Women United Hosts 13th Annual Stone Soup

Women United Hosts 13th Annual Stone Soup

Written by Michaela Darbyshire, Manager of Marketing & Events at United Way of South Hampton Roads

On Saturday, February 10, 2024, over 150 Women United members, friends, and family came together at Southside STEM Academy at Campostella to assemble 3,500 meals for the South Hampton Roads community. This year, the event was graciously sponsored by Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management, LLC, Wegmans, Chicks Oyster Bar, and Courier VA.

In the “Stone Soup” story, upon strangers entering a village, they are soon told by all the villagers that there was no food to eat. Following this discovery, the strangers put a pot of water on a fire to boil and added a big stone in the pot – leading to the villager’s curiosity to grow. One by one, they began contributing one ingredient each, until that had assembled a hearty soup for all to feast on. The United Way movement was founded on the same idea; that each one of us can give, advocate, and volunteer to improve conditions in our communities.

With the help of this year’s Stone Soup volunteers, over 500 casseroles and 450 bagged lunches were distributed to the following nonprofits:

  • Edmarc
  • Help and Emergency Response, Inc.
  • Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia
  • YWCA South Hampton Roads
  • Ida Barbour Early Learning Center
  • Standup for Kids, Hampton Roads
  • Seton Youth Services
  • Manna Ministry of Tidewater
  • The Urban Renewal Center
  • Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia
  • ForKids, Inc.
  • Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
  • PiN Ministry
  • The Genieve Shelter
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia (Truitt)
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia (Thurgood Marshall)

“The positive energy present at this event is contagious. This room is not only filled with new and longtime Women United members displaying a passion for volunteering, but friends and generations of families coming together to give back to their community,” said Jill Queen, Joan P. Brock Endowed Director of Women United. “Not only is the sight of volunteers coming together to make meals warming, but seeing the quantity of meals going to our local organizations and knowing it is an immediate impact to families is inspiring.”

Volunteers are essential to United Way of South Hampton Roads and the surrounding community. The estimated national value of a volunteer hour is $31.80. In just three hours of the Stone Soup event, the value of the volunteer hours added up to $8,268.

The impact of Stone Soup continues to spread far and wide across the South Hampton Roads community. Thanks to Women United, a powerful force of 800 innovators and visionaries investing in their communities to transform the lives of local women and children, we’re able to continue creating a brighter future for individuals in the 757.

To learn more about becoming a Women United member and attending future events, please email womenunited@unitedwayshr.org.