HELPING WOMEN AFAR FROM THE DINING TABLE
Tonight I hosted a charity dinner of the organization called Dining for Women. When I first heard about DFW in 2010, it was a Eureka moment for me. Finally -- a cause that combines helping women and children, education, passion, great food and wonderful company.
Even better, I wouldn’t have to leave my then-small kids and spend a month in Africa to feel like I was really making a difference! So I started the first European chapter of the U.S.-based giving circle.
My Brussels group started with just a few fun women from different countries who had the same goal: to help women from developing countries while having fun.
Six years later I moved to Frankfurt, where I started a German chapter. DFW Brussels is in good hands of my dear friends.
Running a chapter of a giving circle is not always easy. The organizer must always show up. We meet for potluck dinners or lunches, so food must be cooked. If you host, you only make rice but there’s always preparation and cleanup. And then there’s a presentation to deliver. The idea is that we all learn about a country we’re fundraising for, about the lives and struggles of these women far from Europe, and about how the contribution from DFW will be used. Before each dinner there’s a lot of emailing to do, and sometimes also calling to encourage a good turnout. And there’s some paperwork and money handling afterwards. All this takes several hours and can be exhausting when you’re a working entrepreneur and mom.
But it’s so worth it! I’m proud to have a great group of women in my chapter. I’m grateful for all their work and donations. I’m happy that women in Nepal, Bolivia and Kenya -- just to mention a few countries DFW has helped – receive education, support, therapy, new skills and tools or a pair of goats thanks to a group of women they don’t even know… somewhere in the US, Belgium or Germany.
If you’re considering helping someone but you’re not sure what to do, or you’re worried that it might take too much of your time, please look around. There are more and more organizations where you can help without giving up all your savings or moving to some distant place. Start small. Just like DFW – its motto is “Changing the world one dinner at a time.”