Corning, NY – The Fund for Women of the Southern Tier (FFW) is thrilled to announce it has reached its target of funding a $1million Endowment. This milestone means the FFW annual grants process – which supports eligible girls and women pursue educational opportunities and awards local non-profits that align with our efforts to support and empower girls and women in our community – will be perpetually funded.
“This is a huge achievement for the Fund and for the communities we serve. It is a testament to the generosity of our supporters, volunteers, and donors,” said Amanda Chafee, FFW Board President. “There is so much need in our region. Knowing the funding for our existing grants process will now always be there, does not mean our work is done. It means we can and should do even more.”

To that end, the Fund for Women created a new grant that will significantly impact the lives of girls and women who have encountered substantial obstacles or barriers to achieving self-sufficiency. The FFW Empower Grant awards $150,000 to an area non-profit over the course of a three-year partnership to support programming specifically designed to help girls and women grow, develop and advance. The Fund has named Arbor Housing & Development as the first recipient of the FFW Empower Grant.

Women who are residents of Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler or Yates counties and receive case management through Arbor’s Family Self-Sufficiency, Domestic Violence, or Supportive Housing programs can apply for an individual Empower Grant through Arbor. Grant award decisions will be made by a three-member committee and have a maximum disbursement of $1,500 per person.

The selection of Arbor Housing & Development was made after review of proposals submitted to the Fund for Women from area human service agencies in the fall of 2018. “The Fund for Women wanted to be proactive in addressing an unmet or underserved need in the community,” Ms. Chafee noted. “Arbor’s proposal fit our mission extremely well, and we’re excited about the opportunity to help women at their most vulnerable time.”

Arbor Housing & Development sees this as a huge opportunity to help girls and women they work with who may have exhausted other avenues for assistance. “We have a number of clients who are struggling with emergency financial challenges that our other funding streams simply cannot accommodate, “ said Jeff Eaton from Arbor. “This new, added resource allows us the ability to be agile and act quickly on behalf of our clients. Sometimes, that flexibility can literally make all the difference in the world.”

In total for 2019 alone, the FFW will grant more than $100,000 to girls, women, and non-profits in its four-county service area through its expanded grant programming. “When we first conceived of FFW around the kitchen table of one of our founders, we knew we were creating something special, something that had the capacity to do a lot of good, “ Chris Sharkey, past president and current FFW board member, said. “Ten years and a $1million later, it feels like we are just getting warmed up. And we are relying on our tremendous community of volunteers and supporters to help us continue our mission well into the future.”

The Fund for Women of the Southern Tier, Inc. is a 501c3 all-volunteer organization formed in 2009 with the mission to help girls and women achieve economic self-sufficiency and realize life goals. Learn more about the organization, the grants we sponsor and ways you can get involved or donate by visiting