It was such an honor to receive the baton of leadership from Barb Collins in November. As Dining for Women’s new board chair, I follow in the footsteps of Barb and Marsha Wallace, who dreamed of making a difference for marginalized women and girls around the world. What a difference they, and this organization they co-founded, have made in the past 14 years.
And there is much work still to be done. DFW has spent the past year laying the foundations to embark on the growth plan set forth in our 2020 Vision which was adopted by our board in 2015. We have strengthened our volunteer network (including the addition of eight new Regional Leaders), improved our use of technology, adopted a new funding model and launched our first Impact Partnership with the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Program. We are now on the launch pad, ready to GROW!
Our primary goal for the next four years is to expand our network of members who understand the need for gender equality around the world. We will do this by growing the number of DFW chapters across the U.S. This will allow you to maintain the size and intimacy of your own chapters – if you would like to expand your chapter, we will help you do that; if you like the size of your chapter now, then you can keep it that way! Either way, you can still help DFW grow by spreading the word and encouraging new chapters in your area or across the country.
The larger our giving circle becomes, the more resources we will generate to fund organizations and partnerships that will help women and girls achieve equality and independence. Ultimately, the goal is to have a bigger and broader impact and help even more women and girls!
As Marsha steps back from the active role she has played for the past 14 years, we will continue to dream about innovative ways to foster gender equality around the world. We are so grateful for the energy, nurture and care she has devoted to DFW. Marsha has said on numerous occasions, “I want to have a Dining for Women chapter in every city in the United States.” We will continue to work to make that dream come true.
As we approach the 14th anniversary of the creation of Dining for Women, we celebrate all that has been accomplished and look forward to continuing the legacy that Marsha and Barb have built.
We have much to celebrate and much work yet to do!