What moves you to give your time, talent and financial resources?
"I joined the Harriet Tubman Foundation in 2002. I felt that the story of the Harriet Tubman High School should be told.
Many people were unaware of the history of the Harriet Tubman High School. When the building is completed, the story will be shared with the community."
- Bessie Bordenave
Read more here - "Bessie Bordenave, Dedicated to Preserving a Legacy"
Learn more about the WGC's "Our Giving, Our Stories", a year-long series of giving profiles designed to celebrate women's philanthropy and amplify the voices of women and girls in Howard County.
Double click the profile to the right to read it as a large PDF - enjoy!
Latest news from the WGC.
Happy New Year!
2022 marks 20 years that the WGC has been working to make a difference in our community. We have so much to look forward to in 2022 as we celebrate the WGC's 20th Anniversary year and we hope you will join us along the way, including as a sponsor!
We are excited to celebrate this important year at our upcoming WGC Virtual Annual Celebration on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 5:30 pm - International Women's Day, with Keynote Speaker Jeannie Infante Sager, Director of the Women's Philanthropy Institute, who will discuss "Gaps and Growth in Philanthropic Support for Women and Girls". And, we'll host a conversation on "The State of Women and Girls in Howard County" as well as provide highlights of our last 20 years, and discuss what we have planned ahead. You can purchase your ticket here today.
You can learn more about our 20th Anniversary Year sponsorship opportunities here. All $500 or above sponsorships include support of our upcoming 2022 State of Women and Girls in Howard County Report and will be listed on the report. Many thanks to our sponsors to date, including our Premier Sponsor, Barbara K. Lawson. Thank you for your consideration in sponsoring our exciting 20th Anniversary year!
We invite all of you - our leaders, donors, partners and the community - to help us celebrate by sending the WGC a birthday tribute via "Tribute" - it's fun, easy, and a great way to collectively celebrate 20 years of impact in the community - we would love to hear from YOU!
Be sure to connect with us on social media and read our blog to learn more about our efforts and how you can get involved in the coming months!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
You can read the full eNewsletter here
Barb Van Winkle
WGC Advisory Board Chair
We are so honored!
The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County was honored on Sunday, January 16th by the Howard County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission and the Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity as the recipient of the Living the Dream Organizational Award for our "steadfast commitment to preserving and promoting the teachings and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in our work and service."
"It is such a honor to have won this award and to participate in the celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." said WGC Chair Barb Van Winkle. "My heart is full."
The annual “Living the Dream” Award recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations (community, civic or religious) that promote the teachings and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through community involvement in Howard County.
"The program was inspiring! Many thanks to the MLK Commission for recognizing the WGC for 20 years of service to help women and girls 'Live the Dream'” said Malynda Madzel, Chair of the WGC's "Our Giving, Our Stories" Committee.
You can watch the full ceremony here
2022 is our 20th Anniversary Year!
This year marks 20 years that we have been a part of the Howard County community. And, by the end of 2022 we will have given $1M+ to our nonprofit partners through 250+ grants, and will have a $1.3M endowment, raised from 1,600+ donors, which will ensure that there are funds to support women and girls in our community in perpetuity.
We are excited for the year ahead ... with numerous efforts planned and many opportunities for growth this year - for the WGC, our members, our grantee partners, and our community as we celebrate 20 years of impact.
Here are five opportunities for growth and impact in 2022 as we celebrate our 20th anniversary year:
Here’s what WGC accomplished in 2021 and here’s a snapshot of 20 Years of WGC Impact by the numbers.
We look forward to continued learning, sharing, celebrating, partnership, growth and impact as we focus on supporting programs that benefit women and girls in Howard County in 2022.
Thanks for being a part of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County – we look forward to a great year in 2022, together!
Barb Van Winkle, Chair
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Executive Director
The WGC is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County, Maryland and can be found at: www.womensgivingcircle.org
December 21, 2021
It’s been a challenging year as we continue to be affected by the global pandemic, racial and social injustice, gender inequality, and political upheaval. However, it’s also been a successful year as we’ve attempted to address and support these and other issues by developing creative solutions to ensure our work continued to make an impact throughout the year.
