Dining for Women
AdvocacyPanel&Committee
1
Jun

Millions of Women and Girls Are Threatened by Cuts to U.S. Foreign Aid

By Betsy Dunklin, Chair of Dining for Women’s Advocacy Committee

Experts on the well-received advocacy panel at our National Conference (see photo) emphasized that NOW is the perfect time to add your voice to your dollars to help impoverished women and girls in developing countries.

Action on the just-passed FY2018 and proposed FY2019 budgets is taking place in both the House and Senate over the next month or so. The Administration has proposed a more than 30% cut to the International Affairs (IA) budget for FY2019. The IA budget is historically just 1% of the total US budget. Details

0618 PA Abington-1 check photo
31
May

Celebrating 10 Years of Friendship and Purpose

The PA, Abington-1 chapter, started and still led by Debbie Britt and Mary Liz Jones, is celebrating 10 years of friendship, connection and learning – and it all started with a desire to help others.

Mary Liz saw a magazine story about DFW and kept it for quite a while, ultimately discussing it with Debbie. The pair contacted DFW co-founder Marsha Wallace and decided to start a chapter. They initially met with about a dozen people to tell them about DFW and collaborative giving before holding their first chapter meeting in May 2008. Details

0618 quilt
31
May

Stitching a Brighter Future

Quilters create a different kind of art. It is one that is frugal, often relying on source material of leftover or repurposed fabric. It brings people together to focus time and effort on each delicate stitch. It creates warmth, both the physical kind that comes from a layered blanket and the emotional kind that accompanies a handmade heirloom. And for Margaret Guthrie, that art is a way to contribute to causes that touch her heart. Details

SharingBestPracticesPhoto
24
May

Change Up Your Meetings By Taking Them Outside

By Ruth Bates, Northeast Region Mentor and member of the Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

Do you feel like your meetings sometimes get a little monotonous?  Do you have a month when you can’t find someone willing to host your chapter meeting?  My chapter had that happen early last summer.  Historically, certain members have volunteered for specific months for many years running.  Last year in June, we suddenly found ourselves without a host.  Our perennial host and chapter leader found herself in the midst of a family relocation. We had to be creative to solve this change in plans. Details


Act Now to Impact the 2019 Foreign Aid Budget

By Betsy Dunklin, Advocacy Committee Chair

 

Support is growing internationally to put women and girls at the core of a country’s foreign aid to end extreme poverty.  Will you add your voice to keep the U.S. moving in this direction? Now is a perfect time to tell your representatives in Congress how you feel. It is especially important to counter the administration’s renewed proposal to slash programs aimed at global poverty reduction. Details

BestPractices
18
Apr

Sharing Best Practices: Get Creative to Increase Your Meeting Attendance

By Betty Purkey-Huck, Rocky Mountain Regional Leader and Chair, Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

Oh my gosh, there were only three members at my chapter meeting last night! What’s going on?

Has that ever happened to you?  You may be used to 12 members attending your meetings and suddenly only three or four are showing up.  You haven’t been paying attention and all at once you notice and realize that attendance at your meetings has been declining over the last six months. Maybe you need to look closer at what is happening. Details

ChezLando
29
Mar

Rwanda 2018 – Day 2 – Rwandan Culture, History, and the 1994 Genocide

By Jackie Saber (Raleigh, NC)

Walking from my room along the beautiful Chez Lando’s fragrant paths, lined with neatly trimmed green hedges and what seemed like the aroma of honeysuckle, on my way to our morning gathering.  Air shifting, not quite a breeze but enough to fill my ears with the sound of a certain humming of activity throughout the grounds, all a pleasant and soothing start to what would, in contrast, be one of the most emotionally intense days, for me, of our learning journey to this amazing small country in the middle of East Africa.  We were off first to the deeply inspiring Nyamirambo Women’s Center, in one of the poorest traditional neighborhoods in Kigali, to learn how women have taken matters in their own hands, struggled to earn, to learn.  In the afternoon, the Kigali Genocide Museum.  After a delicious cup of coffee with hot milk and an omelette at our lovely hotel Chez Lando, I boarded our bus with incredible curiosity, excitement, along with a bit of jet lag.  Soon, though,  I was completely immersed in the incredible day that was to follow…..although a long-time advocate for women and children and a donor to women’s giving funds, I am entirely new to Dining for Women (DFW) and can’t wait to get out and see some of the projects that have been funded and learn what’s working, what’s not, and what information we might gather from the women in the community to take back to DFW. Details

Dinner with Jean-Claude Butera of the Rwandan Men’s Resource Center.
29
Mar

Rwanda 2018 – Day 3 – Talking Gender in Rwanda

By Wendy Wheeler (Newton, MA)

