Women, children priorities for fund

In 2011, there were 646 children on wait lists to receive financial assistance for child care in San Luis Obispo County.

Adequate, affordable child care is one of the top five issues for local women who were surveyed by the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation to identify women’s needs.

To assist with that need, the Women’s Legacy Fund raised more than $40,000 in two hours Thursday at its annual luncheon. It hopes to raise $50,000 by Oct. 1.

The money — in the form of an impact grant — will be given to the Child Care Resource Connection to expand training offered to licensed child care providers. Training will be offered in money management, basic computer skills, advanced record keeping, marketing and securing a child development credential.

The goal is to empower more women to run successful child care programs — filling both a need for economic independence and child care for working families.

The funds raised Thursday were given as a way to honor the San Luis Obispo County Women’s Legacy Fund’s 10th anniversary.

The Legacy Fund, started in 2003, offers grants to nonprofits that assist local girls and women by strengthening their overall well-being through education, health and economic independence.

The endowment began with $100,000 in donations from founding members and has now raised more than $500,000.

Philanthropist Tracy Gary, the keynote speaker Thursday, told the crowd of more than 500 people, “The promise of democracy is beautiful, but it is up to us to make it work.”

The money raised for the Child Care Resource Connection is in addition to $10,000 in grant money awarded to four nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping women and their families.

They are: Alpha Pregnancy Counseling and Family Support Center; Assistance League, which provides clothing for middle school girls from low-income families; the North County Women’s Shelter; and the Transitional Food and Shelter program that provides temporary shelter to women and girls with medical needs.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.