Impact Fairfield County kicks off 9th year of grantmaking with over 100 women from Fairfield County

STAMFORD, CT, November 13, 2022 – Impact Fairfield County (Impact FFC) launched its ninth year of grantmaking at an inspiring fall kickoff event attended by over 100 women from across Fairfield County.

Impact FFC is a collective women’s giving organization that provides large, transformational grants to nonprofits across Fairfield County. Since its inception, Impact Fairfield County has awarded over $1.8 million to local organizations. Membership in Impact FFC is open for the current grant year through December 31, 2023.

On November 8th, current and prospective members joined Impact FFC leadership at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center to connect with other women, to learn about how to get involved with Impact FFC, and to hear from Impact FFC’s 2022 $100,000 grant winners, The Center for Empowerment and Education (CEE) and Catholic Academy of Bridgeport (CAB). 

Cara During, Director of Community Impact for CEE, updated the audience on the initiatives that the Impact grant has allowed CEE to do in just a few short months. CEE, which serves Northern Fairfield County, seeks to break the cycle of interpersonal violence through empowerment, education and support services.  The Impact grant is helping the organization reach its goal of providing programming to 100% of northern Fairfield County schools while also increasing its outreach and training for professionals in our community. In addition to adding two more Danbury schools to its roster, CEE has provided bilingual educators for the first time, reaching communities that are desperately underserved, launched an outreach campaign for local businesses and has improved its data and reporting capabilities. “Because of the Impact grant, we are making our vision of safer communities a reality,” said During. 

Sister Elizabeth Doyle, Principal of CAB’s St. Raphael campus, shared exciting news that the Happy Hollow Outdoor Learning Center is on target to open in May 2024. Located in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Bridgeport (“The Hollow”), St. Raphael educates over 240 students who spend up to 10 hours per day at school, due to safety reasons. With the Impact FFC Grant, the school will provide a safe, educational environment beyond the classroom. Students will benefit from a nature-rich design with opaque security fencing and age-appropriate climbing structures as well as an outdoor classroom for science and nature exploration. Said Doyle, “The Impact grant was a gift that allowed us to move from a dream to imminent reality. This center will have an impact on students this year and for many years to come.”

Jenny San Jose and Kristen Rosenbaum, Co-Presidents of Impact FFC, shared just a few of the ways in which Impact FFC’s $1.8 million has made an impact in Fairfield County, including:

  • Built an indoor hydroponic farm to feed fresh vegetables to hungry families in Bridgeport

  • Expanded kindergarten readiness to hundreds of children entering the Stamford public school system

  • Opened a dental clinic serving toddlers, teenagers, parents and senior citizens in Bridgeport

  • Developed language acquisition skills through music instruction for English language learners in Stamford and Norwalk 

  • Trained nurses at Greenwich and Stamford hospitals in administering rape kits to sexual assault victims in a trauma-informed and timely way

Attendees also heard from member Lizzy Scheinfeld, who chronicled her journey from joining Impact FFC to becoming involved with 2022 grant winner, nOURish BRIDGEPORT, as a result of learning more about their work. “We are making a difference for our neighbors, and in turn for ourselves. That is the true impact of our work,” said Scheinfeld. Impact FFC shares more stories like Scheinfeld’s in their newsletters about this “Ripple Effect.'' 

“We came today to celebrate the transformational work that the Impact grants have provided our local non-profits to achieve and to kick off our next giving cycle. We look forward to a strong and rewarding 2024 grant season with the help of our amazing leadership, our engaged and informed members and the generous support of our corporate sponsors, The Ashforth Company and Clear Harbor Management,” said San Jose. 

Submitted by Stamford, CT

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