ZONTA Stands for Women in Billings

Local Executives Double their Efforts to Support Much Needed Local Services for Women and Girls
BILLINGS, Mont. - June 6, 2016 - PRLog -- Zonta Club of Billings is pleased to announce not one but two recipients of their annual 2016 Raising the Status of Women grant program. Friendship House and Passages in Billings have each received grant money and volunteer time.

A $5,000 grant has been awarded to Friendship House of Christian Service.  Funds support youth enrichment and adult education programs benefitting young girls and mothers.

According to Matt Lundgren, Executive Director,  "Friendship House serves Billings' south side- a place with the most ethnic diversity, most concentration of poverty, most crime, most single parent families and lowest educational attainment levels in the Billings community. Programs include youth and adult education, workforce prep, counseling, and childcare.  To date we have served over 1,500 families and 185 children with over 20,000 meals provided."  Lundgren says they have seen a "25% improvement in reading and 10% improvement in social and emotional growth. "  Zonta members will also be involved in various roles as volunteer mentors and tutors.

In addition to Friendship House, Zonta women awarded a $1,200 grant to Passages Women's Facility to implement a new evidence based cognitive thinking and behavioral program. The program pairs offenders with community members.  As part of their service, seven Zonta members are each currently mentoring a Passages pre-release resident.  Accepting on behalf of Passages as Chief Operating Officer was Jan Beggar.

Passages sees approximately 400 women a year. Programs include Alcohol/Drug Treatment, Assessment, a Sanction and Revocation Center and Pre-Release.

Mindy Brookshire, Lead Counselor and Supervisor at Passages states,  " These women are felony offenders, but they are also mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. Some do not have positive female supports in the community.  By working with the Zonta members through their grant opportunity, women are paired with strong, successful female role models. We've seen an increase in self-esteem, motivation and some residents turning around to help other residents with goals.  It is an amazing pairing we hope will continue and be replicated in the future. "

About Zonta Club of Billings

While many may have not heard of the organization, Zontians have been diligently and quietly working in Billings since 1950. As a part of Zonta International, the Zonta Club of Billings is comprised of executives and professionals dedicated to the advancement of women through education, economic stability, legal and legislative equality, and health and wellness, both locally and worldwide.

Zonta Club of Billings provides service to women and girls in our community through domestic violence awareness, grants for community agencies, scholarships for students and volunteer labor for local non-profit organizations. Their largest fundraiser is a Billings'  Annual Trivia Night.  Please visit http:///www.billingszonta.org (http://www.prlog.org/www.billingszonta.org) for more information

Melanie Tripp, Director
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Location:Billings - Montana - United States
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