GIVE presents their first grant to Refuge of Light.

GIVE presents their first grant to Refuge of Light.

The new initiative of The Women’s Fund, Girls Invested in Volunteer Efforts (GIVE) had a very successful first year.  After six years of grant-making in Tyler-Smith County, The Women’s Fund is branching out to the next generation, and has formed a group of high school junior and senior girls, the first chapter GIVE.  Twenty-five girls from high schools throughout Tyler have come together to raise funds for local nonprofit organizations.

As part of their fundraising efforts, they have sold lip balm, hair ties and held a family movie. They also hosted a pancake dinner at The Diner on February 23rd.  Tickets were sold for $5 and they managed the entire operation from cooking to serving and cleaning.  Their teamwork served more than 170 people, and raised over $1800 towards their efforts in giving back to the community.

They researched organizations including: Refuge of Light; East Texas Food Bank; People Attempting to Help (PATH); Steal, Kill and Destroy (SKAD); and Cystic Fibrosis. GIVE heard presentations from three of these nonprofit groups to evaluate where their grant funds could best be invested.  Patterned after The Women’s Fund, each girl had one vote in the decision on how to award the grant funds.

On Sunday, April 13 these young philanthropists along with Women’s Fund members, met at Hospice of East Texas awarded Missy Zivney, Executive Director of Refuge of Light, with a check for $2,500

The group is already planning for next year, and reaching out to other high school juniors and seniors who would like to join their efforts in giving back to the community.  Anyone interested in joining, or looking for a way to help these young ladies through donations may contact or Betsy Brush Hahn at 903-509-1771 ext 104.