Tag Archive for: 2023

GWC Social, “Two Are Better Than One”, at Emerald Trading Co., September 12, 2023

Despite threats of gusty winds, thunderstorms, and hail, nearly forty hearty souls gathered, some with tasty treats in hand, to enjoy Greenwood Women Care’s second social of 2023 on September 12th.

GWC members and guests were graciously welcomed by Dana Riley, proud proprietor of Emerald Trading Company. Beautifully restored and remodeled and featuring three wall size murals of historic Greenwood, Emerald Trading Company was the perfect place to enjoy fellowship and a delicious repast prepared by GWC’s members whose last names begin with A – L. Dishes including potato casserole, grits, orzo salad, pinwheel sandwiches, chicken, and meatballs, along with delicious desserts, were enjoyed by all!

A station to assemble products provided by one of GWC’s 2022 grant recipients, The Period Project, into “period packs” was set up with many GWC members joining in the project. Karen Dudley-Culbreath, Executive Director of The Period Project, spoke to the group. She noted that one out 4 women lives in “period poverty” determined by such factors as rural locale or economic deprivation and has difficulty obtaining essential monthly supplies.

All attending departed under a clear sky, more enlightened and nourished in both spirit and body, and convinced, once again, that GWC is indeed “The Place To Be!”

New Members Welcome Dinner August 29, 2023

For the first time in GWC’s history, our Membership Committee hosted a second informal dinner to welcome women who joined GWC this year. GWC is delighted to have 18 new members in 2023! Four of these 18 attended this dinner and seven were able to come to our Soup Supper last February.

Our New Members dinners provide an opportunity to extend a personal welcome, give an overview of the activities of our GWC Committees, and convene a smaller gathering for women new to GWC to meet other members outside the context of our larger Quarterly Meetings and Socials.

We shared homemade appetizers, sandwiches, muffins, salads, and desserts and spent time visiting with new and longtime friends. Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of our Advisory Board, Rachel Strayer, Advisory Board Vice Chair, and Betty Adams, Co-Chair of the Membership Committee introduced activities of the six standing committees within GWC.

It was a wonderful time to enjoy excellent fare and each other’s fine company!

Special thanks to Betty Adams for hosting us in her lovely home, Membership Committee members for providing delicious food and drink, and our new members for sharing this evening together!

GCCF’s Community Enhancement Grant Awards, August 2023

Greenwood County Community Foundation GCCF is pleased to announce grant awards to four local nonprofit organizations in our 2023 Community Enhancement granting cycle.

Grant recipients are:

Arts Center of Greenwood  — Black History exhibit and program series and Connecting With the Dream program and community activities

Community Initiatives — G.R.O.W. development initiative

Here 4 A Reason — Suicide prevention and awareness educational events

96 Mill Village Neighborhood Association —  Movie in the Park community event

We congratulate each of these nonprofit organizations! Thank you for your service to the residents of our community!

GWC Quarterly Meeting, “Giving is in Our Genes”, at Greenwood Genetic Center, August 14, 2023

Greenwood Women Care (GWC) members, 2022 grantees, and guests met on Monday evening, August 14, to celebrate 2022’s grant recipients. Our theme was Giving is in Our Genes! and in keeping with the theme we were decked out in denim as we gathered at the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) for our reception and program.

Our Social Committee members outdid themselves once again with a lovely array of wraps, salads, and petit fours. The room was filled with laughter and, walking through the venue, you could hear women meeting and greeting, catching up, telling stories, and sharing life from this past summer.

At 6 o’clock, we headed to the auditorium for our program. Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of GWC’s Advisory Board, gave opening remarks of welcome and noted that we now have 145 members! She also asked our guests to stand, and everyone was given a warm and welcoming round of applause.

Mary expressed gratitude to be gathering at the Greenwood Genetic Center, “a place of uncommon service and distinctive excellence.” Just as GGC is a place of caring, Mary emphasized that Care forms a full one third of our name. “As a diverse body of women from many and varied life and professional experiences, GWC is a real-life lab for forming bonds in new and invigorating ways with women we may have missed thus far in our community life. It is our care for this community which draws us together and our care for each other that enriches us. Our hopes for our community and ourselves are aspirational, but they are also grounded in real actions and refining experiences. We come together to learn and give alongside each other, and we actually enjoy doing it!”

