Rock Island, Ill. (Oct 5, 2022) – Royal Neighbors of America, a fraternal benefit society based in Rock Island, Ill. has presented Milly Gonzales, Executive Director, HELP of Door County with a Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment award and $10,000 grant. The award and grant presented to Ms. Gonzales is one of ten Royal Neighbors will present nationwide this fall.
A membership organization with 250,000 members nationwide, Royal Neighbors of America offers life insurance and annuity products to its members and is driven by its mission of supporting women and serving communities. Nation of Neighbors is Royal Neighbors’ signature women’s empowerment program and recognizes and supports women who work to empower women and girls through a nonprofit, business, or program.
HELP of Door County provides services and programs throughout the Door County Peninsula to victims of domestic abuse. The nonprofit organization works to improve the well-being and dignity of individuals, families, and intimate relationships. HELP’s educational programs provide information intended to teach participants how to live a non-violent life, to build trust and respect, to understand the legacy of choices, and to respect sexual timing and preferences.
After ten years as a volunteer and board member, Ms. Gonzales became HELP’s executive director in 2019. Prior to her work with HELP, Ms. Gonzales managed a Transitional Living Program for a Domestic Violence Agency in Illinois. In 2018, Ms. Gonzales was honored with HELP’s Anne Kok Social Justice Award. Additionally, Ms. Gonzales was named one of Wisconsin’s 35 most powerful and influential Latino’s and recognized for the Si Se Puede Awards at this year’s Wisconsin Leadership Summit. Ms. Gonzales is also the Northeast Regional Director of Women’s March Wisconsin and is a statewide activist and advocate.
“I was inspired to work at HELP because the mission and vision of HELP of Door County aligned with my life’s values, mission, and vision,” said Ms. Gonzales. “Our vision is that we can all live in a world free of violence that recognizes the uniqueness and capabilities of all persons. Where all people have access to resources. Where all people respect each other and appreciate differences.”
Royal Neighbors employee, Rebecca Cavanaugh is a member of the HELP Board of Directors and nominated Ms. Gonzales for the award and grant for HELP. “Since domestic violence has a downstream impact, HELP’s program stives to maintain a robust youth advocacy program that provides valuable services in teaching youth about appropriate relationships at a young age to try to eliminate and stop domestic abuse before it begins,” she said. “All victim services are free and confidential, and that is thanks to the generosity of our community as well as grants like this one from Royal Neighbors.”
The award and grant were presented to Ms. Gonzales at the Sturgeon Bay Walk with Me Walk to End Domestic Violence event on October 5.
“HELP of Door County is making an impact by supporting women and their families – not just for today – but also for the future,” said Royal Neighbors Director of Philanthropy Amy Jones. “Ms. Gonzales understands the long-term impact and the power of prevention as well as the importance of healing. This work creates a ripple effect of women’s empowerment, and that is in beautiful alignment with the mission of Royal Neighbors of America.”
“When we heal ourselves, we effect our future legacy and those of our family members that may not even be thought of yet,” said Ms. Gonzales. “Our Nation of Neighbors grant will go towards advocacy, safe homes, and youth programming among other services that HELP provides. This gift will go towards the healing and empowerment of not only the clients we serve but also future generations to come.”
To date, Royal Neighbors has awarded more than $2.5 million in Nation of Neighbors grants nationwide.
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. The rating was affirmed as of November 30, 2021. Royal Neighbors is a five-time Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization. For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, go to royalneighbors.org.
Marie Young, Manager, Communications
Marie.Young@royalneighbors.org | (309) 732-8280