We discuss the Syrian refugee crisis, plan a fair trade holiday, and make a Beef and Spinach Stew (Gboma Dessi) from Togo

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The Dish
Volume 3, Issue 11 | November 2015
13th Month
Campaign Update »
The Benefits of
Recurring Donations »
Executive Director's Blog »
Featured Program »
Sustained Program »
The Proven Platter »
Food For Thought »
Staff News »
Regional Leader News »
My DFW Story »
Program Reports »
New Cause Marketing
Partners »
Milestones »
Chapter Anniversaries »
Google Hangout

Check out our conversation with Jenny Schechter, Executive Director of Hope Through Health, in this month's Google Hangout.
Available Here »
New Directors
New Directors Join DFW Board
Two new Directors were selected to join DFW's Board at its meeting in September. Cynthia Radford is an organizational development consultant and founder of GreenLeaf Consulting International. She has been an enthusiastic member of DFW since 2011 and is energized to advance DFW's bold mission as a member-at-large, serving a three-year term. Cynthia lives in Traveler's Rest, SC.

Susan Negrin joins our Board for a one-year term as stakeholder representative, replacing Anne Capestrain who is rotating off. Susan lives in Castro Valley, CA and works as a program manager for Adobe. She founded the CA, Castro Valley-1 chapter in 2009 and is currently Co-Leader of this chapter as well as Mentor for the San Francisco East Bay area.

We welcome Cynthia and Susan and thank Anne for her passionate and dedicated service to our Board!
Learn more about the background and experience of our new Directors »
13th Month Campaign Update
Our 13th Month Campaign is off to a great start! As of October 29th, we have raised more than $98,000! This means we are about 35% of the way to our goal of $280,000 for this three-month campaign, which ends December 31st.

"This truly is a great start and we thank everyone who has already donated in the first month of the campaign," said Beth Ellen Holimon, Executive Director. "We are striving for 100% member participation by the end of the year and need gifts of all sizes. Your 13th Month donation supports Dining for Women as an organization and all the services we provide members."

Remember, you can make your donation at your chapter meeting or by mailing in a check to DFW's home office – P.O. Box 25633, Greenville, SC, 29616.

Or, simply use this easy link to donate by credit card or bank draft. With our new Click & Pledge processor, online donations are easier than ever! Click & Pledge even lets you set up an automatic recurring donation, which is a convenient way to support DFW year-round!
Watch for news about a special challenge gift tied to Giving Tuesday (Dec 1st). Giving Tuesday follows on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is a global day dedicated to charitable giving. Watch the 13th Month Video.
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The Benefits of Recurring Donations
By Gina League | Director of Administration
Monthly recurring donations are the easiest and most convenient way for you to give to DFW and ensure that ALL our programs receive your support – even if you cannot attend your chapter meeting that month.

Recurring donations provide a predictable source of income we can count on to fund our grants program and our member services. They also help us increase our efficiency and reduce costs, allowing us to help even more women and girls.
Continue Reading »
Exective Director's Blog
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Syrian Refugee Crisis:
A Firsthand Perspective
By Beth Ellen Holiman | Executive Director
It is devastating to see and read about the Syrian refugee families, and I find myself searching constantly for more information, more perspective. Dining for Women's featured program in January was the Collateral Repair Project (CRP), which helps refugees living in Jordan. Our $37,000 grant is being used to provide psychosocial and wellness programs as well as leadership training for refugee women, many of whom have escaped from the conflict in Syria. I wanted to loop back with CRP to dig a little deeper into the perspective of the refugees and the future.
Continue Reading »
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For the first time, we have a featured program in Togo, West Africa! Hope Through Health delivers effective, efficient, community-based healthcare in neglected settings such as Togo.

Your donations this month will empower 25 female Community Health Workers (CHWs) to provide maternal and child healthcare to 3,500 pregnant women and children under the age of five in the Kozah District of northern Togo, leading to reduced rates of maternal and child illness and death. Learn More »
3 Things You Need to Know about our Featured Program
Hope Through Health is one of the only international organizations with a sustained presence in northern Togo. The organization has more than 10 years of experience delivering high-quality healthcare services in northern Togo.
Approximately 300 pregnant women die per 100,000 births in Togo, well above the Millenium Development Goal target of 160 by 2015. One in 10 children die before age five, largely due to preventable diseases such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia.
Hope Through Health’s Community Health Workers (CMHs) will be presented to the community through local religious and traditional structures in order to earn the trust of community members and encourage them to contact a CMH when a child falls sick or a woman becomes pregnant.
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November Sustained Funding Program: Emerge Global
When Emerge Global was our featured program in July 2011, your donations planted seeds that enabled young Sri Lankan girls who survived abuse to believe in themselves again. Your gifts empowered these girls with the skills needed to live independent lives and inspired them to work together to collectively change their communities. Emerge Global will now continue this important work with a sustained funding grant of $20,000 per year over a three-year period (November 2015-2017).

