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”.
Our planning committee decided to put on a luncheon and information session modeled after a chapter meeting, except we would do all the cooking. The program introduced DFW, discussed five selected projects and their accomplishments, and then had a keynote speaker from a grant recipient organization talk about what DFW’s grant had enabled for their organization. The menu reflected the five projects with recipes taken from the DFW website and prepared by chapter members.
We were very lucky to get the new CEO of Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF), Kelly Anderson, to be our guest speaker. NYF Founder, 91-year-old Olga Murray, was unable to attend, as she was in Nepal for the grand opening of Olgapuri, her youth village.
One of our members offered her beautiful home for the event. Planning committee members produced some promotional materials, and even approached the school system to get DFW events approved for student community service hours. Chapter members signed up to cook, provide folding chairs, serving pieces, run the registration desk, etc. and our high school volunteers did the serving and busing. Outreach was done through word-of-mouth, using the flyer and a pre-worded email for members to send out.
In the end, we had 58 attendees, of which 38 were women new to DFW (plus 4 of their daughters). So far, 11 attendees have joined chapters and there is some interest in starting two new chapters. We raised $1,520 for DFW’s 13th Month Annual Appeal!
It turned out to be a grand way to bring attention to both DFW and International Day of the Girl Child.