We did this by:
You can read more about our 2021 efforts here
Our work in 2021 has assured us that partnership and generosity is alive and well in Howard County and that philanthropic investment in our community is more important than ever. As we get ready to mark our 20th year of impact in 2022, we are proud to reach these milestones:
This has all happened because of you!
Please consider a year-end gift to the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County so that we can continue to give more grants, engage more members, and strengthen the circle for the future, especially as we enter our 20th year of impact in 2022.
One option for an end-of-year gift is to sponsor our upcoming WGC 20th Anniversary Year in 2022 which supports our two signature celebratory events: WGC's March 8, 2022 Virtual Annual Celebration and our Summer 2022 Pink Party in the Park, where we will celebrate and highlight 20 years of impact. And, a sponsorship of $500 and above includes support of our upcoming 2022 State of Women and Girls in Howard County Report, which will be listed on the report website. Find sponsorship information here, starting at $200 - thank you to our 22 sponsors to date!
Thank you for supporting women, girls, and families in Howard County. We are making a greater difference together than we might otherwise make alone.
It's because of you ... thank you!
Wishing you the very best this holiday season.
Barb Van Winkle, WGC Chair
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, WGC Executive Director
2021/2022 WGC Advisory Board: Kim Agnor, Dee Athey, Laura Bacon, Jennifer Bodensiek, Melissa Curtin, Alison Canning, Maxine Clark, Jillianne Crescenzi, Candace Dodson-Reed, Lee Draminski, Alice Giles, Kashonna Holland, Mireille Grangenois, Jade McDuffie McClary, Christine Meket, Hina Naseem, April Pardoe, Barbara Peart, Lynne Schaefer, Judy Smith, Nette’ Stokes, Mary Thompson, Beverly White-Seals
It takes a special individual or business to understand the value of investing in women and girls by sponsoring the WGC's 20th Anniversary Year overall, which includes our signature Virtual Annual Celebration on March 8, 2022 and our WGC "Pink" Party in the Park Outdoor Birthday Celebration in the Summer of 2022.
Sponsors will not only be investing in the WGC's 2022 signature celebratory events, but our learning, networking and giving events as well throughout 2022. This includes sponsor promotion throughout the year, and sponsors receive the same number of tickets to both signature events.
And, all $500 or above sponsorships include support of our upcoming 2022 State of Women and Girls in Howard County Report and will be listed on the report.
Thank you to our sponsors to date!
We have a number of sponsorship levels and will be honored to highlight your name/business/logo on our website, on our social media pages, in our eNewsletter, and before, during and after events.
We believe sponsoring our 20th Anniversary Year is a meaningful way to support the WGC, and thus women and girls in Howard County. Please join with us!
Learn more about WGC 2022 20th Anniversary Year sponsorships here.
Columbia, MD - The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its Advisory Board, as well as the full slate of Executive Committee and Advisory Board members for 2022.
The newly elected Advisory Board members are Laura Bacon, Kashonna Holland, and Jade McDuffie McClary, Esq.
“I am thrilled to welcome these three talented women, each of whom bring diverse experience and unique backgrounds to the Women’s Giving Circle” said Women’s Giving Circle Advisory Board Chair, Barb Van Winkle. “Each of them has deep community knowledge and a passion for philanthropy, and we are fortunate to have them by our side as we work to shape the future for women and girls in Howard County through the power of collective giving.”
We are very grateful to Jillianne Crescenzi, Mireille Grangenois, Christine Meket, and Hina Naseem, who are leaving the WGC Advisory Board after years of dedicated leadership.
The Women’s Giving Circle is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County. We bring women together to learn about issues impacting women and girls in our community, and pool our dollars to fund programs that address those issues so we can have a greater impact together than we might otherwise have alone.
