“We are women joining together to demonstrate our support to help one woman at a time move forward on her journey through times of devastating trouble and loss. We believe that when we help one woman, we are helping one family and through that family we are helping the community.” This is the mission of Helping One Woman (H.O.W.). Their motto is: One woman with $10.00 can buy another woman lunch. Ten women with $10.00 can buy another woman’s groceries. One hundred women with $10.00 can make a real difference in another woman’s life.
H.O.W. came to life when a group of women, in Fresno, CA, got together once a month for dinner and decided to donate extra money to charity so there would be purpose behind their monthly dinner. This group of women went one step further and quickly decided to create a girls night out dinner inviting women of their community to join in honoring a woman from their community who would greatly benefit from a monetary gift.
Women who attend a H.O.W. event pay for their dinner and bring a $10.00 gift. At the end of the evening the woman who is being honored receives the entire collected gift. Any woman attending the dinner can fill out a nomination form nominating a woman who has suffered an irreplaceable loss, such as a family death, loss of home or job. The loss must be within a year of its occurrence. The nominations are previewed by the H.O.W. chapter team ensuring nomination criteria is met and then placed in a jar and the current honoree picks the next month’s woman of honor. Many women attend a H.O.W. dinner simply because they want to nominate another woman and end up returning month after month to support and honor each month’s recipient.
Recently, I sat down with Tiffany Violich, one of the five members of local H.O.W. chapter Discovery Bay, CA, which is currently the closest chapter to Brentwood (NorCal). These women organize, market and promote each month’s dinner. Each chapter is responsible for reaching out and working with a local restaurant to hold their monthly dinner. H.O.W. DB contacted Steve Fagalde, the owner of Discovery Bay Steakhouse, who had been looking for an organization to partner with because giving back to the community is important to him. Tiffany recounts, Steve told H.O.W. DB, “This is exactly what I have been looking for. I would love to partner with you.”
At their most recent event, which was also their first, a H.O.W. ambassador from the national chapter was there to help. She was speaking with the Sous-chef of Discovery Bay Steakhouse, explaining to him the purpose of the dinner. When he heard the explanation, Tiffany said, “He went around to all his kitchen staff and gathered a gift for that night’s honoree.” Tiffany goes on to say, “The restaurant matched that gift.” She also stated, “It is really neat to see firsthand the immediate giving to the recipient, especially in a room full of ninety people from the community.”
During dinner prize donation tickets can be purchased for the prize donation drawings as well as a silent auction. Some women even brought desserts that were auctioned off and the winner shared dessert with her table. All prize donation and auction proceeds also went directly to the honoree as a gift at the end of the evening. Tiffany stated, “ So many people came that said we would love to donate items and we had a couple businesses donate this time including a cruise that was part of the silent auction.
H.O.W. DB hosts their monthly dinner on the third Tuesday of each month. Their last event sold out in 5 days and while they do anticipate adding more tickets in the future they currently host 90-100 women.
As we ended our conversation I asked Tiffany one last thing she would like others to know. She said, “H.O.W. is open to anyone and has the potential to go anywhere.”
H.O.W. currently has 24 chapters most of those in CA but there are chapters in AZ, TN, GA and IN. If you are interested in knowing more about H.O.W. you can visit them at the addresses below.
National H.O.W. http://helpingonewoman.org/how-chapters/
Discovery Bay H.O.W. https://www.facebook.com/howdiscoverybay/