Through GWC in 2022, we have learned, given, and grown together. Mary was excited to lead us in celebration of this journey and in honoring our 2022 grantees. She invited Megha Lal, GWC Member and Chair Elect of the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation Board, to the podium. Megha graciously introduced Cady Nell Keener, Executive Director of the Greenwood Genetic Center Foundation and GWC Member. Cady Nell welcomed us to GGC and presented an inspiring video highlighting the history and ongoing work of GGC, a nonprofit organization which is a center of research and service in the field of medical genetics. To learn more about the Greenwood Genetic Center (and view truly inspirational videos) visit ggc.org  .

Next, Margaret Conrad, Member of GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee, recognized our wonderful 2022 grantees! Rachel Strayer and Caleb Kidd Coy prepared a video entitled Honoring the 2022 Grant Recipients. We were inspired to hear from representatives of the following eleven organizations: Alston Wilkes Society, Arts Council of Greenwood, Crossroads Pregnancy Center, Food Bank of Greenwood County, Greenwood Cancer Fund, Greenwood Pathway House, Greenwood Performing Arts, Healthy Learners, Humane Society of Greenwood, Next Level Lifestyles, and The Period Project. Please view Honoring the 2022 Grant Recipients here.

We celebrated as our grant recipients came to the stage to receive special cookies decorated with GWC and DNA images and pose for a group photo by Catherine DiBenedetto, Co-Chair of our Communications Committee.

Charlene Kish, Member of GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee, presented the book to be donated to the Greenwood County Library Children’s Collection with a special bookplate noting our 2022 grantees. Book donations given at our Quarterly Meetings in honor of our presenters are titles selected by Jody Gable, Children’s Services Coordinator, and purchased locally. A World of Praise was written by Deborah Lock and illustrated by Helen Cann. The book is described as “a global hymn to God’s abundant love and care for his creation.” GWC is proud to dedicate this book to our eleven grant recipients who, in so many diverse ways, have demonstrated love and care for people (and animals!) in our community.

Jan Puzar, Co-Chair of GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee, closed our evening, thanking all our members, grantees, and guests for celebrating that Giving is in Our Genes! She presented a great summary for each of our grant recipient organization’s mission. The services provided to the Greenwood community through the 2022 grants encompass:

Homeless shelters
Nutrition education
Children’s healthcare access
Cancer meds
Youth mentoring
Offender services
Parent education and counseling
Art therapy and education
Personal hygiene supplies
Medicine for shelter dogs
A Celebration of Gullah Gechee Culture

She closed the evening by once again thanking the Greenwood Genetic Center for use of their beautiful facilities, Rachel Strayer and Caleb Kidd Coy for producing the Honoring the 2022 Grant Recipients video, the GWC Social Committee for the lovely reception, the GWC Grants Review and Awards Committee for planning the meeting, and all who joined in our celebration by wearing denim because truly: Giving is in Our Genes!

GCCF Awards Innovation Grant, July 2023

Greenwood County Community Foundation (GCCF) has awarded an Innovation Grant for $50,000 to Greenwood Pathway House in support of Pathway Village.

Anthony Price, Executive Director of Greenwood Pathway House (GPH) noted, “Pathway Village utilizes family cottages and Post-Traumatic Growth (referred to as ‘PTG’) programs to create stable families that are capable of thriving over time. The village design eliminates typical shelter restrictions that often prevent certain families from receiving help. The village concept provides a community where children and their parents can thrive because they feel safe, supported, encouraged, and valued.”

The GCCF Innovation Grant is offered biennially and supports creative ideas that foster strategic change within the Greenwood County community. It is awarded to applicant organization demonstrating a sound approach to addressing root causes of systemic problems or deficiencies, and by contributing to a healthy, thriving community. Collaboration and partnerships among organizations are expected and essential to assure lasting impact and success.

Mary Woodiwiss, GCCF Director of Grants and Projects, commented, “This year’s pool of applicants for the Innovation Grant was extraordinarily strong. Through our granting cycles, our Board and staff are regularly reminded of the excellent work conducted by our local nonprofits every day and we are grateful for their faithfulness in addressing community needs. It is a privilege to be able to support such efforts with GCCF funding.”

