History

Hundreds of thousands of women and girls helped since 2003

10 year conference: Leadership

Founders Marsha Wallace, right, and Barb Collins at the 10th anniversary conference and celebration in June 2013.

In the fall of 2002, Marsha Wallace, a former nurse and mother of four from Greenville, SC, read an article about a group of friends who met for potluck dinners and collected donations for needy families using the money they would have otherwise spent in restaurants. 

Marsha was struck by the idea of using “dining out dollars” to help others, and the idea of DFW was conceived. On her birthday in January 2003, she invited some friends to her home to celebrate, a hat was passed and $750 was raised for Women for Women International. For the next few years, Marsha and co-founder Barb Collins labored tirelessly in Marsha’s kitchen to nurture and raise this powerful, but simple idea.

Over the years, Dining for Women has captivated hearts across the U.S, and increasingly, the world. DFW has been showcased by the New York Times, NBC Nightly News, People, Woman’s Day magazine, Good Morning America and the Today Show.

Dining for Women works to impact the lives of women and girls worldwide, who often live on less than $1 a day. By focusing on women and girls, DFW empowers women to find solutions to the problems they face through education, health care, and economic development.

Please join us in making a difference.

Our Founding Values

  • All women deserve to be self-sufficient
  • Education transforms the giver and the receiver
  • Connections are the engine that power giving
  • Transparency and integrity will mark our work
  • To reach all, we must believe we can

How it all got started

In this four-minute video co-founder Marsha Wallace describes the original inspiration for DFW and how it grew.