2020 Community Projects
Each year, our chapters select a non-profit organization to support through a community project. Some of our chapters volunteer together at an event, some hold donation drives, and others find different creative ways to give back. Regardless of the project they take on, all of our chapters take supporting their communities seriously. We are very proud of the contributions that our organization makes to local non-profits.
Not surprisingly, many plans to support different organizations fell through this year. Chapters often support non-profits through group events, whether they be working together at a special fundraising event or gathering to help with projects like sorting food at food banks. Our members' safety is of the utmost importance to us, so it was up to the individual chapters to determine if they would replace their previously planned project with something new. Here is what we were up to in 2020!
Chapter 113 in San Jose, CA supported Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence this year. Our group wanted to make a positive difference to this organization because it benefits women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The women who must flee from their homes to escape further abuse to themselves and/or their children often leave with the clothes on their backs.
We donated 15 bags and boxes of food, personal hygiene items, baby hygiene items, dental hygiene items, and gift cards that will go directly to the clients of Next Door Solutions. We are confident that these essential items will benefit those women who must make a new life for themselves and their children.
Chapter 114 in Los Gatos, CA supported Martha's Kitchen several times this year. We all agreed that it was such a simple way to give our time to help a fantastic organization. We did a lot of chopping of carrots, zucchini, and oranges that kept on coming. We were very impressed with how organized and efficient the experience was, as well as how fast we went through the pounds of produce. Having so many volunteers that Matha's Kitchen can count on helps them determine how many veggies they can guarantee will be chopped and sent on their way to support 16 different organizations to feed the people who need it most.
The motto on our aprons (designed by member Lily Xu of Ellifont Design), "Take a Stand, Lend a Hand," said it all. The first event early in the year was so rewarding and fun for the group that many signed up for a second session of volunteering, which also happened to be member Joan Escover's birthday. During this session at Martha's Kitchen, we chopped lots of fruits and colorful root vegetables with other volunteers. We ended the morning with a socially distanced celebration for Joan! (Joan's company JP Graphics printed and donated the great WNA branded masks and aprons for the event.)
While it's a lot of work to coordinate everyone's schedules for in-person volunteering, the visible benefits to the communities we live in, the teamwork and collaboration experienced, and smiles after a job well done make it all worthwhile.
Chapter 115 in Cupertino, CA originally planned to do a LIVE-in-person gratitude tree activity with the residents at the Georgia Travis House, but because of the shutdown, the doors were closed to any organizations doing any activity indoors with the residents. We didn't let that stop us from giving, so at the eleventh hour, we cleverly figured out a way to virtually deliver the workshop without any contact and fall within the strict restrictions, so the families and singles could still create their gratitude and power statement decoration.
Once they create their decoration, they will stick their decoration to the wall inside at the Georgia Travis House door entrance. You can think of it like this, the residents walk into the community house, and if they turn to look, they will see their gratitude decoration and empowering mantra that helps navigate those tough times. Not only will they see their own gratitudes, but they will also see our chapter's power statements. So when they walk in from a long day or need a reminder to look for the positive and get a boost of encouragement, they will be reminded of what they are grateful for AND see the power statements reminding them things like, 'You Got This!". If you ever think you're too old to start something new, think about Georgia Travis. At the wise age of 76, she had an inner alarm go off deep inside her heart to solve the social problem of housing homeless families, something she could not deny. Today, there are about 50 residents, including single adult women and families with children.
Chapter 201 in Glendale, AZ was able to deliver 437 items to St. Helen's Food Bank sponsored by St. Vincent de Paul's Food Pantry. 468,000 families across central and Northern Arizona are in need. Over 6 million pounds of food arrive at the St. Vincent De Paul’s warehouse and over 400,000 food boxes are delivered through home visits and other charitable organizations, each year.
And the organization as a whole also supports the community through our organization-wide events. This year, we collected donations for the YWCA Silicon Valley. They are dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We collected items for their Survivor Care Kits, including toiletries, journals, clothing, and snacks at both of our events. These kits are given to those who are in need of care due to domestic violence and homelessness.
At our 12th Annual BRAVO Awards in February, many of our members donated raffle prizes to our event, and attendees got to trade-in items for Survivor Care Kits in exchange for raffle tickets. We collected many supplies, including toiletries, journals, clothing, and snacks. People could also purchase raffle tickets, with all donations raised going to the YWCA-SV. We are proud to say that along with all of the collected items, we also raised $350 in cash donations.
We're so proud of the impact that our organization has had on our community and we look forward to the impact that the Women's Networking Alliance makes in 2021!