Special to the Register
BEREA – On the seventh day of its “12 Days of Giving” holiday campaign, Walmart awarded the New Opportunity School for Women a $15,000 grant along with 10 other nonprofits that are helping individuals gain the education, training and resources they need to build and maintain careers.
Walmart’s November call for submissions resulted in more than 21,677 nominations from Facebook users who submitted descriptions of each nonprofit’s impact in its local community.
Submissions were initially reviewed by Walmart associates from across the company, and then a panel from the Walmart Foundation selected the winning organizations.
Lori Sliwa, NOSW’s executive director, was notified three weeks ago but had to keep the announcement confidential until the formal announcement was made on Walmart’s website.
“It was so difficult to not share with everyone, but it was well worth the wait,” Sliwa said. “We are thrilled with this unexpected gift, and even more pleased to know that a graduate nominated us.”
While the graduate who submitted the nomination is still not known, Walmart shared her nomination statement with NOSW:
“The New Opportunity School for Women is an organization that helps middle-aged, low-income women in Appalachia,” the nomination reads. “They educate the women in a three-week residential program conducted two times a year. As a graduate of the school, I can say they drug me off rock bottom and gave me confidence, and made me feel I am a valuable person. Now I am in my second semester of college simply because they helped me.”
Many of the women who attend NOSW are survivors of domestic violence, according to the nomination submission. “Some have very little education, some have lots of health issues. (NOSW) gives mammograms, dental checkups and various other medical checkups to all the women who attend, and have a grant to help the women get false teeth. They basically hand life back to the women.”
Walmart will award a total of $1.5 million to 140 organizations across the country that are providing basic needs and services such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Organizations receiving these grants are featured on Walmart’s “Live Better” tab on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/walmart/app_159319950864987.
Visit www.nosw.org for information about the NOSW.