Charlotte Berry, of Women in Philanthropy, was the guest speaker for the SCWLA Midlands Region luncheon held on October 7, 2010 at the Palmetto Club in Columbia. Ms. Berry has lived in the Columbia area for 19 years, but she has been involved in service projects and volunteering for most of her life. Ms. Berry is the former National Chairperson of the Volunteers for the American Red Cross, an organization of over 1.8 million volunteers. She stated the organization Women in Philanthropy soon will be celebrating its 10th anniversary, and since its inception it has given over $500,000 to 27 different agencies to help women and children in need.
Woman in Philanthropy is co-sponsored by two other organizations, the United Way and the Central Carolina Community Foundation. It has a part-time liaison, Hope Whitesides, whom Ms. Berry thanked for her invaluable assistance. Ms. Berry stated there are many creative ways people can raise awareness of worthy causes to assist their communities. For example, a woman in Greensboro, North Carolina raised $10,000 to benefit the United Way from just 40 people. The woman started by asking for support from 20 female CEOs in Greensboro, then asked 20 husbands to give “in honor of their wives.” It worked, and Ms. Berry was impressed by both her results and her creativity.
Ms. Berry encouraged all SCWLA members to get involved in some form of volunteering, explaining not only do you help others by bettering the lives of those around you, but you also help yourself in several ways — by experiencing the joy of giving, by obtaining networking opportunities, and by having a voice in how the funds raised are actually used.
She also encouraged women to seek leadership roles and noted Woman in Philanthropy has joined with The Alliance for Women to host a “Food for Thought Luncheon Series,” which brings dynamic speakers to women in the Midlands. These luncheons are usually held the second Tuesday of each month (except December) at the Capital City Club in Columbia. Ms. Berry closed by observing that you can “benefit from anything you are willing to take a chance on” and that everyone can make a difference in the community. She remarked that the greatest gift is to give of ourselves, be it our time, ideas, spirit, encouragement, or consideration for others.
For more information on Women in Philanthropy or the Food for Thought luncheons, please visit http://www.womeninphilanthropy.com or contact Hope Whitesides at 803-748-7287.