Washington Area Women's Foundation

Uncertain times inspire me to want to connect, not retreat.

Last Thursday was the kick-off of a new cycle of the Rainmaker’s Giving Circle.

Like many families, ours is considering ways to save more and spend less given the economic uncertainty we are all facing.  This year, I considered saying “no” or “taking a break” for this cycle and waiting to see where things go with the economy and my and my husband’s jobs.

What a funny coincidence that just last weekend, the senior minister at my church gave a sermon titled, “Spiritual Choices in Difficult Times.” He warned against giving in to fear and turning inward by creating a protective shell.  He encouraged us to resist the urge to take cover, and instead asked us reach out our hands, connect with others and live generously–reminding us that small actions and giving of our time can be powerful instruments of change.

For me, today’s kick-off meeting was a crystal clear affirmation of last week’s message.  It was a reminder of how building and maintaining those connections are so important.  In joining together to learn about the challenges and threats facing the women and children in our communities and determining how to distribute the Circle’s funds, I’ve received so much on a personal level.

During my six years with the Rainmaker’s, I became a mother to two wonderful daughters, my family “migrated” across state lines (something we were sure we would never do), and I’ve worked diligently to climb the corporate ladder at work.  Through all of these changes, the Rainmaker’s provided me with a group of supportive women who have been through these phases of life and who shared a belief in giving back to their community.

When I was pregnant with my first child, a fellow Rainmaker sent me a card with a little reminder that the pregnancy would fly by quickly and I would be able to see my toes again and to get ready for all of the positive and wonderful changes that were coming my way.  I was so touched by that card. 

Small gestures can have such a lasting impact.

Every year, I return from site visits we do as part of Rainmakers in awe of the things that organizations and their dedicated staff are doing to provide support to women and children in our communities. It’s a reminder of the powerful impact that a small group of people can achieve when they act collectively.

It encourages me to continue educating myself on these issues, sharing the information with others and to give a bit back to my community.

As we embark on another year practicing collective giving, I am very excited and so glad that I decided to continue participating in this wonderful process. I am thankful that The Women’s Foundation provides this opportunity. 

And, I don’t think we’ve ever had such a large group of participants!

It seems that others must have intuitively felt the need to connect during these uncertain times. I’m looking forward to getting to know the women in this year’s Rainmaker’s Giving Circle and to the inspiration that I’ll feel as learn about and witness all of the wonderful things that are happening in and around Washington D.C. to improve the lives of women and children.

Rebecca S. Manicone has been a member of the Rainmakers Giving Circle for six years. 

To learn more about how you can get connected to your community through giving circles or other collective giving opportunities, contact Nicole Cozier, Philanthropic Education Officer, at ncozier@wawf.org.  There’s a place for everyone at The Women’s Foundation…find yours today!