Foundation for Women Warriors Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary

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This year marks the 100 year anniversary of Foundation for Women Warriors, a San Diego-based nonprofit that helps female veterans and their children. The only organization of its kind in the country, Foundation for Women Warriors assists more than 1,100 women and children each year with life-changing services that enhance their personal and fiscal well-being and enable them to reach their full potential. 

On June 1, 1920, the McElroys donated an acre of land near the newly built West Los Angeles VA. They saw an overwhelming need to help the mothers and widows of soldiers lost in the Spanish American War and World War I. Through teas and dinners, they raised funds to build 5 bungalows and operated as California Soldiers Widow’s Home Association. The McElroys and their associates operated the facility until 1976, at which point Pat DeMond took over management of the property, created a board, and hired Bob Long as the Executive Director. Starting in 2002, Ranlyn Tilley Hill served as the second Executive Director and expanded the nonprofit’s programs. The vision was to build sustainable, impactful programs in support of military women, both veterans and widows.

In 2005, and under the name Military Women In Need, the organization began its focus on women veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today they continue to serve women veterans and their children as Foundation for Women Warriors. In 2010, Military Women In Need shifted its program focus from longterm housing subsidies to short-term, high-impact emergency subsidies which resulted in dramatic program growth. In 2016, Military Women In Need changed its name to Foundation For Women Warriors in an effort to empower the women veteran community.

Jodie Grenier, Chief Executive Officer of Foundation for Women Warriors, shares, “We enhance the personal and fiscal well-being of women veterans and their families. Our Women Veteran Transition Services address the growing needs of the increasing population of women veterans. We understand the major barriers to maintaining housing, receiving mental health or advancing one’s career, are the unmet basic needs such as financial stability, adequate childcare, stable employment, and suitable housing. Additionally, women serve with so few women in the service their transition can feel solitary and lacking peer support. Our 100 year celebration recognizes women’s history including the significant contributions of military women, the challenges women have overcome, and the issues our organization is working to solve today.”

Foundation for Women Warriors is a unique support organization created exclusively for the women veteran community. They provide essential programs to empower the resilience and professional development of Women Warriors. Additionally, the organization provides childcare assistance, one of the most overlooked components in military transition. 

Michelle Stansbury is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected] with story ideas!

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