(Rock Island, Ill.) – Delfina Vazquez, founder and CEO of Selma Community Outreach Ministries, has been awarded a $10,000 Nation of Neighbors℠ grant by Royal Neighbors of America, one of the first and largest women-led insurers in the U.S. Ms. Vazquez began her work back in 2014, feeding the homeless of her community from the back of her car. Five years later, Ms. Vazquez had formed Selma Community Outreach Ministries (Selma C.O.M.) and, partnering with other community organizations, broadened her focus from providing folks in need with merely a hand-out to giving them a hand up.
Today, Selma C.O.M.’s offerings include mobile shower facilities, hygiene care kits, clean clothing, meals, and connecting their clients with other community resources to assist with addiction, mental health, and more. Ms. Vazquez and her team then turned their attention to providing more permanent shelter for those they serve. In 2019, in conjunction with other local groups, Selma C.O.M. was able to serve 25 women with children, providing hotel rooms and identifying alternative housing.
In the meantime, Selma C.O.M. was also raising the funds needed to start construction on The Empowering Women and Children Emergency Shelter, which will open in October 2020. The shelter will offer not just a stable living environment, but also connection to mental health services, wrap-around counseling, and life and coping skills training. With the Nation of Neighbors grant, Ms. Vazquez believes they will be able to expand their support to include another 35 women, providing a safe and life-changing place when they need it the most.
“We are so excited we were chosen to receive this empowerment grant. Because of this grant, we will be able to extend more help to more women and children. The grant will fund a free, safe room for a full year for a mom and her children,” states Ms. Vazquez. “And we’ll be able to provide a place where children in our shelter can access the internet to do their online schooling, as well as tutors and activities,” she adds.
Patricia Adams, Director, Underwriting, at Royal Neighbors, will lead the virtual award presentation. “We are honored to be able to support Ms. Vazquez and Selma Community Outreach Ministries. The compassion and caring demonstrated by Ms. Vazquez in her support for the disenfranchised in her community is inspiring. For more than 125 years, Royal Neighbors has sought to empower women to make a positive impact in their communities. And being able to provide financial support to organizations like Selma C.O.M., who give women a hand up when they need it most, aligns perfectly with that mission,” says Ms. Adams.
Nation of Neighbors is a Royal Neighbors of America philanthropy program that provides financial assistance to individuals who have a plan to start or expand a business, organization, program, or nonprofit that helps women and/or girls in their community. To date, more than $2 million has been awarded nationwide.
About Royal Neighbors of America
Royal Neighbors of America is a unique provider of life insurance and annuities whose mission is to protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families, and communities. In 1895, Royal Neighbors was founded as a membership organization by nine pioneering women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and children and the importance of localized philanthropy. Headquartered in Rock Island, Illinois, with an operation in Mesa, Arizona, Royal Neighbors serves more than 215,000 members.
Julie Robinson, Public Relations
Julie.Robinson@royalneighbors.org | (309) 732-8303