Women Changing The World – One Dinner at a Time

That is the tagline for one of the most inspiring women to women endeavors I’ve ever seen. And we will tell you all about it.

Flash back to September and our annual Menopause Goddess gathering this year. We talked once again about legacy and contribution. MIdlife has made us all too aware that our time on this planet is limited. We wondered how we share might some of the blessings in our lives, whether it be through mentoring, volunteering, public service, or donations.

Then Cyn Venus told us about a project that she has been involved in for the past year called “Dining For Women”. This nonprofit organization was begun in 2003 by Marsha Wallace. The premise is simple: a group of women meet for a potluck dinner and donate the money they would have spent going out to eat to a cause benefiting women.

On their site, diningforwomen.org, they further describe their mission and vision:

“Dining for Women from the beginning has focused on improving 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, healthcare, and economic development.”

“Our Mission
Dining for Women’s mission is to empower women and girls living in extreme poverty by funding programs that foster good health, education, and economic self‐sufficiency and to cultivate educational giving circles that inspire individuals to make a positive difference through the power of collective giving.

Our Vision
Our vision is to create a new paradigm for giving – collective giving on an immense scale while maintaining the intimacy of small groups with a focus on education and engaged giving.”

Dining For Women involves us in two of our favorite things: girlfriends and giving back. Okay, three if you count eating. And I do. I was sold on the idea from the minute Cyn described the concept. And then she shared the following video of the cause of the month for September, 2011: the Fistula Foundation in Ethiopia.  Warning: grab your Kleenex before you watch.

Want to know more about fistula incidence and options for women in Ethiopia? Read the novel “Cutting For Stone” by Abraham Verghese, a stunning story written by a physician that will break your heart wide open.

So: Dining For Women. $10 here. $15 there. Resulting in 1.2 million dollars raised over the eight years it has been in existence. Where else can we get so much return for our money? As for me, I’d much rather have a potluck with gal pals than go out to a restaurant where I have to dress up and be on my best behavior.

The website shows all the ways we can help whether we organize a potluck group that meets once per month or just shop in their Marketplace to support Dining For Women. Let’s see how many chapters we can create in the new year (not wanting to stress anybody out over the holidays. Although it may be a stress reducer to meet with girlfriends and commiserate/celebrate/what have you.)  And hey, what a great New Year’s resolution.

Women helping women. To quote my handsome spouse, Dewitt, “I can’t wait until women run the world.” Yep, me neither. But we’re getting there by doing what we do best. And after all, we are more than half the citizens on this little blue marble. Just sayin’… Dinner anyone?

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4 Responses to Women Changing The World – One Dinner at a Time

  1. Rae November 18, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    a new found friend said to me “we should get together more and do something” welllllll…. i mentioned that i wanted to start a dining for women group and we decided to do it right after the holidays! thanks Cyn

  2. minniepauz November 18, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    Wonderful, fresh idea for women helping women! Definitely am sharing with all my friends! (over 15,000 “hot” and “used to be hot” women! LOL

  3. Theresa November 18, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    I was, once again, moved by what Cyn Eunice shared with us a few months ago. i have a group of young women coming to join me for the Thanksgiving Day holiday and I plan on sharing the message and forming our own group. Thank you Lynette for reminding us of the need for women to be there for women.

  4. Cynthia (aka Cyn Venus) December 5, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    I’d like to add that there is a chapter search feature on the DFW website. If there is no chapter near you, it is REALLY easy to start your own chapter. All the support you need is on the website, right down to sign-in sheets, outlines for how to run your first meeting, plus the rich monthly program facts, recipes, suggested reading.

    And DFW has regional support volunteers who will coach new leaders. If you think you are too busy to organize and run a chapter, think again. There are so many creative ways for a chapter to run. At the recent DFW Leadership Summit, I met several groups with shared leadership – one chapter had 4 leaders, busy working women all!

    Check it out at http://www.diningforwomen.org

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