Stories

Women United began in 2002 with a passion to put South Hampton Roads’ at-risk women and children on a path toward success. One woman inspired three others to join her in securing this important work by creating an endowment fund – raising $185,000.

These women inspired others to become powerful philanthropists through leadership, fundraising and advocacy. They began an initiative called “10 for 10,” recruiting 10 women each year for 10 years to each donate $10,000 for making our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. They are now known as the 100 Women United, and their story gets even better.

Women United’s Joan Brock, Marianne Dickerson, Jane Batten and Susan Goode (pictured left to right below) pledged a combined $3 million Challenge Match to encourage each of the 100 Women United to give another $10,000! In less than one year nearly $4 million has been pledged, with gifts still coming in. The Women United Endowment Fund is the largest in the nation, and is fast approaching $7 million in assets and expectancies with these additional gifts.

Since 2005, Women United has invested more than $600,000 in community programs, including the H.E.R. Shelter, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, The Up Center, United for Children, and YWCA in partnership with Tidewater Community College.

Moving forward, these powerful philanthropists continue to help children and their families break the cycle of poverty. This two-generational approach is making a very positive difference in our neighbors’ lives and lifting up our community.

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