you can make this happen,’ and it worked.’”

The grant awards were made possible by 50 local women who make a $1,000 annual gift to support initiatives, such as the ones awarded at the banquet, that benefit women and girls. Heels Together investors have now granted $110,000 in the past 5 years and grown our endowment to $145,000!

“By helping to serve these girls, these programs will not only benefit the girls receiving assistance, but their families and communities will as well,” said Davette B. Swiney, president and CEO of Central Kentucky Community Foundation. “We know that when women and girls thrive, communities prosper, and that is why we are passionate about Heels Together.”

Investors also heard from 2018 grant recipients – The Community Health Clinic and Warm Blessings. The Community Health Clinic’s Women’s Health Initiative was able to provide clinical care and advocacy for 486 women and coordinated and provided 2,023 women’s care visits. Warm Blessings was able to provide 598 rides to 54 women for them to travel to and from jobs through its Ride to Independence program.