Rock Island, Ill. (Sept. 22, 2023) – Royal Neighbors of America, a women-led fraternal benefit society based in Rock Island, Ill. presented Gloria West-Lawson, founder and Volunteer Executive Director of Fostering Hope Florida with a Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment award and grant.
Royal Neighbors 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. Nation of Neighbors recipients are influential leaders who exemplify the Royal Neighbors “neighbor-helping-neighbor” mission of community service. They are nominated by Royal Neighbors members.
Gloria started Fostering Hope in 2004 while working at a crisis intervention shelter. Many of the children Gloria met shared stories about the pain and heartache of being separated from their siblings. Fostering Hope began to help serve that need by providing foster care housing that could accommodate sibling groups. The Hope House gives foster children the structure they need to succeed and offers a place where siblings can stay together while living in a safe place with loving caregivers. To date, 186 children have stayed at a Fostering Hope Florida Hope House.
Gloria serves in a full-time volunteer position. She manages grant writing, fundraising, attending community meetings, advocacy, and works in the Hope House. For immediate needs, Fostering Hope offers Two Kidz Closets that provide clothing, toys, and baby furniture for foster families. The closets operate solely on donations from generous community members.
Fostering Hope will use their Nation of Neighbors grant as start-up funds to open another Hope House for girls and young women who have aged out of foster care. “Many children in the foster care system are not ready for adulthood when they turn 18,” shared Gloria. “The new Hope House will host up to four youth as they grow into functioning adults.”
“Like the women founders of Royal Neighbors of America, Gloria ceaselessly empowers, encourages, educates, and mentors women and their families,” said Royal Neighbors CEO and President Zarifa Reynolds. “Her dedication to supporting her community embodies the mission of our ‘Neighbor helping neighbor’ philosophy. “We are inspired by her work to make a meaningful and long-lasting impact.”
To date, Royal Neighbors has awarded more than $2.5 million in Nation of Neighbors grants nationwide.
More about Royal Neighbors of America
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. Now, with more than 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. The organization’s employees, members, and chapters across the country drive the mission through localized volunteerism and philanthropy programs making social impact the cornerstone of their work. 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 and once again in 2022. In 2022, Royal Neighbors delivered $24.5 million in social good, record revenue and received an all-time high score from the Great Place to Work® employee survey, achieving their sixth Great Place to Work Certification. For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, go to royalneighbors.org.
Marie Young, Manager, Communications
Marie.Young@royalneighbors.org | (309) 732-8280