Beth Ellen Holimon

Four People and a Bottle of Wine

One of the reasons I love living in South Carolina is the friendly people; they are so darn amiable and curious. If you are waiting in line at the grocery store, you’ll learn exactly what the lady in front of you is cooking for her family dinner, which child likes chicken, and which one doesn’t like chocolate. She’ll want to know where you are from and if you live nearby. You can just imagine what the conversation is like when you go to get a mammogram! Details


DFW Delegation Visits New York on Learning Trip

By Beth Ellen Holimon, DFW President

As Dining for Women grows, we see this as an opportunity to enhance the successful methods we have used to empower women and girls around the world. Growth inevitably brings change, and we are ensuring that we have relationships and access to research as we make decisions about the future. And this is not something we do without our members! We are always looking to improve, but 2017 is a more intense year of exploring and learning from other sources. Details

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21
Dec

Marsha’s Legacy: Believing in DFW Miracles

As I enter my third year with Dining for Women, I have learned a great deal about this wonderful organization.  I’ve learned from members, staff, and the board, but I have to say that my principal education has come from DFW co-founders Marsha Wallace and Barb Collins. DFW owes its strength, its grace, and its future to these two outstanding women!

As Barb transitions from her Chair role on the board, I am grateful for her tenacity and her leadership.  She leaves a legacy of great governance and a forward-thinking board.  She has painstakingly placed the groundwork for DFW’s future  – one that we can all be proud of! I look forward to continuing to work with her as she remains on the board and will chair the Resource Development Committee. Details

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28
Nov

Stories from Peace Corps Volunteers: DFW’s Partnership in Action

I am thrilled to share the newest projects that have been awarded over the past few months through Dining for Women’s partnership with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn program. From Madagascar to Kyrgz Republic, DFW members have supported girls in locations we’ve never reached before!

To refresh your memory, DFW entered into a partnership with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Program earlier this year for the purpose of reducing the barriers that girls have in obtaining an education. We invested $100,000 to implement projects all over the world at “the last mile” where women and girls face the most extreme obstacles to education.  When funds are provided to an approved Let Girls Learn project, the community must raise 25 percent of the cost, ensuring that these projects have the support of the community. Details


Our 2020 Vision Achievements

In looking at what DFW has achieved towards our 2020 Vision, the pieces that stand out the most over this year are our partnership with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Program, welcoming the voices of our members into more areas of decision making than ever before through committees and volunteering, and continuing to present life-changing and inspiring projects and issue education for our members.  I’m excited to share a more in-depth look at our achievements. Details

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26
Oct

DFW Receives Charity Navigator’s 3 Star Rating!

Thank you to all our members who voted to get Dining for Women rated on Charity Navigator!  For the first time, DFW is on the list of rated charities with Charity Navigator, which is the world’s largest and most utilized evaluator of charities. There are 1.57 million nonprofits registered in the U. S. and Charity Navigator does not rate all of them, even those eligible to be rated under their criteria.  It took our members voting for us to be rated to get on their radar. Details

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28
Sep

Make Some Good News!

Did you know that YOU are MAKING good news?

Since 1990, extreme poverty has been reduced by 50 percent.  Take that in for a moment. Dining for Women has been here for 13 of those years – you are part of something big!  If you ever doubted that you are changing the world, doubt no more.

With the UN ambition to end extreme poverty by 2030, the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon has been stressing the importance of funding the implementation plans to achieve these goals.  “Implementing the 2030 Agenda will strengthen our collective ability to address short-term risks and build long-term resilience,” he recently stated.

At DFW, we are 100 percent behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals and we, as members of DFW, are part of the larger movement to MOVE THAT NEEDLE on extreme poverty! Details

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26
Aug

DFW Achieves Platinum Status on GuideStar

Donors and volunteers can find many sources of information on nonprofit organizations. Two of the most well-known resources are GuideStar and Charity Navigator, both of which are 501(c)3 organizations. Since I have been with Dining for Women, many members have asked me about DFW’s status on GuideStar and Charity Navigator, and I want to give you an update.

We are so excited that, after two years of working on foundational aspects of Dining for Women, we have achieved Platinum Status at GuideStar! Details

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26
Jul

Beyond Dining – Diversity and DFW

By Denise Woods, Chair of the DFW Diversity Committee and Beth Ellen Holimon, President

Dining for Women was founded on a culture of inclusion and the belief that all women and girls matter. With racial justice in the headlines of American newspapers on a daily basis, we want to take this opportunity to engage our members in a conversation about diversity and unity at DFW.

