Letters of Intent and accompanying Letters of Support are being accepted through March 17, 2023 11:59pm PDT for the Grant for Personal Development Programming for Girls at [email protected]
Application Period Now Open
The Girls’ Friendly Society in the Diocese of Los Angeles (GFS-LA) invites Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Los Angeles to begin the grant application process by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) along with a Letter of Support (LOS) to apply for funding for a program that supports the personal development of girls in the neighboring community.
Background and Evolution of GFS
The GFS-LA program has evolved over the past 115 years to respond to the needs of girls. GFS-LA is part of the national organization which was founded in the textile factory town of Lowell, MA, to provide social support for girls and young women working the in the textile mills at the beginning of the Industrial Age. In Los Angeles in 1906, GFS-LA was initially founded at the Neighborhood Settlement. The GFS program at the Neighborhood Settlement (which eventually spawned the Neighborhood Youth Association-NYA) provided a social outlet for local girls in a shifting population in early downtown Los Angeles.
In 1914, Bishop Johnson encouraged churches to embrace GFS, the “great international society” in order to work to assist lonely and, in many instances, homeless wage-earning girls. The outcome of this movement was the establishment of the GFS Lodge at 1422 West Third Street, Los Angeles, to provide “a comfortable, homelike place providing a kindly, friendly, Christian atmosphere” for working women. In keeping with the tenets of GFS, the lodge was open to all girls irrespective of church affiliation.
In 1945, after WWII, projects such as the GFS Lodge, YWCA and other similar homes no longer appealed to young women. The Lodge was sold and a new program was adopted for girls between the ages of six and twelve with a special emphasis upon the church and its teaching, thereby building better informed and more loyal church women. This new program was headed by Mrs. Stephens, wife of Los Angeles Bishop Stephens. This program has continued since that time, operating in almost every church in the Diocese of Los Angeles at one time or another.
Responding again to changes in society, GFS-LA is offering this grant to enable churches to respond directly to the needs of girls in its neighborhoods. Southern California is a diverse community. The needs of girls to thrive in the 21st century are myriad.
GFS-LA plans to continue to support current and future church-based, traditional GFS branches which cater to church members, but to also widen its impact by encouraging churches to open new and different programs for all girls, irrespective of any church membership, which support one goal: to create a community for girls and/or young women (through high school graduation) to find friendships, develop relationships, and support each other.
Detailed Grant Purpose and Eligibility Requirements
Please read the Grant Document to learn the Program Goal, the requirements of the Letter of Intent and Letter of Support and the specifics which will be required in a Full Grant Application.
GFS-LA is committed to the success of each proposal. A recording of the Online Informational Session is available here.
Please read through these Frequently Asked Questions.
You may also contact us at [email protected]
Grant Application Timeline
March 17, 2023 – Letter of Intent (LOI) accompanied by Letter of Support (LOS) emailed to [email protected]
March 17 – March 31, 2023 – Review of LOIs by GFS Grant Committee to determine which applicants will submit a Full Grant Application
April 28, 2023 – Deadline for Full Grant Application (FGA)
April 28 – June 10, 2023 – Review of FGAs, meeting with applicants, negotiation of final terms
June 20, 2023 – Announcement of Final Grant Recipient(s)
September 2023 – Change the world by launching the selected programs(s)!