Fairy Godmothers helping lift up Manhattan, Riley County women


Members of the Fairy Godmothers organization were on Monday’s In Focus to talk about their relatively new Hand Up Grant, or HUG.

This grant, which can amount up to $3,000, is given to women 18-years-old or older living in Manhattan or Riley County wanting to attend Manhattan Area Technical College, Bellus Academy, Manhattan Christian College or K-State Global Campus and need financial assistance to do so.

Women wanting to apply for the Hand Up Grant will need to do so through the Shepherd’s Crossing.

“You will be screened financially there,” Judy Regehr, a member of the Fairy Godmothers organization, said. “If you have a Pell Grant, that will serve already as your screening because you’ve already been screened for that. The personnel at Shepherd’s Crossing have an application form that we have provided and they will just ask for some basic information.”

Shepherd’s Crossing is located at 621 Humboldt St. and can be reached at 785-776-1470.

The Fairy Godmothers also try to match recipients of the Hand Up Grant with a mentor for guidance.

“As they go through their program, there is someone that they can turn to to ask questions, get support,” Lucy Williams, a member of the Fairy Godmothers organization, said. “And often times, we end up at graduations celebrating their next chapter.”

Williams said the mentor aspect of the program means a lot to the recipients because they often have not had that kind of support in the past.

The Fairy Godmothers have so far given Hand Up Grants to four women with two more currently going through the application and interview process.

For these recipients, the financial support of a Hand Up Grant is more than just a way to help them get through college, it also helps them obtain an education without going into debt.

“A woman may have a Pell Grant at Manhattan Area Technical College, for example, and then our $3,000 really helps her to stay out of debt,” Judy Regehr said.

This assistance can also help relieve financial stress and allow the recipients to better focus on their studies.

“To these ladies, it means so much because they can’t really afford it and it’s difficult for them to do that,” Cathy Scroggs, a member of the Fairy Godmothers organization, said. “I mean, aside from the worries about studying and getting all that done, they’ve got that financial thing in the background kind of hounding them too.”

Click here for more information about the Hand Up Grant and its application process.

In addition to the Hand Up Grant, the Fairy Godmothers also give grants worth up to $800 to women living in Manhattan and Riley County for various needs.

“There’s a big need in this community,” Judy Regehr said. “It’s women that can’t find help to repair their car, for example. They can’t find any help anywhere else and yet you need to get to work or a woman might need to repair her dentures or her teeth. We can help with things like that with our regular grants.”

For these grants, women will need to apply through one of 10 area agencies. A list of these agencies can be found here.

The Fairy Godmothers organization is funded through donations, charity events and contributions from members, of which their are about 700.

One charity event in the near future is the Lingerie Shower Soiree on Nov. 14th from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Manhattan Arts Center. Clothing donations such as lingerie, plus-sized clothing for women and children’s clothing are accepted at this event.

“They hang them on a clothes line,” Cathy Scroggs said. “So the entire Manhattan Arts Center is filled with these clothes lines with pajamas and different things that are there and it’s just a lot of fun.”

Donated items are given to the Manhattan Emergency Shelter, the Crisis Center, Big Lakes Developmental Center, and Homestead Ministry. Items can also be taken to the Greater Manhattan Area Community Foundation, which is located at 555 Poyntz Ave., Suite 269.

Another charity event the Fairy Godmothers will be involved in is the Grow Green Match Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 22nd, 2020. Donations to the Fairy Godmothers at this event will be matched at a 50-percent rate by the Greater Manhattan Area Community Foundation.

For more information about the Fairy Godmothers and what they are all about, visit fgfund.org.





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