Loudoun County-based 100WomenStrong, which seeks to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents, has received a $25,000 donation from The SunTrust Foundation for long-term impact grants designed to enhance the future of Loudoun County by holistically supporting children.

"This donation is an honor and an indication of SunTrust's dedication to our community," said Karen G. Schaufeld, founder of 100WomenStrong. "We admire SunTrust's willingness to step forward and become an active part of programs designed specifically to ensure that LCPS students have access to food, school enrichment activities and much more.

Specifically, the 100WomenStrong long-term impact grants are:

-Community School Initiative: A pilot program at Sterling Elementary School in Loudoun County that will bring together private companies, government entities and nonprofits to offer a range of support and opportunities for children, youth, families and the overall community, including health services, after school enrichment activities, pre-school, family learning activities and homework support. Due to the rapid suburbanization of poverty, suburban schools like Sterling Elementary are in need of such a wrap-around service approach to support disadvantaged students and their families to improve outcomes.

-LCPS Backpack Coalition: In fall of 2013, 100WomenStrong launched a successful $100,000 matching challenge grant to support and/or fill gaps in existing school food programs that provide children from food-insecure homes with weekend meals during the school year. Since 2013, the group has worked with LCPS Office of Outreach, Loudoun Education Foundation, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Loudoun Interfaith Relief and Palmercare Chiropractic to reach more LCPS students who are eligible for free and reduced lunches so that they may receive backpacks of food for the weekends.

According to Schaufeld, the Community School Initiative will kick off this fall with Jaime Rubinos as the Community School Coordinator. Rubinos was previously the operations manager for Loudoun Interfaith Relief, where he oversaw the food and most of the pantry's operations.

Rubinos said, "The community school initiative is an opportunity to unite all members of the community to positively impact the children of Sterling Elementary.

"The goal is to remove barriers that impede child development so that all children have access to the same opportunities, regardless of limiting resources," Rubinos explained. "Donations such as this very generous one from SunTrust are a great step toward helping us make that happen."

100WomenStrong is a component fund of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties (CF) and supports charitable organizations and programs in Loudoun County that address the areas of shelter, health, hunger and education.

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