Joining the WGC Advisory Board to help us meet our mission are:
Laura Bacon is the Founder and CEO of The 3rd, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, co-created, community of Women of Color entrepreneurs. The 3rd believes Women of Color need a space to build, execute, and thrive: “We need access. We need skill building. We need funding. We need collaboration. We need accountability. We need sister friends. We need a community that understands our unique gifts and the unique challenges we face.” Laura creates spaces where people can show up as the best version of themselves. Her life and work centers around community building. For 14 years, she channeled that through her work in education. She’s also worked as company manager in theaters, an artists' manager at an opera, a mentor teacher, and most recently she’s settled into her passion, entrepreneurship and community building. Her talent is in putting all the right people in a space to make something special. Laura is a member and currently serves on the WGC’s Events Committee.
“I am interested in joining the WGC because I believe that the entities we build should be as strong and as profitable as we'd like them to be, and above all, that they have a lasting impact on our communities,” said Laura.
Kashonna Holland is an engaging keynote speaker, an inspiring coach, a motivational author, and an insightful corporate trainer. Kashonna is the President & CEO of Simply Kashonna, a business built to promote BOLD, FEARLESS and COURAGEOUS living. She goes beyond surface issues to address the pink elephants that inhibit personal, professional and spiritual potential. Kashonna has helped many people walk through the ambiguity of their lives and on to defining their life’s purpose by discovering their authentic self. Both, in the corporate arena and in the nonprofit world, strategic growth and development of people have always been the focal point of her service. Corporately, she has held positions in both Human Resources, as well as the Staffing industry. Additionally, Kashonna spent years in an executive pastoral role where crisis intervention and spiritual guidance were her primary responsibilities. Understanding that leadership training and development is essential to any corporation or organization’s growth, Kashonna launched SK Leading Forward, which is dedicated to enhancing employee engagement, performance, productivity and morale. Kashonna is a member and currently serves on the WGC’s Membership & Development Committee.
“I believe in the mission and the focus of the Women's Giving Circle” said Kashonna. ” I believe in building community and I understand that it takes financial capacity to do so … providing philanthropists with a platform that supports their efforts to address the deficiency of resources many women have, is both humbling and an honor.”
Jade McDuffie McClary, Esq. is an attorney for the Home Preservation Project at the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland. Jade is responsible for training and mentoring volunteer lawyers to help homeowners with estate planning and homeownership loss prevention issues, such as tax sale and foreclosures. She is committed to helping low-income homeowners preserve their intergenerational wealth, which oftentimes, is the family home.
Previously, Jade practiced family law in Howard County, drafted bills for the Maryland General Assembly, and clerked for the Honorable Cathy H. Serrette in Prince George’s County. Jade has a degree in Mass Communications from University of South Carolina and a law degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She currently serves as a member of the Carey Law Alumni Board and is committed to mentoring students interested in public interest law.
Jade is a member and currently serves on the WGC’s Events Committee. From 2020 to 2021, Jade also served on the WGC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee where she carefully analyzed the Events Committee’s practices. She is continuing her DEI work by helping the Events Committee implement the initiatives she and her team recommended.
“I am interested in joining the Advisory Board because I am passionate about WGC's mission and want to get more involved in spreading the message about collective giving to benefit our community,” said Jade.
WGC's 2022 Advisory Board:
WGC Executive Committee
Barb Van Winkle, Chair
Jennifer Bodensiek, Vice Chair
Kim Agnor, Treasurer and Governance Committee Chair
Lee Draminski, Secretary
Judy Smith, WGC Strategist
Alison Canning, Immediate Past Chair, Grants Committee Co-Chair
Melissa Curtin, Membership & Development Committee Chair
Mary Thompson, Events Committee Chair
Candace Dodson-Reed, Grants Committee Co-Chair
Lynne Schaefer - Finance Committee Chair
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Executive Director *Ex Officio
WGC Advisory Board Members
Jade McDuffie McClary
April Force Pardoe
Beverly White-Seals, CFHoCo President & CEO - Advisory Board Liaison *Ex-Officio
Dee Athey - CFHoCo Director of Grants and Community Engagement - Staff Liaison
Barb Van Winkle, Chair
Candace Dodson-Reed and Alison Canning, WGC Grants Committee Co-Chairs
Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Executive Director
November 23, 2021
By Candace Dodson-Reed and Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
There is ample data that makes the case for the value of diversity in corporate, education, private and public sector leadership. A quick internet search reveals that companies and organizations that embrace and value diversity in leadership outperform their peers. And the relationships that are formed and nurtured may even — someday — keep pace with the financial returns.
