ROCK ISLAND, Ill., Jan. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From a woman's dream to help abuse survivors, to a woman who creates burial gowns for infants out of wedding dresses, Royal Neighbors of America's annual Nation of NeighborsSM Program empowers women and fuels their passions as they "neighbor-it-forward." In 2014 alone, 79 determined women of strength and courage across the country were empowered with nearly $100,000 in financial assistance to achieve their full potential, realize a sense of renewed personal growth, and give back to their communities. Since its inception in 2007, Royal Neighbors' Nation of Neighbors Program has donated more than $1.7 million to over 1,200 families and individuals.
Kit Evans Ford of Rock Island, IL, is a survivor of sexual assault and has worked relentlessly in service to women and girls in the U. S. and around the world. She received a surprise check for $5,000 from Royal Neighbors' 2014 grant program to launch retreats and an annual conference for girls and women focused on using the arts for healing and hope and to further develop her inspirational social media sites.
"The Nation of Neighbors Program strengthens relationships in communities. When you build camaraderie and collaboration with other women, you see you're not alone," said Kit. Founder of Testimonies of Hope: The Intercultural Christian Devotional Community, Kit also has established Overcoming the S.T.O.R.M.: A Program for Women Healing from Sexual Violence. "You do the work to help other survivors regardless, but it helps when you get a pat on the back. Royal Neighbors invested in me so I can invest even more in others. It's beautiful and affirming to know people are recognizing your work."
Grants were awarded for a variety of initiatives including helping women provide transitional housing for women and their families; building awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among veterans; establishing a maternity home for pregnant, homeless teens; fighting sex trafficking; and hosting youth empowerment conferences to prepare young people for college.
Focusing on its history of standing strong for women, Royal Neighbors of America's Nation of Neighbors Program is a unique example of an organization integrating philanthropy into its day-to-day business. As one of the nation's largest women-led life insurers, Royal Neighbors was founded by nine women before women could even vote or own property. It celebrates its 120-year anniversary in 2015 and continues to support women today as it has through the suffrage movement, two World Wars, 21 presidents, the invention of the television, the Apollo moon landing, and major technological advances.
"It is as neighbors that we have the most direct, tangible, and personal influence on each other's lives," explains Cynthia Tidwell, Royal Neighbors President and CEO. "The idea behind the Nation of Neighbors Program of empowering women financially is part of our DNA, and is just as important today as it was when Royal Neighbors of America was founded in 1895."
About Royal Neighbors
Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation's largest women-led life insurance organizations, empowers women to meet the needs of their families with annuities and life insurance products such as whole life, term, final expense, and universal life. One of the most financially secure insurance carriers in the industry, it has the financial strength and stability to ensure its nearly 200,000 members are protected when the expected, and unexpected, happen. In addition to insurance products, Royal Neighbors provides member benefits at no additional cost which currently include scholarship opportunities, health and retail discounts, and participation in volunteer activities that give back to communities through the organization's local chapters. Royal Neighbors' philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women's lives through its national programs, including the Nation of Neighbors Program, and through the Royal Neighbors Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.
Royal Neighbors is headquartered in Rock Island, IL, with a branch office in Mesa, AZ. For more information, visit www.royalneighbors.org or call (800) 627-4762.
Contact: Rita Toalson, FLMI, ACS
Phone: (309) 732-8376
E-mail: [email protected]
SOURCE Royal Neighbors of America