OSHKOSH, Wis. — Strong emotions filled the hearts of those presenting and receiving funds to aid the health needs of women who’ve been abused.
Several members of the Health Care Power of 10 focus group on Wednesday presented a $10,000 check to staff at Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services Inc. in Oshkosh to support its community dentistry program.
“If you can imagine being abused and losing teeth as a result, and then applying for jobs and having to go out on interviews and smile — it means a lot to have the money for this,” said a misty-eyed Julie Denton, who is a Christine Ann staff member. “I can’t tell you how mind blowing it is that you’re doing this. It’s so awesome!”
Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services provides a variety of programs and services to meet the needs of victims, their children and communities in Winnebago and Green Lake counties.
“We are very gratified. One of the things we are working on is how to leverage this money by working with dentists in the community who are willing to help us out with reduced costs,” said Annette Beattie, client services manager for Christine Ann.
“(Being able to get their teeth fixed) are life-changing procedures for some of the people. It really is a start of a whole new life for them.”
The Power of 10 is the 10th anniversary initiative of the Women’s Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Ten focus groups are charged with identifying the issues and obstacles facing women of all ages in our community. The participants then discuss, debate and decide where their $10,000 would be best put to use.
The health care focus group met three times during summer and narrowed the focus of their grant toward dental care for women and children.
“I found it to be very impressive to be able to learn from the people in the group, people who are from all different aspects of the community,” said Tiffany Krings, a health care focus group participant. “I didn’t know about Christine Ann’s dental program and now I can take that back to the nurses (at her job) and share that with them. … It was a great way to raise awareness.”
The organizations represented by the participants on the forum included Oshkosh Area School District, Affinity Health System, Aurora Health Care, Women’s Care of Wisconsin and Healthy Living Community Clinic.
The health care focus group is the sixth of 10 groups made to donate $10,000 toward an initiative that will create social change for Oshkosh girls and women.
To learn more about the ‘Power of 10’, visit http://countmein.oshkoshareacf.org.
Since 1998, the Women’s Fund has provided more than $400,000 in grants to make resources available for causes of interest to women; foster among women a sense of empowerment and philanthropy; and increase awareness of women’s issues. For more information, please call 920-426-3993 or visit http://Women.OshkoshAreaCF.org.