WE CAN Receives $1 Million Gift, Largest In Organization’s History

WE CAN (Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking) has received a $1 million charitable gift, the largest single charitable gift in the organization’s history.

The gift from the estate of Richard W. Costello was also made in the name of his longtime companion, Ann Marie Doherty.

The funding will be used to support strategic initiatives including the expansion of WE CAN’s legal, employment, financial empowerment, and mentoring programs. The gift will also bolster the organization’s endowment, strengthening in perpetuity its mission of providing Cape Cod women with unique services that help them build pathways towards stability and self-sufficiency.

“As a business owner on Cape Cod for 50 years, Richard truly understood the needs of this community and the people who live here,” said Lisa Guyon, WE CAN’s Executive Director. “He supported our work and sent people to WE CAN who needed a helping hand during a difficult time in their lives. He saw our mission in action and this transformational gift will ensure more women and families across Cape Cod will be served.”

As co-owner of the Chatham Squire from 1968 to 2019, Costello was one of the most recognizable figures in town. In addition to serving on the Chatham Board of Selectmen, he was involved with and supported many nonprofit organizations and community projects.

“This gift was made to WE CAN because Richard believed the foundation of the organization is strong and they would know best what to do with this gift to help people.” said Ann Marie Doherty, “Richard would be thrilled to know his legacy of generosity continues on.”

WE CAN was founded in 2001 to empower Cape Cod women by providing unique services that inspire hope and bring increased stability, self-sufficiency, and opportunity to their lives.

WE CAN serves more than 2,000 women each year across Cape Cod with free and confidential legal services, employment and business support, financial empowerment, mentoring, and personal development programs.

With a small staff, their work is made possible through the commitment and dedication of 250 active volunteers including volunteer attorneys, employment specialists, and financial professionals. More than 600 individual donors, businesses, and private foundations generously support the organization through annual gifts, monthly sustaining support, grants and event sponsorship.   

For more information about WE CAN, visit www.wecancenter.org.