Looking Back on a Year of Women's Leadership Council

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by Nancy Craig
Senior Manager, Leadership Giving

Last May, 45 dynamic and caring women came together to launch the Women's Leadership Council (WLC) of Asheville and Buncombe County. In less than a year, I’m excited to report we’ve grown to 152 members, raising nearly $240,000 and contributing more than 200 volunteer hours through WLC alone.

By connecting financial giving and active involvement, WLC lets members make lasting change for students in Buncombe County at the most critical time – middle school! This group is focused on increasing access to out-of-school time programs, improving the quality of those programs and advocating for issues that impact United Way’s Middle School Success initiative. Ultimately, we’d like to see all students have a successful experience while in middle school and go on to graduate from high school.

WLC is part of a larger network of 50,000 women in 120 communities across the country. In my previous role with United Way of East Central Iowa, I oversaw the activities of the Women's Leadership Council and saw firsthand the amazing changes that can happen when a group of women take on a cause and I am thrilled to work with this amazing group as they tackle educational challenges in ours. Women get things done! If you are not yet a member, NOW is the time to join and get behind the force that will make things happen. You’ll be glad you did.

The WLC Executive Committee is led by Taylor Foss, the recipient of the “I’ll Raise My Voice for United Way” award at our annual LIVE UNITED Celebration. In May, she’ll present at United Way’s Community Leaders Conference in Washington D.C., sharing information on developing a WLC chapter to drive impact and fundraising. Thousands will hear about our first year, taking our lessons back to their own communities.

In addition to several networking and educational events, members participated in many service projects, including:

  • At Hands On Asheville-Buncombe’s annual Day of Caring, WLC members weeded, raked and spread mulch for Enka Middle School. 
  • WLC members led activities, group discussions and served as positive role models as a part of Enka Middle School’s Girls In Charge club. This group was designed to help sixth grade girls make healthy choices for themselves and create sustained, positive changes in girls’ body image and esteem.
  • Together we wrapped gifts and books for middle school students in need at a holiday wrapping party.
  • And of course there was sorting and packing backpacks with school supplies at the WLC Pack and Sort. This is part of Hands On Asheville-Buncombe’s annual school supply drive that ensures elementary and middle school students start the year off ready to succeed!

WLC’s story has just begun. Members have engaged to make a better life for everyone in our community. But we can’t do it alone. I hope you’ll think about joining us.

For information about WLC or other giving societies or to join another donor group, please click here.

Nancy Craig is the Senior Manager of Leadership Giving at United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. She can be reached at Nancy.Craig@UnitedWayABC.org or (828) 239-1048.



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