How the Breaking Barriers Grant and a Spice Mix Transformed Mama Ray’s Life

Francis E. Ray was in a deep depression. She had lost some of her identity after retiring and becoming her husband’s full-time caretaker. That’s when a friend suggested she sign up for a cooking course at the Edna Martin Christian Center, a United Way of Central Indiana partner agency. She had no idea that walking through the doors of Edna Martin would give her the new identity of Mama Ray.


Mama Ray found exactly what she needed to succeed at Edna Martin: a supportive, nurturing staff that helped her hone in on her passion and develop a plan around that passion. Utilizing the Centers for Working Families model at Edna Martin, Mama Ray worked with a financial coach and was awarded a Breaking Barriers Grant, powered by Taft, to make her dream of selling her own hand-crafted spices a reality.


United Way would like to thank Taft for their recent corporate gift that will sponsor life-changing microgrants through Centers for Working Families (CWF). The Breaking Barriers Grant, powered by Taft, helps put Central Indiana’s most vulnerable neighbors on the path to financial stability. Learn more about how CWF is lifting people out of poverty and helping them achieve long-term financial stability here.