JCPenney Unveils Recipients of Women Making Change Donation Giveaway

To honor everyday women impacting their communities, JCPenney announced in March 2024 the Women Making Change donation giveaway. The retailer invited customers to nominate women actively serving their community through volunteer work at a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to receive a $2,000 donation grant to the causes they support.

Today, JCPenney is proud to announce the recipients of these grants.

Nina Corder, Women of Toledo

Nina Corder is the founder and managing director of Women of Toledo (WOT), an organization dedicated to providing education, engagement and empowerment to the over 427,000 women and girls in Northwest Ohio. Women of Toledo offers programs and services that help tackle issues critical to women’s economic advancement. Since its inception, the organization has hosted over 400 program activities and sessions, free for most participants, falling into three focus categories: Economic Empowerment and Workforce Diversity, Mentorship, and Advocacy.

Corder is originally from Malaysia but has resided in Toledo, Ohio for the past 25 years. From 2017 to 2018, Nina was appointed by the UN Women – Empower Women Initiative as the Global Champion for Change, currently holds a role as the mayoral-appointed executive member for the City of Toledo human relations commission and is a member of Toledo’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) ordinance.

This donation will provide funding for WOT’s community programs to promote the advancement of women and girls through education, engagement and empowerment.

Darika Brown, Stopping Cry’s

Darika Brown is the founder and president of Stopping Cry’s, a nonprofit dedicated to providing top-quality, sustainable hygiene products and care to underprivileged and low-income residents in the Inglewood, Los Angeles, Culver City and Compton areas of California. Stopping Cry’s envisions a world where every individual has access to safe and effective hygiene care solutions, and where the use of natural ingredients and proper hygiene practices contribute to a healthier and more sustainable society. Since 2022, the organization has donated over 50,000 hygiene products.

Brown was inspired by her father, who raised her as a single parent, to show up for others regardless of their circumstances. Originally motivated to work with youth as a social worker, Brown pivoted to hygiene care during the Covid-19 pandemic after hearing that it was a resource many organizations overlooked when offering aid in the communities. Her goal was to stop the tears and to be a voice for those who go unheard, providing necessary resources for those in need.

With this grant, Stopping Cry’s will purchase wholesale hygiene products for unhoused men, women and children. They hope to one day expand their programs to provide educational resources on the importance of good hygiene and create a transitional housing program for youths in their communities.

Kelenne Blake, Black Mamas ATX

Kelenne Blake is the executive director of Black Mamas ATX, a grassroots birth equity nonprofit organization in Austin, TX that provides no-cost doula support, mental health and wellness resources and community support and education to ensure that Black women survive and thrive before, during and after childbirth. Their goal is to reduce and ultimately eliminate the maternal mortality and morbidity rates among Black mothers in central Texas.

Blake wears many hats in her role at Black Mamas ATX. She supports their team of four doulas, connects clients with the resources they need, organizes events to support the physical and mental well-being of women and build community, and educates stakeholders on the maternal health disparities Black mothers face, among many other projects as needed.

This donation will help address food insecurity for pregnant and postpartum clients with grocery gift cards.

Dr. Caitlin Walker, Levántatech

Dr. Caitlin Walker is the founder and president of Levántatech, an organization working to bridge the gap in fundamental technology literacy skills that are required for 21st-century jobs and educational opportunities. Their mission is to promote more resilient careers and to eliminate economic vulnerability for Hispanic women through empowerment to navigate technology in educational and workplace settings by delivering free, in-person, community-based workshops.

Dr. Walker is a Latina who was born and raised in a border town in the Rio Grande Valley and has over a decade of professional experience in social impact work. She uses her personal and professional experiences to advocate for and highlight the important gaps that remain in achieving equitable access to education and economic advancement for Hispanic communities, especially for Hispanic women.

With this donation, Levántatech plans to purchase laptops, projectors and internet hotspots that will enable more mobile training opportunities directly in the communities they serve.

Leilani Miller, Millennia Ministries

Leilani Miller is the Founder of Millennia Ministries, a nonprofit organization committed to ending homelessness in the Snohomish County, WA area by addressing food insecurity and providing and advocating for crisis, transition and permanent supportive housing. Millennia Ministries helps people in their community go from surviving to thriving through a variety of programs and services, including a mobile food pantry, a diaper bank, courses on financial literacy, mental health care and more to remove barriers for underserved community members to prosper.

Miller started her work with this community by opening her own home to homeless women with children, offering her time and resources to help them become self-sufficient. Miller eventually purchased eight more homes, serving over 400 women and children. In 2005, she founded Millennia Ministries, and has since provided housing to 300 families and feeds roughly 1,000 unhoused people daily.

This donation will help provide funding for a variety of needs including food, diapers, rental assistance, legal help and more.

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