In Sri Lanka, girls aged 10-18 who have survived abuse and have had the courage to take their perpetrators to court are detained in shelters where they lose access to education and the outside world. DFW's project will teach business skills and jewelry design to 180 abused teens in shelters (60 per year), while helping them build their personal savings accounts for the future.

In its 2012 final report, Emerge Global reported the following:

"With Dining for Women's grant, these young women were able to generate $29,701 of savings through jewelry design, receive training in business development, financial management, reproductive health, community action, job readiness and more, and were connected to inspiring local women to build a network of support. We were also able to leverage our grant from DFW to garner further support for our work, including partnering with new retail outlets to sell Emerge jewelry, securing their first major local funding, partnering with Miss Sri Lanka as our celebrity spokesperson, and being selected by the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka as her charity of choice for International Day of the Girl. None of these outcomes would have been possible without DFW's generous gift last year."
Read the final report »
Learn More »
Proven Platter
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The Proven Platter
Beef and Spinach Stew
(Gboma Dessi)
By Linda McElroy, DFW Recipe Curator and Chapter Leader of WA, Seattle-1
This month, we visit the small West African country of Togo. Sandwiched between Ghana on the west and Benin on the east, the southern end of Togo sits at the Gulf of Guinea, where plenty of access to fresh fish helps to round out the cuisine.
View Recipe »
See All Recipes from Togo »
Food For Thought
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Food For Thought
Plan a Fair Trade Holiday
By Chris Worthy
As the holiday season draws near and you plan your shopping lists, please consider the impact of your purchases. You can make a real difference in the lives of women and girls around the world – with your holiday gifts!

Read more about how to make your purchases count »
Staff News
Leslie Mason
New Staff Member
Leslie Mason
Leslie Mason has joined our home office staff as  Accounting Specialist. In this role, she is responsible for a variety of in-house accounting functions which include processing donations and setting up recurring donations. Leslie also responds to member inquiries about donations, and invites members to contact her at

Leslie has extensive experience working in the education, nonprofit and small business sectors, and has a Bachelor's degree in history from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. She loves living in Greenville, SC with her spouse of 28 years, Marc. They are proud parents of two college-age daughters.

Welcome, Leslie!
Mid-Atlantic Regional Leader Steps Down

Cindy Ariel
Cindy Ariel has stepped down as Co-Leader of our Mid-Atlantic region, a position she held for the past three years. Cindy also founded the PA, Elkins Park-1 chapter and will continue to co-lead this chapter with Sheryl Potashnik.

Cindy practices psychology and has joined the leadership of Philadelphia's guild psychology organization. She also recently started a home repair company employing local women called Think Outside of the Toolbox.

"Since I became involved in 2010, DFW has grown and changed in many wonderful ways," said Cindy. "It has been deeply rewarding to contribute and put my deeply held beliefs into action."

Peggy Smith continues as Mid-Atlantic Regional Leader and efforts are under way to identify a new Co-Leader.

"I thank Cindy for her leadership and dedication to DFW," said Beth Ellen Holimon, Executive Director. "The Mid-Atlantic is one of our largest and most active regions, and it flourished under Cindy's many talents and her ongoing commitment to women and girls. We wish her all the best in the future!"
My DFW Story
My DFW Story
Megan Priester is Co-Leader (along with her mother, Peggy McCaffrey) of the NC, Hendersonville-1 chapter. Watch her story and learn about how DFW helped her recover from a crippling illness. Thanks Megan for sharing your story, and thanks once again to for providing the video for our "My DFW Story" series.
Program Reports
Program Reports
Lotus Outreach June
2015 Interim Report »

Thirteen Threads Jan-June
2015 Interim Report »

AfricAid Interim Report »
BOMA Final Report »
GoodWeave Interim Report »
Marketplace Partners
New Cause Marketing Partners
We are pleased to announce four new cause marketing partners, just in time for your holiday shopping. Three of these are previously funded programs from India, Uganda, and Guatemala, and all four feature exquisite handmade fair trade items made by women artisans. Visit all of our online partners at this link.

Anchal Project, a DFW featured and sustained funding program, addresses the exploitation of women by providing commercial sex workers in India with careers in textile & design production. Anchal artisans create a variety of intricately hand-stitched textile goods made from vintage saris and eco-friendly fabrics.

BeadforLife's programs teach women skills that help them gain the confidence and business knowledge needed to create a sustainable small business. Handmade paper bead jewelry, natural shea skin care products and home accessories are made by women in Uganda. BeadforLife received grants from Dining for Women in 2009 and 2010.