On Day 3 of our amazing Dining for Women Rwanda trip, the major focus was gender equity. Some background: women are remarkably well-represented in the Rwandan government. When Rwanda ratified its constitution in 2003, they outlawed discrimination to prevent the ethnic persecution that resulted in the 1994 genocide. But beyond ethnic equality the constitution also established gender equality, and many new laws were enacted. The constitution requires that 30% of government decision-making positions be held by women. In fact, that target has been exceeded across the government: 64% of the parliament representatives are women – the highest percentage worldwide! Details

SHEGroupShot
29
Mar

Rwanda 2018 – Day 4 – Visiting Our First DFW Grantee

By Vicki Meitus (Denver, CO)

It was day 4 and after breakfast, we were off to visit one of the DFW grantees, SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises). As we boarded the bus for our venture into the countryside, we were pleasantly surprised to be joined by Connie Lewin, Director of Strategy for SHE (and a DFW Board member) and Danielle Raso, Business Development Associate. Both work in the New York office, and it was an amazing coincidence that their trip to Rwanda overlapped with ours. We were also joined by Flora Ufitinema, Field Operations Associate, and Daria, Business Development Manager, who both reside in Rwanda. Details

Gifts2
29
Mar

Rwanda 2018 – Day 5 – Gardens for Health Visit

By Marie Vayo-Greenbaum (Wilmington, DE)

Another beautiful African morning dawns as we sip our strong coffee and prepare to visit the facilities of Gardens for Health, just outside of Kigali. We have a full day’s visit planned with lots of interesting interactions along the way. It feels great to get off the bus and have an opportunity to walk around the farm where so many things are happening all at once. We are greeted first by Bailey who offers us an overview of the goals and objectives of this energetic non-profit. Details

Judy Bacon
19
Mar

Sharing the Workload of Running Your Chapter

By Judy Bacon, Volunteer Mentor, Chapter Leader of WA, Spokane Valley-1, and member of DFW’s Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

You are a fantastic and devoted Dining for Women chapter leader. In fact, you’re Wonder Woman! You do it all, and you do it well.  You schedule the meeting, you plan the meeting, you invite everyone, you find a hostess and a presenter, you run the meeting, you deposit the checks– you’re amazing. But wait! You are beginning to feel exhausted, and no one else knows how to do what you do. Your chapter would fold without you. For your own sake and for the sake of your chapter, you need help. Details

Betty Purkey-Huck
15
Feb

Do You Have a Plan for Chapter Leader Succession?

By Betty Purkey-Huck, Rocky Mountain Regional Leader and Chair of DFW’s Chapter Health and Retention Committee

You just found out that your spouse/partner is being transferred to another city and you are moving. Your first thought isn’t about your DFW chapter and it shouldn’t be, but what is going to happen to your chapter when you move? Details

Greenville-1
29
Jan

From A Simple Meal to Changing the World: 15 Years Later

It all started around the dinner table. In 2003, Dining for Women Co-Founder Marsha Wallace celebrated her birthday with a simple fundraising dinner with friends. That meal would lead to DFW and its first chapter – SC, Greenville-1 – which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

“After  15 years of inviting DFW into our Greenville homes, we celebrate the power of an individual to shape the lives of others,” said Co-Founder Barb Collins. “Our fervent belief that investing in the futures of women and girls transforms the world is proving that collective giving is a powerful force for change.” Details

SuePrener
22
Jan

Cloudy with a Chance of Sleet and Snow: Keeping the momentum going in every sort of weather

By Susan Prener, Co-Leader of our Northeast Region and member of our Chapter Health and Retention Committee

 

As we shared in last month’s issue, chapter health and retention is very important.  We want all our chapters to stay healthy, active, and engaged long into the future. Our volunteer Chapter Health and Retention Committee is focusing on best practices for chapter longevity and sharing these practices with you through a series of monthly blogs. Our goal is to bolster existing chapters, even as we grow more chapters throughout the country. This month we are talking about the importance of holding regular chapter meetings and the challenge of winter weather! Details

PattyandLinda
21
Dec

West RLs Stepping Down

Many thanks to our West Regional Co-Leaders Patty Karabatsos and Linda Dougall for their years of faithful service to DFW. Both are completing their terms and stepping down from their positions at the end of February. We are currently seeking volunteers to serve as our West Regional Leaders. For more information, please contact Wendy at wendy@diningforwomen.org. Details

DSCN2019
4
Dec

Why You Should Visit Rwanda: A DFW Member Experience

By Linda Baxter, Dining for Women Member 

As part of Dining for Women’s Travel Program, a group of travelers will visit Rwanda February 18-25, 2018. DFW member Linda Baxter lived and worked in Rwanda and shares her experience in the country.

