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Meeting a Need

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    Students in Melissa Byrnes' First-Year Seminar stand with representatives from Williamson County Community Coordinated Child Care, the nonprofit organization they selected to receive a $4,000 grant.

Students in First-Year Seminar on philanthropy identify a local child care center as the recipient of their grant this year

At $750 to $850 a month, child care can be expensive for any family, especially for single mothers.  

One local single mother is going to get help with her childcare expenses this year thanks to a group of students from Southwestern University.  

Students in Melissa Byrnes’ First-Year Seminar on philanthropy decided to give funds they had available this year to a new nonprofit child care center in Georgetown. The center, which is called the Williamson County Community Coordinated Child Care, or WC4C, currently serves 25 children and has more than 50 on a waiting list.  

The Southwestern students were able to give the center a check for $4,000, thanks to funds the class received from Regions Bank and the Georgetown Health Foundation.  

Lisa Rivers, executive director of WC4C, said the center has identified a 24-year-old single mother as the recipient of the funds. The scholarship will enable this mother to keep her two-year-old daughter in day care for a year.

Rivers said the woman who will be receiving the scholarship is typical of many of the parents the center serves. She has a college degree, but is working for a local nonprofit agency and does not make enough money to pay the full cost of child care.

“We are trying to eliminate issues for families that are trying to help themselves,” Rivers said.

Students in the class solicited grant proposals from local nonprofits and received nine applications.

“It was very intimidating at first,” said class member Marianne Brown. “We wanted to fund them all, but we couldn’t.”

The class finally narrowed the list down to three finalists and did site visits to each of those organizations.

Brown said the class selected WC4C because they liked the organization’s emphasis on education and the fact that they are meeting a need in the community.

“It was really neat to go to WC4C and see the children and how much they are learning,” Brown said.

Kathryn Reagan, another student in the class, said they also liked the fact that WC4C ties its values and mission into everything they do – even making cookies becomes an educational experience as students bake different-shaped cookies.

Since opening in April 2011, Rivers said WC4C has constantly been trying to raise funds to provide full or partial scholarships to parents who need them.

“We are very honored these students chose WC4C to receive this gift,” she said.