Rock Island, Ill. (Oct. 13, 2021) – Royal Neighbors of America, one of the largest and first women-led insurance organizations in the U.S., located in Rock Island, Ill., has announced Regina (Jeannie) Fitzpatrick, volunteer at Community of Hope
Ministries, Spotswood, N.J., has been presented with one of ten Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment awards and grants presented nationwide. In addition to the award, she received a $10,000 grant for her organization.
Fitzpatrick, known as the warm and inviting host of the “Wednesday Night Community Suppers" at St. Peter’s Parish Hall in Spotswood, transformed the sit-down supper to a take-out operation that serves 120 meals each week and offers a food pantry for cupboard staples. Currently, the food pantry serves 724 people, including 313 children, but Fitzpatrick is eager to expand.
“One of the biggest challenges of women raising families and working below the poverty line is their ability to get to where resources are located,” stated Fitzpatrick. “Shift work, poor public transportation especially in the suburbs and lack of daycare can make getting to food pantries and soup kitchens nearly impossible,” she added. In addition to purchasing new kitchen equipment and stocking pantry shelves with items such as diapers and feminine products, the empowerment grant would allow Fitzpatrick to establish a food and supply delivery service giving women with young children an opportunity to receive deliveries when and where they need them.
Darcy Smith, Royal Neighbors’ Senior Member Engagement Specialist presented the award and grant to Ms. Fitzpatrick and Community of Hope Ministries on Wednesday, Oct. 13. “Jeanie’s dedication to those she serves is a motivating example and a master class on how we spend the time of our lives,” Ms. Smith stated. “Women supporting women is a narrative that Jeannie seeks to promote. It is our privilege to honor Jeannie as her compassion, community impact, and work to empower women brings the Royal Neighbors mission to life.”
Cathleen Decker is the Royal Neighbors Chapter leader that nominated Fitzpatrick for the award. “Jeannie Fitzpatrick should receive a Nation of Neighbors empowerment grant for her tireless effort to not only feed a community with nutritious sustenance, but to inspire and build a community of others who will carry on her commitment to serve our food insecure neighbors with dignity, respect, and love,” she stated.
“Reaching, educating, exciting and incentivizing women who could benefit from this food service or contribute their time and talent to help the organization is paramount,” added Ms. Decker. “That’s why Jeannie intends to earmark empowerment grant funds to excite the next generation of volunteers, reaching women where they are… on social media… in a deliberate, thoughtful and consistent way.”
Nation of Neighbors is a Royal Neighbors of America philanthropy program that awards financial assistance to nominated individuals who plan to start or expand a business, organization, program, or nonprofit that helps women and/or girls in their community. To date, nearly $2.5 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. Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895 as a membership organization by nine pioneering women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and children. In 2020, Royal Neighbors was upgraded to “A Excellent” (3rd highest out of 13) by the AM Best Company for overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to certificate holders. For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, visit royalneighbors.org .
Marie Young, Manager, Communications
Marie.Young@royalneighbors.org | (309) 732-8280