by Barbara Garland –
New Seeds of Strength members joined Guiding Circle members on April 12 for an evening session designed to educate the newbies about the SoS mission and what the organization has accomplished over the past nine years.
The newcomers were warmly welcomed by current Guiding Circle members. Pink and white table decorations, spring flowers, and delicious finger foods (provided by Guiding Circle members) were very inviting and set the tone for a festive and informative night together.
The program began with each person introducing the person on her right. A few good-natured laughs ensued when some of us thought we were introducing the person on our left. There was a sense of camaraderie as we went around the room, telling about the background of each woman. As always, I was struck by the incredible gifts and talents of the remarkable women who join Seeds of Strength.
Each Committee Chair took a few minutes to describe her respective committee and to ask the newcomers to consider joining. Then SoS Chair Cindy Locke did a “by-the-numbers” presentation outlining the history of the organization:
– 100% of each one-thousand-dollar membership (either individual or group) goes to grant making. The costs of administration and operations are covered by “over-and-above” donations by our members.
– We are 100% volunteer driven. There is no paid staff.
– Since 2010, sixty-six grants have been awarded to twenty-seven Georgetown non-profits.
– Our grants have impacted 38,497 Georgetown neighbors, 31,248 of which are children.
– In 2018, we have grown to 267 members who donated a total of $173,000 in grant dollars on May 3.
– Seeds of Strength began with 13 women in 2009. In 2018, we have grown to 267 members, and we will be giving $173,000 in grants on May 3.
– With the grants awarded this year, total giving since our first grant of $55,000 was awarded in 2010 will be $1,146,000.
Once again, we were reminded of the power of collective giving, which is the greatest asset of Seeds of Strength. We are truly Women Coming Together to Make a Difference.