“GCCF’s Innovation award continues to be a valuable tool to encourage  ‘outside the box’ solutions that address root cause problems in our community”, said Herman Fletcher, GCCF’s Board Chair. “The new Pathway Village housing concept and the deployment of the Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) model have already demonstrated successful results. Greenwood Pathway House utilized a $5000 GCCF grant awarded in one of our previous annual cycles to establish the PTG model which is now bearing fruit. This is an example of good stewardship and perseverance which is commendable.”

After receiving the Innovation Grant on behalf of GPH, Price expressed, “We are honored to be chosen for the Innovation Grant. We believe that Pathway Village is a model for reintegrating homeless families as thriving members of our community. In the five months since we began operating Pathway Village, we have enrolled 26 families with 52 children, more than in the previous 5 years combined. But it’s not just about enrolling a lot of people, it’s about lifting them up and helping them thrive. We’re truly grateful that GCCF is providing grant funds to help us operate Pathway Village at full capacity.”

GWC Summer 2023 Newsletter

GWC Grant Writing Workshop, “Grant Writing 101”, July 25, 2023

GWC hosted our annual workshop, “Grant Writing 101”, on Tuesday, July 25. The workshop was offered at no charge to 18 registrants from local nonprofit staff and volunteers. West Side Baptist Church generously provided the meeting space.
Christopher Timmons, Associate Pastor of West Side Baptist Church, warmly welcomed all workshop participants and presenters. Mary Woodiwiss, Chair of GWC’s Advisory Board and member of the Grants Review & Awards Committee, extended GWC’s welcome and made introductory announcements.

Workshop sessions were conducted by Jan Puzar, Kathy Emily, Donna Foster, and Kerry Ignatovich, GWC Members who have professional experience in program direction, grant writing, assessment, and management. These presentations included discussion of a homework assignment to help participants focus on their organization’s funding priorities, writing an effective grant proposal, and outcome measures for assessment of a program or project.

During the workshop, we enjoyed a break for coffee and bagels.

The workshop also featured a Funders Forum comprised of representatives of local granting organizations. Each spoke about the granting process, funding priorities, and other aspects of their grantmaking as well as responding to workshop participants’’ questions. Presenters were: Cyndi New, Self Regional Community Health; Mamie Nicholson, Self Family Foundation; Justo Chalaire, United Way of the Lakelands; Sally Kauffmann, Greenwood Women Care; and Mary Woodiwiss, Greenwood County Community Foundation.

This training provided attendees with fundamentals for improving their grant application practices, whether for GWC Grants or requests made of other local or external funders. GWC’s Grants Review & Awards Committee members believe that Grant Writing 101 is a valuable way to be of service to our local nonprofits as they carry out their missions for the benefit of our whole community.

GWC Quarterly Meeting, “Serving the Community Through the Arts”, at Greenwood Soup Kitchen, May 16, 2023

GWC members and guests enjoyed a very informative quarterly meeting on May 16, 2023 at the Greenwood Soup Kitchen, located on Phoenix Street. Attendees were greeted and treated to a variety of refreshments.

Rachel Strayer, Vice Chair of GWC, welcomed everyone to the program portion of the meeting which was entitled “Serving the Community Through the Arts”. After her welcome and introduction of new visitors, she invited Debra Coleman from the Programs & Education Committee to introduce the first speaker, Norm Fawcett, chairman of the Board of Directors of Greenwood Soup Kitchen. Norm described the history of the Soup Kitchen and where it stands today. Operating since 1987, the Soup Kitchen has moved several times and is now housed at the United Community Care Center. It serves around 75 hot meals each day, Monday-Saturday, for an average of 20,000 meals annually. Immanuel Lutheran Church provides lunch on Sundays. Anyone can enjoy a meal regardless of their circumstance. There is a “no questions asked” policy. The Soup Kitchen relies totally on community support and has an $80,000 annual cash budget. Their largest fundraising event is Empty Bowls.