The data about representation in leadership positions, however, is discouraging.
In the U.S., underrepresented ethnic groups make up 40% of the population but only 12.5% of board directors. Black directors make up just 4% and Black women make up just 1.5% of the 20,000 plus directors. And according to a 2021, Fortune magazine article on women CEOs, in 2021, the number of women running businesses on the Fortune 500 hit an all-time record: 41. However, of the 41, only six are women of color and two identify as Black women.
And, if you look at the leadership of public institutions, nonprofit organizations and commissions, you’ll find that without an intentional focus, the issue is the same. Though we do not yet have this specific data in Maryland, and a bill put forth by Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones may begin to address this issue, we can make a reasonable assumption that the data in our state is similar.
Introduced by Speaker Jones during the last legislative session, House Bill 1210 is intended to encourage organizations to address issues related to board and leadership diversity. Inspired by HB1210, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County has invested in helping to create a pipeline of women of color leaders through a new funding partnership with The 3rd and The Highland Project — this partnership is to implement a leadership development program for women of color in Howard County.
The Women’s Giving Circle is providing a $20,000 multi-year grant to The 3rd as an investment in the growth of the organization broadly, and specifically to help support increased representation for women of color in leadership positions in the county. This leadership development program will be introduced as part of the services offered at The 3rd and will provide information, training, resources and connections for increased representation on local committees, task forces, boards of directors and other leadership bodies in Howard County.
The 3rd is a nonprofit organization that is building a space that fosters dreams, creates community and provides mentorship, which enables women of color to turn their ideas into economic power and freedom. As a co-created community of entrepreneurs, The 3rd has been developed with the belief that women of color need a space to build, execute and thrive, and also need access to skill building, collaboration and accountability.
As part of this multi-year grant, the Women’s Giving Circle is also providing a $10,000 grant to The Highland Project, a national effort that is cultivating a coalition of Black women who are leading communities, institutions and systems in the creation of multi-generational wealth and change where they live and serve.
The Highland Project will provide strategic guidance and coaching to The 3rd during the developmental stage of this personalized leadership development program. This partnership will support the growth of The 3rd overall, and this new leadership development program in particular will be modeled on a version of the Highland Project, with the goal to help cultivate a pipeline of women of color in all sectors in Howard County.
The Women’s Giving Circle is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls in Howard County.
In 2022, we will celebrate 20 years of impact, including giving over $1 million in grants to our nonprofit partners and building a $1.3 million endowment from over 1,600 donors to ensure there is funding for women and girls in perpetuity.
We bring women together to learn about issues impacting women and girls in our community, and pool our dollars to fund programs that address those issues so we can have a greater impact together than we might otherwise have alone.
The intent of this grant is woven into our mission, vision, goals, statement of unity, diversity, equity and inclusion focus, and our efforts to raise awareness of gender disparities, and we are proud to collectively invest in leadership opportunities for women of color in our community.
This is the power of a giving circle.
Giving circles bring many more — and more widely representative — everyday donors to the table to help create more equitable communities including women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, different giving capacities, youth, people in rural communities, religious minorities and more.
And the impact is growing.
There are currently over 2,000 giving circles in the U.S. that engage over 150,000 people, who have collectively given over $1.29B to communities across the country. Many are focused on democratizing and diversifying philanthropy, and those who participate often do so alongside other passionate, empowered, diverse individuals who are intentionally and collaboratively giving to create the world they want to see.
This is our focus.
We are proud to partner nationally with The Highland Project and invest locally in The 3rd to support their focus on gender and race equity, and specifically on leadership opportunities for women of color.
Dodson-Reed is a mom, community advocate and higher education professional. She is involved in a variety of professional, political and personal efforts that are often intertwined. She is a member of the Women’s Giving Circle Advisory Board and co-chair of their Grants Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Beaudoin-Schwartz is a mom of four and philanthropic leader whose professional career, volunteer efforts and activism have been focused on women’s issues, human rights and social change through philanthropy. She is an original founder, past advisory board chair and now the first executive director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is excited to announce a new Social Justice funding partnership with The 3rd and The Highland Project for the development and implementation of a Leadership Development program for Women of Color in Howard County, Maryland.
