ELKHART — At the fifth-anniversary celebration of 100 Women Who Care, the philanthropic organization in Elkhart County threw its support behind two not-for-profit groups focused on helping women and children.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace and SPA Women’s Ministry Homes were awarded grants at the July 9 meeting.

At the quarterly gatherings, women of the philanthropic group contribute $100 each and nominate not-for-profits for consideration. After several names are drawn, the women listen to presentations on a nominee and vote to select a recipient of a $10,000 grant.

At its most recent meeting, the group raised enough money to offer two grants.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace started an Elkhart County chapter in August 2018 to provide beds to children in need in the community. Through volunteers and discounts from the national organization, the organization has built and delivered 157 beds so far and has 50 more ready to deliver. Families can apply, but schools and service providers can also help with referrals.

The $10,000 grant will help provide about 58 beds to families in need, board president Tim Harmon said. The local chapter has no paid staff and could use more volunteers for deliveries.

SPA Women’s Ministry Homes started 20 years ago in Elkhart when Sandra Bontrager opened her home to women in need. She and others have ministered to hundreds of women dealing with addiction, incarceration or other brokenness.

Doreen Mast nominated the ministry.

“I love her heart,” Mast said of Bontrager. “She started small with big vision.”

The one-year residential program is growing with a 9,000-square-foot expansion with 20 new beds. The $10,000 will be part of a $25,000 match from Keith and Doreen Lambright as the ministry closes in on its $1.2 million goal for the construction project. About $100,000 is still needed in the capital campaign.

“That’s going to get us that much closer,” said Carrie Zickefoose, executive director.

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