GREENVILLE, S.C. — United Way of Greenville County celebrated the charitable impact of Greenville County women Tuesday at United Way Women’s Leadership’s 19th annual Women Make a Difference Luncheon.
Greenville County businesswoman Pamela Evette, president and CEO of Quality Business Solutions, delivered the keynote address at the event, which is held each year to honor local women donors who support United Way with an annual gift of $1,000.
The luncheon recognized the group’s philanthropic efforts, both through financial contributions and volunteerism in Greenville County. Women’s Leadership Chair Debra Ham said 1,670 members contributed more than $2.3 million last year in support of United Way programs and initiatives working towards that goal.
“Together, we have shown it can be a very powerful thing when a diverse group of people and organizations comes together to accomplish a common goal,” said Ham. “That’s exactly what we’re doing as Women’s Leadership works to help United Way achieve its vision of a Cycle of Success for all in Greenville County.”
The event showcased Women’s Leadership’s direct impact in the community through the “Wear One, Bring One” project, volunteer efforts with United Way afterschool programs and OnTrack Greenville, and Women’s Leadership’s own successful “Jobs to Careers – Women Helping Women” scholarship program.
Members developed the scholarship and mentoring program to address the need for greater financial stability for Greenville County women and their families, and to help remove some of the barriers that can prevent women from realizing their career goals.
The scholarship assists women in the community looking to transition from paycheck-to-paycheck jobs to more stable, long-term careers. The program offers money for education and job training, as well as a stipend and funds for transportation and childcare. So far, 44 women have received the scholarship.
The group also used the event to help women facing crises through its “Wear One, Bring One” project. Luncheon attendees brought hundreds of new women’s undergarments to be donated to women served by the Safe Harbor domestic violence shelter.
To date, the project has collected approximately 7,500 undergarments for Safe Harbor.
When a woman leaves her home in a moment of crisis, there is often no time to pack, and frequently she leaves with only the clothes on her back,” said Women’s Leadership Vice Chair Cathy Hendrix. “But having these personal items waiting for at the shelter tells her that she is safe and she is part of a community that will support her through her toughest times.
Women’s Leadership was created in 1998 as a subcommittee of the Palmetto Society (United Way of Greenville County’s leadership giving recognition group) and now includes five professional subgroups: Women in Banking, Women Attorneys, Women in Real Estate, and Women in Science and Engineering and Women in Healthcare.
The goal of Women’s Leadership is to recognize women’s philanthropic efforts in the community and to develop leadership opportunities in civic and nonprofit organizations for professional women.
To become a member, or for more information on United Way Women’s Leadership and its programs, visit unitedwaygc.org, or call 864-467-3551.