A Woman’s Work, based in Longmont, is a unique funding source for women in the communities served by the St. Vrain Valley School District and the neighboring Town of Berthoud who need financial support for immediate needs that cannot be met by other sources.

“We help many different people with different types of crisis,” Gaddis said. “The idea is if we help them in the short term, they don’t spiral into a place where they need chronic help. Our goal is to get money to people quickly, so it reduces stress and chaos in their lives.”

The organization’s assistance pays for a wide variety of needs including child care, housing, transportation, medical needs and more. In return, it only asks that the recipient pays the kindness forward.

A Woman’s Work is getting so many requests from Berthoud; the hands-up organization recently expanded its coverage to the town and all of Erie.

“It’s an interesting community, sort of separate. It doesn’t have many of its own services,” said Kate Gaddis, executive director of A Woman’s Work.

“With Berthoud’s growth and all the going back and forth to Longmont, we were getting more and more requests from people living in that area.”

The nonprofit had its beginnings in 2003 when one of the founders was going through a divorce and found she needed temporary financial support but didn’t qualify for any services. A regular donor, she met with the director of the Longmont Community Foundation, and they joined efforts with five local Rotarians to fill a gap by providing normally self-sufficient women with financial support for immediate needs that other resources can’t meet.

“As it turns out, she never ended up needing it,” Gaddis said.

To create seed money for that support, the founders set out to find 100 women who’d each give $100 over the next 100 days, but they only needed 13. The nonprofit now works with more than 500 professional partners, such as social workers, counselors, health care providers and government employees, as well as donors who make referrals of women needing a boost.

That boost is in three primary areas, including emergency needs grants, vehicle purchases and repairs and scholarships, to help women overcome unexpected obstacles or emergencies. Last year, the nonprofit helped 261 women, granting them $350,000.

Most of the grants come through the granting program and average $1,500, typically issued within 24 to 48 hours for immediate help – the grants covered things like rent and mortgage payments, utility bills and childcare costs. The scholarships, issued in the spring and fall, are up to $2,500 for women who delayed or didn’t complete their educations and need to improve their financial situations. Last year, A Woman’s Work gave out 10 scholarships worth $25,000.

The Driving for Success program, established in 2015, involves vehicle purchases of used cars from Stapp Interstate Toyota in Frederick, typically costing $3,000 to $4,000, with repairs made by students in the Career Elevation & Technology Center in St. Vrain Valley School District. 

The programs are supported by five staff and 100 active volunteers, including the 16 women on the board of directors. Volunteers are needed and can sign up on the volunteer tab on the website: awomanswork.org. Other ways to support the organization include giving donations and attending its fundraising events, such as the annual luncheon in April.

“The group of people that formed A Woman’s Work looked at the fact that if women are supported, the entire community benefits,”
Gaddis said.

For more information on A Woman’s Work, to donate or get involved, visit awomanswork.org

A Women’s Work
P.O. Box 817, Longmont, CO 80502

By Shelley Widhalm, Longmont Magazine