“Social Justice is the assertion of the ideal that all humans should have the same rights and opportunities; it is woven into the WGC’s mission, vision, goals and statement of unity, including our diversity, equity and inclusion focus and our efforts to raise awareness of gender disparities” said Barb Van Winkle, WGC Advisory Board Chair.
The Women’s Giving Circle is providing a $20,000 multi-year grant to The 3rd as an investment in the growth of the organization broadly, and specifically to provide support for increased representation for Women of Color in leadership positions throughout the county. This Leadership Development program will be developed as part of the services offered at The 3rd and will provide information, training, resources and connections for increased representation on local committees, task forces, boards of directors, and other leadership bodies in Howard County.
“The WGC is proud to partner nationally with The Highland Project and to invest locally in The 3rd” said Candace Dodson-Reed and Alison Canning, WGC Grants Committee Co-Chairs. “We are excited to provide support to a local organization that is focusing on gender and race equality, and now specifically on leadership opportunities for Women of Color.”
The 3rd is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that is building a space that fosters dreams, creates community, and provides mentorship, which enables Women of Color to turn their ideas into economic power and freedom. As a co-created community of entrepreneurs, The 3rd has been developed with the belief that Women of Color need a space to build, execute, and thrive, and also need access to skill building, collaboration and accountability.
“This is what this new funding partnership brings to The 3rd and to Women of Color throughout our community” said Laura Bacon, Founder of The 3rd. “Our growth will be exponential with the local support from the Women’s Giving Circle and the national support from The Highland Project, and we are thrilled that both organizations understand and support the unique challenges we face, and the unique gifts we bring to the table.”
As part of this multi-year Social Justice Grant, the Women’s Giving Circle is also providing a $10,000 grant to The Highland Project, a national coalition that is cultivating a coalition of Black women who are leading communities, institutions, and systems in the creation of multi-generational wealth and change where they live and serve. The Highland Project will provide strategic guidance and coaching to The 3rd during the development stage of this personalized Leadership Development program.
“We are very excited to support the leadership of The 3rd and women of color pathblazers in Howard County” said Gabrielle Wyatt, founder of The Highland Project. “We believe our partnership can serve as a national model for working with local giving circles and nonprofits to support leadership development for Women of Color around the country.”
This partnership will support the growth of The 3rd overall, and this new leadership curriculum in particular that will be modeled on a version of the Highland Project, which we hope will cultivate a pipeline of Women of Color who are leading the way in all sectors in Howard County.
“We know that gender and race equality are closely linked and we are honored to have the WGC invest in both to support leadership development for Women of Color through this important funding partnership” said Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, WGC Executive Director.
Learn more at www.womensgivingcircle.org
Total of $60,000 awarded to big ideas for social change during social impact competition
The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County, Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, and the Community Foundation of Howard County awarded a total of $60,000 at the 2021 Changemaker Challenge, an event focused on sparking innovation and fresh thinking to address some of Howard County’s most pressing issues.
Ten finalists presented their ideas for social change to a live virtual audience of over 700 community members and a panel of judges.
The winners of this year’s competition are:
“This event is always so inspiring and uplifting, and this year was no different,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation. “Given the immense challenges we have faced as a community over the past year and a half, our goal for the Changemaker Challenge this year was to launch sustainable actions to help our residents recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequities it exposed. We are so proud of all of our Changemakers for their creativity and commitment to help make our community a better place for everyone. We can’t wait to see these innovative ideas in action.”
Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland, said, “Together with the Horizon Foundation and other partners in Howard County, the Changemaker Challenge began in 2017 to spark new ideas for social change. This initiative finds and supports grassroots, boots-on-the-ground leaders, who are among the best equipped to drive real change within their communities. The Changemaker Challenge give more people a seat at the table and provides a compelling way to share their big ideas: ideas that will help close service and resource gaps, so that together, we can help even more people.”
