Every woman has a clear path to achieve her full potential.
Guided by the belief that every woman is worthy, WWIN empowers women in Washington State to achieve economic stability through higher education and living wage careers.
Empowerment with accountability — Taking initiative as well as accepting responsibility for the consequences of our actions.
Respect with kindness — Seeing the potential in each person and behaving in an encouraging manner toward everyone who touches the organization.
Accessibility — WWIN is accessible to all without regard to race, religion, age, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability.
Stewardship — WWIN commits to responsible planning and efficient management of resources so that we can sustain our ability to drive long-term impact in our community.
There is a star in each of us. WWIN wants to let it shine. It was more than 27 years ago that Julia Love Pritt started a movement that has positively impacted the lives of well over 6,000 women across our state, not to mention their families and communities. For so many, stories of struggle have been replaced by stories of hope, gratitude, courage, and dreams fulfilled.
Washington Women In Need was founded in 1992 by Julia Love Pritt in honor of her mother.
In a brief period of time, the loss of her mother, a divorce, and a cancer diagnosis turned Julia’s world upside down. While receiving treatment, she prayed, “what do you want me to do now?” The answer, was “to help low-income women,” like her mother.
Julia saw first-hand the effects that poverty, poor health care and lack of education had on a woman’s life, specifically, her mother’s life. Julia’s mother left high school to get married, and without a degree she never earned more than minimum wage. With little money to go to the dentist, she lost all of her teeth and wore dentures. She felt inferior, had low self-esteem and suffered from depression and alcohol abuse. Julia wanted to provide women like her mom with the resources to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Through Julia’s dynamic vision, WWIN has made 6,500 grants to women in Washington over the course of our 27-year history, helping them improve their lives by providing assistance for education and for health care needs including counseling and dental, physical, vision, and hearing care. WWIN has changed the trajectory of thousands of lives.
“Starting WWIN had been the most rewarding experience of my life because I know that the women we help will not have to endure the pain of losing all their teeth, they will not have the frustration of not being able to see clearly, they will not withdraw into themselves because they cannot hear, they will have the comfort that comes from having a counselor to talk to in time of stress. But most of all they will get the education they need in order to support themselves and their families.” – JULIA PRITT, WWIN FOUNDER
When WWIN was founded by Julia in 1992, the organization was established to help low-income women transform their lives with grants for education and health care. The grant programs we offer have evolved over time to align with the needs of the women we serve.
Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), WWIN allocated an average of 60% of its budget toward health care. As a result of the ACA, the need for these grants was largely supplanted by Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, which includes medical, dental, and mental health care. For the next five years, WWIN offered Health Care Gap Fund grants, designed to fill in the gaps of covered services and to ensure that women could find a provider and access the care they needed. The need for health care grants was so greatly reduced that the Board of Directors approved a decision to transition away from the Gap Fund in FY19, allowing WWIN to focus more on grants for education.
In 2018, WWIN wanted to reassess the current needs of women in Washington and to explore how we could serve them most effectively. To do this, we interviewed individuals from statewide and regional organizations with expertise in anti-poverty, women’s advocacy, workforce development, and higher education. We also drew on grant recipient survey responses, an issue-specific literature review, and feedback from board members, Emeritus Council members, and major donors of WWIN during our inaugural Vision Congress in July.
The valuable insights that we gathered during this time guided us to an updated mission statement and a strategic plan to introduce new grant programs, with the goal of continuing to build on the success of our existing programs and ensure that the women we serve can achieve their goals.
In July 2019, we launched two new programs that are designed to help women overcome the systemic challenges they face throughout their college experience and their journey toward economic stability:Pathways to Success and Career Launch. In spring 2020, we will hold our first Activate You: Inspiring Women Conference. Please visit the What We Do page to learn more.
WWIN will continue to respond to the evolving needs of women in Washington, and to honor each woman’s dreams and individual path to success. It is our goal to provide opportunities, inspiration, support, and advocacy to the women of WWIN as they work towards their goal of economic stability.