“Kick Off the Vote!”, at Harley Family Center, October 16, 2023

GWC’s annual informational social, “Kick Off The Vote!” was hosted by our Grants Review & Awards and Social Committees and held at the Harley Family Center on Monday, October 16. The center echoed with exuberant voices of friends greeting each other. Light and delicious refreshments awaited, served by Holley Coyle and Courtney Christensen, Co-Chairs of the Social Committee as well as other welcoming committee members. A PowerPoint of images was compiled by the Communications Committee for the reception highlighting some of GWC’s activities during the last three months: Grant Writing 101 workshop for nonprofits, our August Quarterly Meeting, “Giving is in our Genes,” A New Members Dinner at Betty Adams’s home, our September Social, “Two are Better Than One, and the creation and installation of GWC’s 2023 Uptown scarecrow, Ms. Carey Givings.

Informational segments were presented by members of the Granst Review & Awards Committee. These began with Sally Kauffmann’s expertly performed and very humorous renditions of  “You Are So Beautiful to Me, GWC” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” (including the line “How many needs are right here in Greenwood?”), executed in the manner of Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan, respectively.

Mary Woodiwiss discussed some FAQS of Nonprofit Funding focusing on:

  • How do Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) generate and meet their budgets?
  • Why do some NPOS request or require so much more funding than others?
  • Why do GWC Grants matter?

In her review of our granting process, Mary Dula noted that we are in the very process of women’s empowerment during these days of voting on grants that will impact and influence our community. It was breathtaking to learn that GWC will surpass a cumulative total of over $300,000 in our granting history with this cycle; however, it was also humbling to recognize, once again, how much need there is in Greenwood. Our grant awards this year will be approximately half of the funding requested in this cycle.

Debbie Cousens, Co-Chair of the Grants Review & Awards Committee, recapped what happens after we vote, outlining the tabulation process. So exciting to realize that within a week or two, the most important task we do as an organization, granting to nonprofits, will be accomplished! Tabulation is an elegant process based entirely on members’ ranked votes on Survey Monkey ballots. Grants Review & Awards Committee members review this data and determine how many organizations will receive funding and how much funding each organization will receive, based on the total amount available to award in the 2023 cycle. Debbie announced that “the time is upon us” as ballot links were sent at 6:00pm, during this meeting. The ballot will remain open through midnight on Wednesday, October 18.

The power and privilege to vote is a tremendous opportunity and one that we hope all GWC members will avail themselves of exercising.

Jan Puzar, Co-Chair of the Grants Review & Awards Committee, invited any remaining questions about this year’s voting to be posed.

Rachel Strayer, GWC Vice Chair, delivered the closing remarks by introducing us to the “Caring Arms of Ms. Carey Givings”, our GWC scarecrow on display in front of The Grose Law Firm located at 305 Main St. This wonderful lady holds in her arms several scarecrow children representing past grant recipients in honor and recognition of how the women in this organization wrap our own caring arms around our community. She reminded GWC members that each of make a huge difference by being part of Greenwood Women Care.

With Rachel’s words ringing in our ears, the attending members purposefully left 2023’s “Kick Off the Vote!” with the happy realization that we are blessed to live in Greenwood and grateful for this unique opportunity to be able to make our beloved community a better place for all.