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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Coastal Women for Change

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts

Mission: To help communities become sustainable as they revitalize themselves in a post-Katrina world, to advocate on behalf of the voiceless, to find the resources needed in the rebuilding process, and to bring timely information to the community so it can effectively influence the decisions made about its future.

Results: The group has started programs to help the community and local economy recover, including child care for working women, computer training programs for seniors, a thriving community garden and an annual backpack giveaway for local children. And they are working to help residents respond to future disasters by providing emergency preparedness training. More than anything, however, the group's mission is to empower residents to take part in their local government. CWC members have won seats on the mayor's planning commission, and the group has organized public forums on federal emergency management, education, affordable housing, and how to elevate the voices of poor and minority communities in the wake of an event like Katrina.

Target demographics: empower the

Geographic areas served: Biloxi, Mississippi

Programs: backpack/school supply giveaways, computer training for seniors, community gardening and mentoring for young people.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

realy didnt like this. not like neybors with zac ifron at ALL. false advertising. it jus a house ful of spagheti-os. what the deal wit that. pictuer bellow is wut I wan it 2 b -corbin bleu cheese

Dothula B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a week with CWC's Executive Director in 2011 at Stone House Retreat Center in NC. It was wonderful to hear her share her experiences with founding CWC but also sustaining the orgamnization and its programs. Her efforts to raise herself up after Hurricane Katrina and then to support other women in need are amazing! I understand the plight of sustaining a small nonprofit organization. It's a constant challenge. Hats off to Sharon Crenshaw and all the people who support her.

L Simone W.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with CWC for more than five years, and as a nonprofit and advocact expert, I have never witnessed a small group have such a profoud impact in the community and the Gulf Coast region. CWC and its fearless leader, Sharon Hanshaw, are a testament to how passion coupled with tenacity can drive positive change. I am constantly amazed and inspired by their accomplishments and vision, and will forever remain a loyal supporter.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Mississippi gets least money per person from foundations than any U.S. state. Coastal Women for Change helps low income residents of the Gulf Coast, which despite its many casinos has much unemployment and poverty. Operating on a shoe string budget, CWC has an annual school supply giveaway in the summer, help distribute toys and books to poor families during xmas and an annual senior appreciation dinner. CWC also works with at-risk youth at the local juvenile jail.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am inspired by Coastal Women for Change ("CWC"). This organization of dynamic women develops the leadership of women to be community leaders in Biloxi, Mississippi and work to overcome social inequities. CWC works for climate justice, gender and racial equality, governmental accountability, quality public education, and health care with the wisdom of knowing that these are not "issues," but are rights that have been denied. For this reason, CWC's work and accomplishments focus on defending and advancing these rights to ensure that women and women-led families live with dignity.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Biloxi Branch NAACP office was the original location for Coastal Women for Change (CWC). I as President of the Branch served on the original board for CWC. CWC began after Hurricane Katrina as an organization designed to keep the Women in East Biloxi informed about the rebuilding process in Biloxi. Ms. Sharon Hanshaw was elected as Executive Director for the organization. She lost her house and business in Katrina. Ms. Hanshaw and CWC have done a tremendous job in the community. They have started several programs such as Computer Training for Senior Citizens, Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors, a Community Garden. They are also very supportive to other organizations such as STEPS, Biloxi NAACP, Miss. Center for Justice, Save Our Schools Coalition, Second Liners Mardi Gras Club and many of the local Organizations. They have personally supported the Biloxi Branch NAACP through memberships, working with our youth branch, developing programs, supporting our Freedom Fund Dinner and Awards Program and Chairing our Mother of the Year Program which is one of our major fundraisers. This organization is still needed in our community and definitely keeps the Women in our community involved and informed about the issues affecting East Biloxi.