DFW stands for equity, justice and compassion for all women and girls living in extreme poverty in developing countries. The women and girls we serve represent diverse races and ethnicities from around our world. We recognize that DFW’s board, staff, volunteers and members overwhelmingly do not look like the women and girls we champion.  While this does not describe every DFW member, it is safe to say that we are largely a homogenous group of white women of a certain age, education, and income level. We need to determine the reason for this and, more importantly, what we can do about it (see below). Details

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29
Jun

Panel of Experts Established to Advise DFW

I am delighted to announce that Dining for Women has established its Panel of Experts with our first two extraordinary individuals.  The Panel is a collection of individuals who bring unique skills and expertise, and provide advice and recommendations to the Board of Directors and staff.

Ambassador Steven Steiner, our first Expert, serves as a Gender Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). USIP is an independent, nonpartisan organization that works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world.  Ambassador Steiner leads the global effort to educate men about the importance of gender equality and the benefits of empowering women in all parts of the peace process. In May, he was quoted as saying, “You can’t succeed on women, peace and security if you don’t have, in each country, a concerted, organized effort to engage men to understand and to support the rights of women.” Details

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23
Mar

Let Girls Learn Partnership is a Big Step Toward Our 2020 Vision

What a month we have had at Dining for Women! Less than a year ago we were hammering out the details of our 2020 Vision and on March 8th we met the First Lady of the United States to celebrate our partnership with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn program.

DFW’s Partnership Program is now initiated with this proactive, issue-based funding for girls education. This partnership allows us to coordinate our work with other organizations to make a global impact. It is the necessary balance to our Featured Grants in which we are able to respond to needs identified by in-country organizations. Now, in the company of organizations like Proctor and Gamble, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, J. Crew, and Salesforce Foundation, we are part of a bigger movement to eliminate the barriers to education for girls all over the world. Details

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22
Feb

International Women’s Day – Women’s Equity vs. Equality

By Beth Ellen Holimon, Dining for Women Executive Director

International Women’s Day is March 8th and this year’s theme – “Pledge for Parity” – brings up the issue of equality. According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2133. We know the benefits of closing the gender gap – Dining for Women Co-Founder Marsha Wallace addressed it in her blog and I addressed it in a blog as well. We know the importance of equality, but we also need to recognize the importance of equity. Details

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27
Jan

Laying the Foundations for Growth

Last year, Dining for Women announced its 2020 Vision, with plans to grow our organization to 20,000 members by the year 2020. This is indeed a bold goal, and one that we believe is achievable over the five-year period. Our focus this year is on laying the foundations for our future growth, and we are off to a great start! I want to tell you about an important initiative that has recently been under way. Details

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28
Dec

Dining for Women’s Theory of Change

As the board and I worked to culminate the voices of members, leadership volunteers, and staff for the 2020 Vision, we had to look hard at the desires of the future.  Most importantly, we had to understand what Dining for Women is trying to change.  This instigated a very interesting discussion because, as we have been pointing out throughout this year, there are many points of change in our model.  As we pursue our vision of change, we recognize that Dining for Women must create a number of transformations along the way: Details

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29
Nov

DFW’s 4 Programs Add Up to Big Impact

In my very first week at Dining for Women, I sat around a table with our Board of Directors while Barb Collins, Board Chair and Co-Founder, asked each of us to share our “Dining for Women Story”. It was my first time meeting Anne Capestrain, but she told a story I will never forget. She shared how DFW had given her the opportunity to be a part of other women’s lives and, in doing so, she was inspired and her life had been transformed. I have visited about 50 chapters this year and have heard similar stories across the country.

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29
Oct

Syrian Refugee Crisis: A Firsthand Perspective

It is devastating to see and read about the Syrian refugee families, and I find myself searching constantly for more information, more perspective. Dining for Women’s featured program in January was the Collateral Repair Project (CRP), which helps refugees living in Jordan. Our $37,000 grant is being used to provide psychosocial and wellness programs as well as leadership training for refugee women, many of whom have escaped from the conflict in Syria. I wanted to loop back with CRP to dig a little deeper into the perspective of the refugees and the future. Details

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22
Jun

DFW Without Volunteers

Dear DFW Member-Volunteers,

After coming off two three-day weekends with Dining for Women volunteers, I am more grateful than ever for what you do, how you think, and the impact you have on Dining for Women.  DFW is extremely reliant on volunteers and the thought of all our volunteers going on vacation for a month at the same time is frightening.  Fortunately, because I like to think positively, this will never, ever, ever happen.   Then a tiny voice in the middle of the night says, “Beth Ellen, wake up.  What IF DFW volunteers did NOT show up for a month? What would happen?”

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