In 2014 and 2015, I was living in Rwanda and working for the Human Resources for Health (HRH) project. Our goal was to assist the staff of the University of Rwanda in their efforts to improve medical and nursing education and practice. I was assigned to a more rural school of nursing and midwifery in the town of Gicumbi (Byumba) where I worked with faculty, and students – in classrooms as well as the hospital and local health center. Details

Internally displaced South Sudanese mother Antenate (centre) sits with three of her five children, on the spot where they sleep outside in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site adjacent to the UNMISS base in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan, Friday 16 June 2017. “Soldiers came and started shooting people,” says Antenate, who walked for two days to reach the camp. Her brother, her husband, and her uncle were all shot. “We had nothing. Everything you see here we got here,” says Antenate of her few possessions.

Six years after independence, the hopes and dreams of this fledgling nation have been shattered by armed conflict. Two million people are displaced within South Sudan’s borders, and another two million have fled the country, inflicting unthinkable hardship and suffering. When clashes broke out in Wau in June 2016, thousands of people sought shelter at the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) base on the edge of town and at St. Mary’s cathedral. As of June 2017, 48,000 people live between the two sites, unable to return home, relying on aid agencies for their most basic needs.

Living conditions in Wau’s Protection of Civilians (PoC) site are cramped – it is the most densely populated of the six PoC sites in South Sudan. There are 39,165 internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltering on just 200,000 m2 of land - 5 m2 per person, well below the Sphere standard of 30 m2 per person. St. Mary’s cathedral is equally cramped, with a surge in new arrivals in April 2017 adding further pressure. Some 8,800 internally displaced South Sudanese currently live on the grounds of the cathedral. 

As the rainy season approaches, drainage is vitally important to ensure sanitary living conditions for the displaced. UNICEF and partners are working on sanitation, hygiene and drainage in the PoC site. A cholera outbreak has reached many parts of South Sudan, and staff in the camp are working on preventing the spread of disease i
22
Nov

Uplifting Women and Girls Is the Key to Solving the World’s Problems

By Mansi Mehta, Manager, Global Cause Partnerships

Prevent gender-based violence in South Sudan:

On February 20, 2017, famine was declared in South Sudan, deepening the already existing humanitarian crisis in the region. Today, more than 2 million people have been displaced by violence in South Sudan. Of those fleeing the conflict, 87 percent are women and children, meaning 1.3 million children need our help to protect their childhood.

Women and children are facing immediate risks of violence, displacement, life-threatening diseases and hunger. In addition to this, Details

OH, Cincinnati-2
20
Nov

Cincinnati Chapter Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Congratulations to the OH, Cincinnati-2 chapter, led by its founder, Karen Whitney, on 10 years together!

Karen began to recruit friends to start a chapter, but over time, the membership has changed as some women were unable to continue and others joined in their place. Now, Karen says all the members are new friends to her. Persistence was the key to getting the chapter started and having it continue to thrive a decade later. Details


U.S. Foreign Aid, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Dining for Women is collaborating with Oxfam America to elevate the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in U.S. foreign aid. Oxfam, a global social justice organization working to end extreme poverty, offers resources and a depth of experience in this field that is valuable to Dining for Women as we develop our Grassroots Advocacy Program. We, in turn, have an extensive network of members passionate about improving the lives of women and girls in developing nations. By combining forces, we can increase the emphasis on U.S. foreign aid focusing on gender equality.

Details

NY, Ithaca-1 anniversary
23
Oct

For the Ithaca, NY Chapter, the Secret is Flexibility and Warmth

Congratulations to the NY, Ithaca-1 chapter on 10 years of friendship and support for Dining for Women!

The chapter was founded by Miriam Bisk and Gail Sakai. It is currently led by Karin Suskin, Karen Baum, Judith Ashton, and Sue Rakow.  The four co-leaders fill different roles: DFW liaison, bookkeeper, manager of host and presenter schedule, and manager of emails. They believe that having structure and sharing responsibilities are key parts of the group’s longevity, along with warmth – and, of course, great food. Details

IABudgetPieChart
27
Sep

Understanding the International Affairs Piece of the Federal Budget Pie

By Nancy Jacobsen, member of DFW’s Advocacy Committee and the CA, Tiburon-1 chapter

Remember the pie chart from the Advocacy Committee blog in the September issue of The Dish? Many of you may have been surprised to learn that only 1% of the U.S. federal budget goes to international affairs. This month, we are going to dive more deeply into how that 1% is broken down and how the federal budget, including the amount designated for international affairs, is determined. It is important to know how this process works if we are to understand how we, as DFW members, can make an impact on behalf of women and girls. Details

FedBudget
28
Aug

U.S. Foreign Aid: Dispelling the Myths

In Tajikistan, Mahkfirat Saidrahmonova is showing other women in her community what it takes to successfully run subsistence farms thanks to a program called Feed the Future.

