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Women’s Giving Circle quietly making big impact in Mathews

For the past five years, the Mathews Women’s Giving Circle has been quietly working behind the scenes to support the well-being of Mathews County’s women and families.

Founded in 2018, the group has given out a total of $140,000 in grants to a variety of local nonprofit organizations. At present, the circle has 32 members, each of whom contributes an equal amount and has an equal say in what projects are funded, something Beth Johnson termed “democratic philanthropy.”

In its most recent grant cycle, the group awarded five grants totaling about $30,000, according to Johnson and fellow co-chair Mary Chapman. This year’s grants went to the Bay School Community Arts Center (for its OpenArts in the Neighborhood outreach), Mathews Elementary School’s STEM program (for LEGO Education SPIKE kits), the Mathews Family YMCA (to launch the Bright Beginnings program) and the Mathews Christmas Store (to offset Mathews Social Services costs in administering that program).

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