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(Rock Island, Ill.) – Joyce Kyles, founder of Memphis-based non-profit Walking Into A New Life (WIANL), has been awarded a $10,000 Nation of Neighbors℠ grant from Royal Neighbors of America, one of the first and largest women-led insurers in the US. A survivor of domestic abuse herself, Ms. Kyles plans to use the grant to expand the services she and her organization provide to help their clients take those first critical steps into a new life.
“We remain humble, appreciative and thankful for the consideration to support our work, as we love what we do and the community we serve,” says Ms. Kyles. “This cause is very personal for me. I give my whole self to this work, and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else!” Ms. Kyles was nominated for the award by previous Nation of Neighbors recipient and Royal Neighbors Chapter Leader, Crystal Chatman, founder of Beautiful Spirited Women.
Ms. Kyles started WIANL back in 2010 when, following her transition out of an abusive marriage, she became aware of the gaps in support available for women looking for a fresh start. “One of the biggest challenges was simply meeting day-to-day necessities and needs. Food, gas or transportation, daycare, somewhere to stay – all of the physical, tangible things you may not be prepared for when you finally take that first step out,” says Ms. Kyles. “Many people assume that if, like me, you have a college degree or were doing ok financially, that you can just start over. It’s never that simple.”
The importance of Ms. Kyles’ work has only grown in the age of COVID-19. Domestic and child abuse rates have increased alongside unemployment. At the same time, donations of resources have decreased. WIANL looks to help close that gap. Last year they were able to support more than 60 victims/survivors. With the funds from this grant, they will be able to provide flexible spending cards to an additional 40 women and their families to meet immediate, tangible needs.
WIANL also includes a relocation component, which provides temporary emergency housing assistance or transportation to homes of friends and/or family, plus wraparound counselling and other support once their clients are out of harm’s way. In addition, Ms. Kyles is developing educational programming around self-sufficiency and self-sustainability, which will address subjects like on starting a business, financial literacy, career readiness, and more.
Cynthia Tidwell, President and CEO of Royal Neighbors, will lead the virtual award presentation. “We are honored to support the ongoing work of Walking Into A New Life and their advocacy for victims of domestic violence. For more than 125 years, Royal Neighbors has sought to empower women to make a positive impact in their communities. Ms. Kyles truly fits that description, and we are delighted she is one of our 2020 grant recipients.”
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