We would like to thank all who joined us for this inspiring event, and to our opening guest speakers County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball, United Way of Central Maryland President and CEO Franklyn Baker and Nikki Highsmith Vernick. We would also like to thank our panel of judges: Cathy Hamel, Board Chair of the Horizon Foundation; Lisa Pearson, Vice Chair for the Horizon Foundation Board of Trustees; Barb Van Winkle, Chair on the Advisory Board for the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County; Teshia Davis, Chair of the Howard County RUN Board for United Way of Central Maryland, and; Ryan Brown, Board Member on the Howard County RUN Board for United Way of Central Maryland.
"We are honored to partner with United Way of Central Maryland, the Horizon Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Howard County to elevate and celebrate big ideas for social change in Howard County through the Changemaker Challenge - congratulations to all!" said Barb Van Winkle, WGC Chair.
We also thank all of our additional finalists for being part of the Changemaker Challenge and look forward to seeing their continued innovation and leadership in the future: 4Girls2STEM; Howard County Lynching Truth and Reconciliation, Inc.; HoCo Pirate Adventures, Inc.; Oakland Mills Online; Upcycled, Inc.; and Howard County Autism Society.
“The Changemaker Challenge is an incredible platform to recognize and showcase the tremendous grassroots efforts by so many to improve lives in Howard County,” stated Beverly White-Seals, president & CEO of the Community Foundation of Howard County. “The finalists were all so inspiring, and they represent Howard County so well. We salute all of the participants and wish them continued success as they grow their innovative ideas to lift up the community.”
The recording of the event is available here
Learn more about the Changemaker Challenge, including past winners and their big ideas, at changemakerchallengehc.org.
Hosted by the Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County and the Community Foundation of Howard County, the Changemaker Challenge is an event focused on sparking innovation and fresh thinking to address some of Howard County’s most pressing issues.
In honor of Veterans Day, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is proud to recognize Wanda Riddle as part of the WGC's "Our Giving, Our Stories" profile series.
Wanda has dedicated her career to serving our country. She continues to contribute her time, talents and resources to veterans causes, including serving on the board of directors of The Howard County Veterans Foundation. Her extraordinary leadership and dedication to the mission of the Foundation have made her an indispensable part of that organization. Learn more:
What moves you to give your time, talent and financial resources? I was raised in a family where duty to country and service to others were fundamental in our mindset. My parents were part of the Greatest Generation having lived through the depression and having served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Growing up, we were taught to always be thankful for what we had, share what we could, and to be respectful, courteous and helpful to others. My mother in particular was a shining example of generosity and selflessness. Those early lessons continue to guide me today.
When did you start giving to issues that are important to you?
Throughout my thirty years of military service, I volunteered in some form or fashion with various civilian community groups and organizations. Each duty station provided new opportunities to be involved and to contribute. It ranged from tutoring inner city children to assisting with therapeutic equine riding programs. When I retired from active duty and moved to Maryland, I gravitated towards those organizations that support and advocate for military veterans and their families. One such nonprofit is The Howard County Veterans Foundation. The Foundation is currently working towards making a veterans and military families monument a reality for our community. I am also a member of the local American Legion Post where I enjoy the camaraderie of fellow members and advancing programs that assist other veterans. It was an honor to have served my country in uniform, and it is now my privilege to serve my community as a civilian.
What advice do you have for those interested in giving back?
Everyone has something to offer. Find your passion or at least identify your interests and get involved. There is a special satisfaction in knowing you are contributing to making life better for someone else and helping to improve your community. Just go for it!
We are fortunate that we have Wanda in our community working with us to elevate the voices of women and girls. Thank you for joining us in recognizing her and learning more about all of the amazing women who are part of WGC "Our Giving, Our Stories"!
Time is running out! Register for the 2021 Changemaker Challenge
Join us for the virtual live event Nov. 9 at 6 p.m.
The 2021 Changemaker Challenge is almost here! Join the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, and the Community Foundation of Howard County on November 9 to watch our 10 finalists compete for up to $35,000 to bring their big ideas for social change in Howard County to life. Register for FREE today!
A panel of judges will select three winners to receive grants totaling $60,000. All finalists will be eligible for a grant of either $25,000, $15,000, a $10,000 grant for an initiative that supports women and girls in Howard County and event attendees will select the winner of the audience choice award of an additional $10,000. Meet our finalists and learn about their big ideas to drive social change in Howard County.
