Both community-based nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia have missions rooted in working with people transitioning from domestic violence, substance use and incarceration. As a merged organization, Gearing Up will become a program of Women In Transition. Gearing Up’s current board chair, Andrea Mannino, will join WIT’s board.
“After a lengthy strategic planning process, the Gearing Up board and staff determined we can be more sustainable and grow more effectively as a program within a like-minded organization,” states Ms. Mannino. “We feel that WIT shares our core values of empowerment, compassion, and health and wellness.”
In August of 2019, the Gearing Up and WIT Board of Directors unanimously voted on the intent to merge the two organizations. The merger was finalized when all legal requirements, including a successful review by the PA Office of Attorney General and the PA Orphan’s Court, were received.
“We are thrilled about the merger,” said Corinne Lagermasini, Executive Director of WIT. “Gearing Up’s program model of using group cycling as a powerful tool to support women transitioning from domestic violence, substance use, and incarceration, is a perfect fit for WIT’s core mission and we are excited to add Gearing Up to our service offerings.” A joint team of WIT/ Gearing Up stakeholders will begin laying the groundwork to relaunch Gearing Up and begin programming again.
This merger is the result of a great deal of hard work and effort made possible by generous grant support provided by the Greater Philadelphia Nonprofit Repositioning Fund, and the Women & Girls Fund, the Effie May Beckett Fund, the Christine King Fund and the William P. Gest Memorial Fund #2 of the Philadelphia Foundation; the pro bono legal teams at Ballard Spahr LLP, led by Partner Mary J. Mullany Esq., and Duane Morris LLP, led by David T. Skinner Esq.; Ana Lisa Yoder at Yoder Consultancy, and Wendy Epstein at Epstein Consulting Group.
Women In Transition (WIT) empowers people to move forward in their lives free of domestic violence (DV) and substance abuse, through our free and confidential services: telephone and crisis counseling, peer support groups, individual empowerment counseling, client advocacy and referrals, community education trainings, and WAVE empowerment self-defense classes. WIT was founded in 1971.
Gearing Up was founded in 2009 to create a safe, supportive environment through group bike rides where women, whose lives have been impacted by multiple challenges, can enhance confidence and life skills, strengthen physical fitness, and build emotional health.
For more information, please contact Samantha Lifson, Development & Communications Associate, Women In Transition.