In Afghanistan, a challenging but rewarding internship program is providing Sayeda Korga with job skills that will give her independence and economic security as part of a program called Promote: Women in Government. Details

NC, Greensboro-5
28
Aug

Greensboro Chapter Is All about Fun, Food, and Friendship

The NC, Greensboro-5 chapter is focused on three Fs: fun, food, and friendship. The chapter and its founder and leader, Shashi Khanna, are celebrating 10 years of supporting women and girls through Dining for Women.

Shashi started the chapter at a season in life when she was looking for a way to give back. “I was retired, an empty nester, and needed something to fulfill my desire to change the world,” she said. “Not knowing how or where to start, I came across a quote from Saint Theresa, ‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.’” Details

PeaceCorpwtext
25
Aug

DFW Continues its Support for Girls’ Education with New Grant to the Peace Corps

DFW is pleased to continue its partnership with the Peace Corps in 2017 in order to support girls’ education around the world. We have awarded our second partnership grant in the amount of $70,000 to the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP). The funds will be used by Peace Corps Volunteers and local communities to implement projects that address barriers to girls’ education. Details


U.S. Foreign Assistance: An Issue for Women and Girls

By Betsy Dunklin, Dining for Women Advocacy Committee Chair

Did you see that ecstatic dance of joy at the end of the video on Mali Health, our May grantee? It epitomizes what Dining for Women members often note, that despite extreme poverty and oppression, these women find happiness from their new-found skills, their support of one another, and, perhaps most of all, a sense of power and control over their own lives. And they use this to change the power dynamics within their families, their communities, and their nations. Details


Chapters Celebrate Their Leaders

In April, DFW celebrated Chapter Leader Appreciation Month for the first time. It was a way to recognize and thank our chapter leaders for all their hard work and dedication to DFW. Chapter members honored their leaders in many different ways … from champagne and cake to cards and kind words. Here are just a few examples of the many tributes that took place across our chapters: Details

05 San Francisco - 2
26
Apr

San Francisco Chapter Celebrates 10 Years

The CA, San Francisco-2 chapter, led by Bri Kapellas and Chris King, is both “high tech” and “high touch”. This group of women – mostly in their 20s and 30s – combine busy lives with the desire to meet together for a common cause.

“As San Francisco is a transient city, making good transitions and passing on the leadership has been crucial to our chapter’s longevity,” Chris King said. “Even more so, we hold participation loosely, if people can only come a couple of times a year. It keeps them engaged if they don’t feel like they have to be at every meeting.” Details

GarrityOConnell
26
Apr

Grant Selection Committee Chair Transition

DFW is grateful for the service of Susan Garrity, who is retiring from our Grant Selection Committee (GSC). Susan has been in service to women and girls through her work with DFW since 2009, when she and three friends started the CA, San Jose-4 chapter, which they still lead.

Susan spent 29 years in Operations and Supply Chain management in the medical device manufacturing world, except for a two-year break during which she attended nursing school and became a Registered Nurse. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters of Business Administration. Details


Sacramento TV Station Covers Local Chapter Meeting

KCRA News covered the CA, Rancho Cordova chapter meeting on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2017) and DFW’s Biggest Chapter Meeting Ever. Special guests at the meeting were members of the first Muslim Jr. Girl Scouts troop, who presented the featured grantee and conducted a community fundraiser on behalf of DFW.  

WATCH CLIP 


Ready, Set, Grow! Will You Be a DFW Ambassador?

By Abbie Sladick, Florida Regional Leader and Chair of the Growth Sub-Committee

 

Our 2020 Vision set out a bold goal – to grow from 8,000 to 20,000 members by 2020. You may wonder: why such a big goal? The answer is simple – because the need is great. We have yet to achieve gender equality around the world, and women and girls are still struggling and suffering. We want to grow so we can impact even more women and girls! Details


Set Up Recurring Donations for 2017

By Leslie Mason, DFW Accounting Specialist

Monthly recurring donations are the easiest and most convenient way for you to give to DFW, even if you cannot attend your chapter meeting that month. They also provide a predictable source of income that we can count on to fulfill our mission.

So what does it mean to be a recurring donor? It means that your credit card or bank account will be set up by DFW to be charged on a certain date every month according to your specific instructions. You can change or cancel your automatic withdrawal at any time.