3 Questions With ... Philanthropist Rayna DuBose, Honoring National Disability Employment Awareness Month
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is proud to recognize Rayna DuBose as part of the WGC's "Our Giving, Our Stories" profile series.
Rayna was a star athlete from Howard County, who earned a full scholarship to play basketball at Virginia Tech. But after contracting bacterial meningitis, she woke up from a 3-week long coma to discover her limbs had been amputated. Now a motivational speaker, Rayna speaks on how she overcame adversity and found her purpose through strength, power and community engagement.
"I have a passion for the youth in our community and the betterment of our community and world" said Rayna. "I believe that the children are our future so let’s give them all the tools and knowledge to prepare them for anything they go through in their lives."
When asked about her giving, she said "I started giving honestly after a tragic accident that occurred in my life ... when I truly learned and felt what it is to be blessed, grateful, appreciative, and thankful genuinely."
Thank you for joining us in recognizing her by clicking on this image to read her full WGC "Our Giving, Our Stories" profile, and learning more about all of the amazing women who are part of WGC "Our Giving, Our Stories"!
The WGC is is proud to partner with United Way of Central Maryland with a $5,000 multi-year grant to help support the new UWCM Family Center and in turn, support women and their families in need of quality, affordable childcare in Howard County.
Did you know childcare in Howard County for two averages about $2,000 a month? On average, across all income levels, Howard County families spend about 20% of their income on childcare − double the national recommendation of 10%.
"We know that child care is necessary for parents—particularly women—to work and earn an income, yet it has become an increasingly crushing expense for families with young children in Howard County" said Kari Staddon, Senior Director of Strategic Impact at United Way of Central Maryland. "We are grateful for the partnership and support of the Women's Giving Circle as we aim to provide quality, affordable child care for women and families in our community."
While Howard County is known for having one of the highest median incomes in the nation, it also has one of the highest costs of living, making it a difficult place for people earning low or moderate incomes to get ahead. Nearly 30% of households in Howard County can't afford the basics, like a safe, affordable place to call home; medical care to keep their families healthy; or a car to get to work or to the grocery store. And a vast majority of these households are families with children. Higher than average childcare costs in the area make it tough for families with children who are already struggling to make ends meet. For many of these families, childcare is their second-highest expense after housing.
The new United Way Family Center will provide parents who qualify with affordable, high-quality childcare at a cost below market rate. And all staff working 20 hours or more will receive full benefits and be paid above-average wages.
"We are proud to provide this multi-year grant to support the new UWCM Family Center" said Barb Van Winkle. "As we work to shape the future for women and girls through the power of collective giving, we see this as an important resource for women and their families seeking quality, affordable childcare in our county."
Learn more here
"Strong women ... May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them." #IDG2021
Today is International Day of the Girl, which focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.
Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015, embody a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind.
Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls: empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas.
(Excerpted from the United Nations Day of the Girl Child)
Learn more about the WGC's grantmaking focused on girls.
Get your ticket to see who will win up to $35,000 at the virtual live event Nov. 9
The Women's Giving Circle of Howard County, Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, and the Community Foundation of Howard County are thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2021 Changemaker Challenge! These 10 finalists will compete for the chance win up to $35,000 to bring their big ideas to life! Get your FREE ticket today to watch them Nov. 9 at the Changemaker Challenge live virtual event.
Meet the finalists and their big ideas for social change in Howard County:
A panel of judges will select three winners to receive grants totaling $60,000. All finalists will be eligible for a grant of either $25,000, $15,000, a $10,000 grant for an initiative that supports women and girls in Howard County and event attendees will select the winner of the audience choice award of an additional $10,000.
Join us for the live virtual event on November 9 to get inspired and learn more about these innovative ideas to make our community a better place!
Hosted by the Horizon Foundation, United Way of Central Maryland, the Women's Giving Circle of Howard County and the Community Foundation of Howard County, the Changemaker Challenge is an event focused on sparking innovation and fresh thinking to address some of Howard County’s most pressing issues.