Debra Coleman then introduced Barbara Warner who is with the Greenwood Area Studio Potters (GASP) and chairperson of the Empty Bowls fundraiser. In 2009, GASP members wanted to have an event in which they donated bowls to the soup kitchen and then sold tickets to have soup served in those bowls as a fundraiser. The first event raised $6,000.  This idea has evolved into a yearly fundraiser and continues to sell out each year. Members of GASP begin creating bowls in April/May and make approximately 900 bowls each year. The Greenwood County Medical Alliance also helps by arranging for the soup to be donated by local restaurants. The Medical Alliance also provides all desserts. For the fall fundraiser, the soup kitchen sells 550 tickets, some being take-out and some for dining in. All monies raised are pure profit since everything is donated. The Soup Kitchen made over $36,000 in 2022! Empty Bowls will be held this year on October 18-19 and tickets go on sale the day after Labor Day. Tickets may be purchased by calling Norm Fawcett at 864.227.3421.

After a question-and-answer session, Lisa Smith made book presentations to the speakers to thank them for their presentations and their dedication to helping the people of Greenwood. Books given in honor of speakers are donated to the Greenwood County Library Children’s Collection.

Deb Maschoff, Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, next introduced a new idea on how to “get the word out” to the community when speaking about GWC. The committee developed a business card with talking points on it which offers suggestions on how to share the good things that GWC does, and which can help start a conversation with others.  The more the word is spread about how GWC helps our community, the more we can grow our membership. GWC currently has 148 members, with one new member joining us at this meeting!

In closing, Laura Bachinski, Chair of the Programs & Education Committee, described the responsibilities and activities of the P&E committee and asked for anyone interested in helping that committee to please contact her. She then thanked the speakers and the Social Committee for the lovely evening and offered a special thank you to Norm Fawcett for allowing GWC to use the Soup Kitchen as the meeting venue.

Celebrating Connections, May 2023

For the month of May, in which we celebrate our mothers, GWC wanted to celebrate the multi-generational family members among us. Nine of our members participate in GWC with their mother or daughter(s). Two are grandmother and granddaughter to each other and two are mother- and daughter-in-law.

It’s a delight to see these women find another meaningful connection as GWC members together!

What do they appreciate about GWC? Rachel Strayer and Rowan Pallis answered, “It’s a good feeling to know that at every gathering of this organization we’re each surrounded by people who walk the talk when it comes to caring about the world around them.” Debbie Coesens and Emma Grace Iseman observed, “GWC provides an outstanding example for learning, giving, and growing.” Tara Smith, who engages in GWC with her mother-in-law, Cindy Smith, reflected, “I am very proud to be a part of Greenwood Women Care, especially because it is comprised of a diverse group of women doing great things for our community. To be able to share that with one of the most important women in my life, my Mother-In-Law, is extra special.”

Why did they join GWC? Terri Bacon explained, “Carson (Penney) and I joined GWC to learn more about our new hometown, to find out where the needs were, who was meeting them, and how we could support them. GWC delivered on all these and continues to do so!” She added, “We hope Greenwood Women Care becomes a legacy organization for all kinds of women-to-women connections!” Peggy Adams and daughters Margaret Conrad and Courtney Christensen shared, “We love GWC’s dedication to a better community, the energy of the members, and the connections among members. We are excited to be part of Greenwood Women Care!” And Vickie Chandler and Susan Albon spoke for all of us when they remarked, “Because Greenwood is home.”

Happy Mother’s Day from Greenwood Women Care!


GCCF Youth & Education Grants Announced, April 2023

Greenwood County Community Foundation GCCF awarded a total of $33,750 to ten nonprofit organizations serving Greenwood County residents in our 2023 Youth & Education granting cycle.

Grant recipients are:

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lakelands — Project Learn

Emerald City Rotary Foundation — Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Goodwill Industries — Job Connection CNA training and uniforms

Greenwood Community Theatre — The Penguin Project

The Greenwood Promise — Career Coordinator

Healthy Learners — staff salary support and medical fees

Lakelands Region YMCA — Afterschool Program Financial Assistance

Mays United Methodist Church“I Can Make a Difference” reading enrichment program

The Period Project — hygiene products for low-income female students

PlaySafe — athletic training services for Greenwood High School and Emerald High School

We congratulate each of our Youth & Education grant recipients. Thank you for your continued commitment to service to our community!