Farmingdale, NJ – United Way of Monmouth County has launched its first Women’s Leadership Council, a group of philanthropic volunteers focused on meeting the educational needs of children throughout the region.

United Way of Monmouth County’s Women’s Leadership Council was created to foster positive economic and social change and to help ensure that children in our area receive a quality education that prepares them for higher learning or employment. Specifically, the Women’s Leadership Council supports these United Way programs and partnerships:

• An early grade reading program that offers learning activities and books throughout the summer months when children with limited or no access to these resources tend to fall behind.

• A Career Connections program in Asbury Park High School, which works with students to help them stay in school, develop career pathways, learn work readiness skills and gain employment.

• A Stuff the Bus drive for school supplies and a Warmest Wishes drive for children's winter clothing to give local children the tools they need to focus on their education.

“We believe that when a network of caring women get together to raise funds and drive change, anything is possible,” says Patricia Howard, a United Way of Monmouth County Board member and Chair of the Women’s Leadership Council. “I’ve seen first-hand how the early grade reading program fosters the love of reading at a young age, building the foundation that children need to progress in their education. Likewise, the school supply and clothing drives give children the resources they need to focus on their studies, and the Career Connections program ensures that more local teens are ready for success beyond high school.”

On May 21, 2015, United Way of Monmouth County’s Women’s Leadership Council held their first event at Gary Michaels Fine Jewelry in Manalapan where up to 20% of proceeds from jewelry purchases were donated to the WLC. The organization utilized the proceeds to purchase over 500 new books for children in one of United Way’s summer literacy programs at Collier Youth Services.   The Women’s Leadership Council will be hosting a Wine Pairing Dinner Event at Cross & Orange in Asbury Park on Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 6:00pm-10:00pm. Guests will be served a four course meal paired with a sampling of fine wine offered by Cakebread Cellars. Tickets are $135 per person or $1,000 for a table of 8 and can be purchased athttp://UWMCWLC.eventbrite.com. Proceeds will benefit United Way of Monmouth County’s education initiative.

The Women's Leadership Council has several membership levels to accommodate the various abilities of women in the community to contribute both their time and dollars, with donations per member starting at $500 annually. Beyond the annual financial contribution, members can invest their time, professional expertise and talent to advance causes they care about, while having an opportunity to connect with other powerful, committed women in the community.

For more information or to join the Women’s Leadership Council, please call 732.938.5988, ext. 2042. To view the brochure or download a membership form, visit www.uwmonmouth.org/WLC.