Did you know?….

  • DFW currently has 172 donors that make monthly recurring bank drafts.
  • All DFW staff members donate by bank draft.
  • Bank drafts are the most cost-effective and time-efficient donation processing method DFW offers.

Details

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29
Nov

1,000 Donors in 10 Days!

JOIN OUR GIVING TUESDAY PARTICIPATION CHALLENGE

Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to charitable giving, is Nov. 29. Since its founding in 2012, Giving Tuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities.

As part of our 13th Month Annual Appeal, Dining for Women is issuing a special challenge tied to Giving Tuesday. We want to receive 1,000 donations to our annual appeal during a 10-day period starting on Giving Tuesday. All donations received online or by mail between Tuesday, Nov. 29 and Thursday, Dec. 8 (inclusive) will be counted in this special Giving Tuesday Participation Challenge. Details

Celebrate the Girl 5
16
Nov

Sharing Best Practices – Celebrating International Day of the Girl and Supporting DFW Too!

By Cynthia Sawtell, Mentor in our West Region, and Chapter Leader of CA, San Anselmo-1

On Oct. 9, the three chapters of Marin County, CA (San Francisco area) hosted a public event in honor of the International Day of the Girl Child.  The concept was to share with a broader circle of women the work that DFW has done for girls.  We had three goals in mind:  1) to spread the word that investing in girls is critically important for spreading peace and prosperity in the developing world; 2) to do this outreach in hopes of gaining new members; and 3) to raise a little money for DFW.  We called the event “Celebrate The Girl”. Details

STEM1
25
Aug

Preparing Girls for the Future with STEM and Entrepreneurial Projects

DFW’s $100,000 grant to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in support of girls’ education will fund four anchor activities – all of which help girls by removing social and structural barriers that prevent access to education. Over the last few months, we have discussed two of them: GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camps and Clubs and Men as Partners (MAP) projects. This month, our focus is on two additional activities: STEM Projects for Girls as well as Business and Entrepreneurial Training for Girls. Details


Sharing Best Practices: Annual Appeal is Coming Soon!

It’s almost time for our 13th Month Annual Appeal, and many chapters are already getting geared up and pumped up!  There are many ways that you can bring your chapter members together to support DFW while having some fun along the way.

Chapter Fundraisers
Last year, we raised close to $38,000 from more than 50 chapter fundraisers.  If your chapter is considering a fundraiser for the 13th Month Annual Appeal, be sure to check out our Chapter Fundraising Guidelines and complete the online Fundraiser Approval Form before you get started. Details

LGL-16-303-017_Jewel-Peraya-HS-Boys-Sweeping
26
Jul

Let Girls Learn Grant Teaches Men & Boys about Gender Equality

Last month, we updated you about DFW’s $100,000 commitment to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in support of girls’ education. The Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Program helps adolescent girls around the world complete their education by removing the social and structural barriers that many girls face in accessing an education. We also provided information on GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camps and Clubs, one of the approved projects that will be funded through the DFW grant.

Our grant will also fund Men as Partners (MAP) projects, STEM Projects for Girls, and Business and Entrepreneurial Training for Girls. This month we discuss MAP projects. Details

The 2015 Camp GLOW/Bro in Volta, Ghana which was held during the week of August 24, 2015. 

Quick processing for the Let Girls Learn Campaign - NOT OFFICIAL CAPTION
29
Jun

DFW Funds GLOW Camps to Inspire Girls

In March, Dining for Women announced its $100,000 commitment to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in support of girls’ education and empowerment. This grant will be used by Peace Corps Volunteers in developing countries around the world to fund grassroots, community-led projects that address barriers to girls’ education and improve the quality of that education. There are four types of projects that are eligible for DFW funds: the first is GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Camps and Clubs – a proven model for inspiring girls to change their world.

Peace Corps Volunteers organize and lead GLOW Camps and Clubs to promote gender equality and empower young women. Camps range from day-long sessions to week-long overnight programs. They create a safe and supportive environment for learning, cultural exchange, individuality, creativity, leadership development and fun. Peace Corps Volunteers work with community leaders to design GLOW camps that reflect the unique characteristics and diversity of the local area. Details

GLOW
29
Jun

Update on Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Partnership

In March, DFW announced its first impact partnership grant – a $100,000 commitment to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in support of girls’ education.  The Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Program helps adolescent girls around the world complete their education by removing the social and structural barriers that many girls face in accessing an education.

So what has been happening since this partnership grant was announced earlier this year?

DFW’s grant funds have been awarded to the Peace Corps and are already being put into action by Peace Corps Volunteers around the world! Details