MayaWorks, a DFW featured program in 2013, is a nonprofit social venture that empowers indigenous women of Guatemala to achieve economic security by providing markets for their handcrafted products, such as bags, accessories, beaded jewelry, children's items, home decor, and holiday ornaments.

Symbology partners with marginalized women artists in India, the Middle East, and the U.S. (Native Americans) to create handcrafted fabrics that are fashioned into beautiful garments and accessories.
Fifty Chapter Leaders attended the Mid-Atlantic region's retreat in Philadelphia on Oct 24th. Along with presentations on DFW's 2020 vision and group discussions on a variety of topics, the event also included a panel discussion with representatives from several DFW funded programs, including Indego Africa, Rubia, and Kakenya Center for Excellence. Many thanks to Co-Leaders Peggy Smith and Cindy Ariel for all their hard work making this a successful event!
The first meeting of the Daughter-Mother chapter in Rhinebeck, NY was appropriately held on International Day of the Girl. Chapter Leader is Grace Levine. Welcome to the daughters and mothers who have founded this unique chapter!
New Grant Applications Received
A total of 69 Letters of Intent (LOIs) were received for our current grant cycle which closed Oct 24th. These LOIs will be reviewed by our Program Selection Committee, and the top 15 will be invited to submit a full grant proposal for consideration as featured program grantees for the second half of 2016. Grantees will be announced in April 2016.
Please send photos of your chapter milestones, meetings or special events to:

IN Follow DFW on Instagram for program info, recipes, chapter news, and more.
The NY, Cazenovia chapter recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary. Congratulations and thank you to Chapter Leader Gretchen Lipp and all her chapter members!
Photo by Jana Candler,, courtesy of TALK Greenville,
Susan Stall, DFW Treasurer and Co-Leader of the Greenville-7 chapter, was selected as one of the 25 Most Beautiful Women in the Upstate by TALK magazine in Greenville, SC. Each year, the magazine honors women who have made the community more beautiful by leading really beautiful lives. In the magazine's October issue, Susan is described as a "true servant leader", always willing to serve beyond the call of duty. In addition to DFW, she currently serves on the boards of Ten Thousand Villages, Symmes Foundation, and JustFaith Ministries. Congratulations Susan for a much deserved honor.
DFW member Emily McCollum (NC, Greensboro-5) surprised her husband, Justin, on his birthday with an Indian cooking lesson by Chapter Leader Shashi Khanna. Emily made a contribution to DFW's 13th Month Campaign as a thank you for the lesson and meal. Justin shared this comment about the evening: "More magical than perfect masalas without the use of a single measuring spoon is Shashi's generosity. Not only did she agree to help me, a stranger, celebrate my birthday with an incredible home-cooked Indian meal, but she helps strangers around the world every month by hosting Dining for Women." Shashi is also a Mentor for new members and chapters in North Carolina.
Chapter Anniversaries This Month
1 Year
MI, Rochester Hills – 1
led by Alice Seppanen & JoAnne Hornbeck
OR, Portland – 13
led by Meg Roland
TN, Knoxville - 2
led by Lori Johnson & Jenifer Plageman-Davis
DC, Washington – 7
led by Lauren Bronec & Lindsey Skinner
2 Years
AZ, Goodyear – 2
led by Jane Richards & Elaine DeKruif
CA, Santa Barbara – 3
led by Julia Davis & Stephanie Logan
CA, Altadena - 1
led by Christine Meadows
CT, West Hartford – 1
led by Alison Rogers-McCoy & Claire Burchill
CT, Guilford – 2
led by Tara Melvin & Beth Brause
WA, Seattle – 7
led by Anna Bertrand
3 Years
OH, Canal Fulton – 1
led by Cindy Bagocius
OH, Hudson – 1
led by Tamara Peterson & Rachel Peterson
PA, Kennett Square – 2
led by Linda Duffy
WA, Gig Harbor – 2
led by Christy Chambers
WI, Madison – 1
led by Molly Nagappala & Victoria Solomon
4 Years
OH, Holland – 1
led by Cynthia Beekley
OR, Bend – 1
led by Leslie Weaver
PA, Philadelphia – 5
led by Judith Tindall & Cara Herold
WI, Medford – 1
led by Connie Schmiege
5 Years
CA, San Jose – 6
led by Laurie Flesher
MI, Plainwell – 1
led by Nora O'Connor Wade
NY, Oneonta – 1
led by Eve Rabbiner
SC, Isle of Palms – 1
led by Cynthia Carpenter
6 Years
TX, Houston – 3
led by Francine Fleming & Jerrie Earthman
7 Years
CA, Berkeley – 1
led by Lindsay Miller
CA, San Jose – 1
led by Rebecca Ulrich & Mary Force
CO, Colorado Springs – 1
led by Jandy Sharp Barentine
8 Years
NY, Skaneateles – 1
led by Amy Schiek
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