It’s Her Time For AWARE

Westport is filled with non-profits that do great work. Near & Far Aid, Pink Aid, Westport Rotary, Sunrise Rotary — we know their names, see signs for their events, support them as much as we can.

But many others are lower-key. Every bit as worthy — and run by equally dynamic volunteers — they fly under the radar.

For example: Are you aware of AWARE?

Founded nearly 30 years ago in New York by Amy Saperstein and friends, the goal is to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. (AWARE stands for Assisting Women through Action, Resources and Education.)

When Amy moved to Westport, she launched a local chapter. She now runs it with Erica Davis.

Each year the group selects a women’s cause, then partners with a charity to benefit it. Through a fundraiser, hands-on activity and educational event, AWARE shines a light on a different meaningful women’s issue.

One year for example, AWARE supported female veterans. The Westport chapter partnered with Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, a Bridgeport transitional home.

Once a month, AWARE volunteers served dinner to homeless female vets there. They worked with “AWARE kids” to assemble diaper bags filled with newborn supplies, for pregnant veterans in need. And they organized a panel discussion in Westport, with female veterans from 4 military branches.

The partner this past year was Her Time. The local organization helps women impacted by incarceration and domestic violence.

AWARE provided monthly dinners in Bridgeport. Members gave presentations on finance (Galia Gichon), parenting health (Dr. Nikki Gorman), low-cost nutrition (Lisa DesMarteau), special education (Jennifer Kanfer), writing (Jessica Bram), mindfulness (Michelle Didner), family meals (Erica Davis and Amy Saperstein) and meditation (Beth Furman).

AWARE members at a monthly meeting at Her Time. From left: April Lebowitz, Jen Epstein, Allegra Gatti Zemel, Tree Roth, Stephanie Frankel, Michele Glassman.

Other partnerships have included Mercy Learning Center, Women’s Mentoring Network, Connecticut Institute for Refugees & Immigrants, Malta House, Caroline House, Homes for the Brave, International Institute of Connecticut and the Cancer Couch Foundation.

Every year, AWARE hosts a soiree. This year’s is May 20 (6 to 8 p.m.).

Called “Our Time for Her Time,” it’s one more way to aid Hang Time — this time with funding.

Tickets ($75 each) include a whiskey tasting courtesy of Greens Farms Spirit Shop, wine and blueberry vodka from Ridgefield restaurant Brasserie Saint Germain, and lite bits from The Granola Bar.

Click here for tickets. For more information, email

Both Staples and Weston High Schools support active AWARE youth clubs too. These volunteers did arts and crafts with children at the Her Time holiday celebration.

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