Brighter Tomorrows

Brighter Tomorrows and Great Rivers United Way staff stand next to the wall of hygiene items that Brighter Tomorrows purchased using the $2,000 Venture Grant received earlier this summer. From left: Gerardo Hernandez, Brighter Tomorrows victim advocate; Jan Bruder, Brighter Tomorrows project director; Liz Evans, Great Rivers United Way community impact director; and Heidi Svee, Great Rivers United Way development director.

Great Rivers United Way recently awarded Brighter Tomorrows $2,000 in Venture Grant funding.

Brighter Tomorrows, located in Sparta, seeks to embrace equality and diversity in empowering individuals to create a safer personal environment within Monroe County. Through education, collaboration, and encouragement of personal choice, Brighter Tomorrows strives to reduce domestic violence and sexual assault in the communities it serves and advocates for a nonviolent society.

The $2,000 Venture Grant Brighter Tomorrows received supported its Survivors Fund. Brighter Tomorrows provides case management, safety planning and emotional support services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, many of whom leave unsafe situations with little to no resources. Gas cards, store vouchers, basic household items and toiletries were purchased and are now available to the survivors seeking services from Brighter Tomorrows.

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Great Rivers United Way offered this Venture Grant cycle as part of its 70th anniversary (1949-2019) celebration. Applicants were asked to illustrate how the program seeking funds would help Great Rivers United Way and the community overall, achieve one or more of the objectives in its new strategic plan. The Brighter Tomorrows Survivors Fund supports United Way’s vision for the community by helping survivors regain financial stability and get and remain connected to the plethora of services they need to overcome their trauma.

Great Rivers United Way is celebrating its 70th anniversary during 2019. Since 1987, Great Rivers United Way has allocated more than $1 million in Venture Grants, an investment in 400-plus projects. Venture Grants are one-time, non-renewable grants and are available to any 501©3 health and human services organization in Great Rivers United Way’s seven-county service area.

Venture Grants are intended to be used to purchase items or services that will enhance an agency’s ability to serve its clients. Volunteers read and reviewed 18 applications in the 70th anniversary Venture Grant cycle. In total, nine local programs received $15,000 in Venture Grant funding.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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