Nation of Neighbors Program

Nation of Neighbors

Help YOUR Community Champion

There is only one thing as good as making a difference in your community – helping your community champion who goes above and beyond to inspire and make lives better. Royal Neighbors members have a unique opportunity to support local community champions by nominating them for a Nation of NeighborsSM grant. 

The Nation of Neighbors Program provides financial assistance to individuals who have a plan to start or expand a business, organization, or group that helps women and/or girls in their community. Examples of past grant winners’ initiatives include: Opening a furniture refinishing business to help provide jobs for women in transition; providing support to publish a teen magazine focused on empowering young women; and assisting the Dress for Success® Program which provides professional clothing and interview skills coaching for women aspiring to enter the professional workplace. 

In 2016, $100,000 in grant money was distributed through the Nation of Neighbors Program, $10,000 each to 10 recipients, and more than $1.7 million has been awarded to grant recipients since the program began in 2007. Nation of Neighbors recipients must be nominated by a Royal Neighbors member, but nominees do not have to be a member to receive the grant. 

Ready to help your community champion?

Nation of Neighbors Video

Jane Morse-Swett Surprised with $10,000 from Royal Neighbors.


Meet our 2016 award recipients who are changing the world.

  • Christina Mastio
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    Christina Mastio
    Left to right, Royal Neighbors Sales Agent Matthew Kuhn, nominator; Christina Mastio; and Mary Staver, Royal Neighbors' Human Resources Executive.

    Christina Mastio

    Making Miracles Happen

    Christina Mastio of Parkville, MO, knows what it takes to make miracles happen. With the help of her $10,000 grant, she will expand Northland Miracles, the non-profit she co-founded to help identify and rectify gaps in service to women and children in partnership with schools and social workers.
  • Desiree Crocroft
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    Desiree Cocroft
    Left to right, Susan Bartholf, Royal Neighbors' Product Development Executive; Desiree Cocroft; and Charlene Cocroft, mother and nominator.

    Desiree Cocroft

    Dancing in the Streets

    With her $10,000 grant Desiree Cocroft of Milwaukee, WI, will have the opportunity to mentor more women and girls through her Signature Dance Company.
  • Lena Council
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    Lena Council
    Left to right, Glenda Griffin, nominator; Chris Seistrup, Executive Vice President of Royal Neighbors; and Lena Council.

    Lena Council

    A Dream Come True

    Lena Council, Elizabeth City, NC, had a dream and set out to make it come true. She will use the funds to expand her entrepreneurial program, Dreamer’s Entrepreneurial Club. The program involves teaching, manufacturing and selling products and helping girls establish companies that produce a marketable product.
  • Arlene Malone
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    Arlene Malone
    Left to right, Sheila Campbell, nominator; Chris Seistrup, Executive Vice President of Royal Neighbors; and Arlene Malone.

    Arlene Malone

    R-E-A-D and Learn

    Arlene Malone, Chesapeake, VA, is the founder of R-E-A-D (Rejuvenating Excellence & Accomplishing Dreams), She will use her Nation of Neighbors funds toa program designed to help girls 13-17 years of age prepare for college.
  • Janita Pavelka
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    Janita Pavelka
    Left to right, Janita Pavelka; Curt Zeck, Royal Neighbors' CIO/Operations Executive; Amanda Shoemaker, and Robin Phipps, nominator.

    Janita Pavelka

    Building Communities by Building Businesses

    Janita Pavelka of Oxford, NE, is a true believer in education. She will use her funds to expand her efforts to provide entrepreneurship classes to women and young girls to help build communities in Nebraska.
  • Liz Pitcher
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    Liz Pitcher
    Left to right, Lindsay Fischer; Beth Arthur; Liz Pitcher; Lena Bodkin; and Matt Mendenhall, Director of Philanthropy at Royal Neighbors.

    Liz Pitcher

    Fighting Sex Trafficking

    Liz Pitcher, of Indianapolis, IN, will use the funds to help her increase her efforts to provide outreach programs to rescue women and girls being trafficked through street prostitution in the Indianapolis area and provide them support services that can help them lead happy, healthy lives.
  • Amanda Olson
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    Amanda Olson
    Left to right, Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors and Amanda Olson.

    Amanda Olson

    Aquaponics Farm Takes Root

    Amanda Olson, Moline, IL, has a goal to make healthy food affordable and plentiful while educating consumers on ways they can take care of their own health. She will be setting up an aquaponics farm in Moline.
  • Heather Doering
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    Heather Doering
    Left to right, Mary Staver Royal Neighbors' Human Resources Executive; Heather Doering; and Royal Neighbors Sales Agent Karl Carter.

    Heather Doering

    "Doering" Her Networking Best

    With her grant, Heather Doering, Detroit, MI, will grow her entrepreneurial network, IN3 Network. The network provides inspiration, information, and innovation to women entrepreneurs in the Detroit area.
  • Margaret Greer Gogo
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    Margaret Greer-Gogo
    Left to right, Margaret Greer-Gogo and Mary Staver, Royal Neighbors' Human Resources Executive.

    Margaret Greer-Gogo

    A Class Act

    Margaret Greer-Gogo has a class act with her Pearls of Wisdom Academy. The program offers classes that teach dressing for success, parenting skills, budgeting, credit repair, and insurance and financial planning.
  • Melissa Pepper Nation of Neighbors Winner
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    Melissa Pepper
    Left to right, Melissa Pepper and Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors.

    Melissa Pepper

    Pepper Rally

    Melissa Pepper's Lead(H)er “Strike a Match” Program links 100 young women with experienced leaders to inspire more women to volunteer, run for office, or start their own businesses.
Form #: P00021; Rev. 7-2016
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