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Arab American women philanthropists make grant to local charity



Shaffwan Ahmed

Safe Harbor for Women receives $9,000 from ‘100 Arab American Women Who Care’ event

DEARBORN, Mich. – The Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), a program of ACCESS, held a fundraiser, themed "100 Arab American Women Who Care” on Sunday, March 23, in honor of women’s history month. The event’s purpose was to demonstrate the power of collective giving and working together to make a difference. More than 100 women leaders were in attendance, including state Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), Hon. Judge Charlene Elder of the Third Circuit Court, Wayne County Family Division and actress Sonya Avakian, along with Arab American philanthropists from across Michigan.

Each attendee donated $100 and nominated a charity of their choice. Three charities were selected at random, and then all attendees voted on one organization to receive the proceeds raised from the event. In total, $9,000 was granted to Safe Harbor for Women, based in Dearborn, Mich., which is a nonprofit that works to bring public awareness to domestic abuse and cruelty through contributions to community domestic violence groups in the tri-county area.

“I am overwhelmed that my charity would receive this grant,” said Kathy Stecker, founder/director of Safe Harbor for Women. “When I do my fundraising the money goes to organizations in the tri-county area that support abused women and children."

Stecker said she donates money to Haven of Pontiac, First Step in Plymouth and Turning Point in Mt. Clemens, “That way all of the organizations in each county get funding, and I plan to do that with this grant,” she said.

“I’m delighted by the event. It was an amazing day because so many Arab American ladies got together to leverage their giving power. Everyone felt uplifted by the event,” said Rasha Demashkieh, CAAP board member. “It was so well received that we plan to make this an annual event. We are hoping to have 200 Arab women next year. It created a lot of excitement in our community, and we want to continue with it.”

About CAAP

The Center for Arab American Philanthropy strengthens the impact of strategic Arab American giving through education, asset building and grant-making, in order to improve lives and build vibrant communities. Visit at for more info.


Grounded in the Arab American tradition of hospitality, ACCESS has a 43-year history of providing health, education, employment and social services in greater Detroit to empower people to lead healthy, informed, productive lives. Today, ACCESS extends that mission to a national platform through advocacy, arts, culture and philanthropy. Visit us online at