To Give is To Transform

By Kristen Seeber
Women’s Fund of Smith County

The clocks have been set forward, and the days are getting longer. We’re emerging from inside to outside – from soups by the fire to salads on the patio. Coats are moved to the back of the closet, sweaters are folded and put away. It’s time for linen, seersucker and white shoes. The sun is shining, and our spirits feel lifted.

Springtime and Easter bring to mind messages of transformation and new life. We welcome this seasonal change with energy and expectation, as if we can breathe in the beauty and believe in beginning again.

A fresh start is invigorating and freeing. By wiping the slate clean, there’s a sense that anything is possible. Being offered a second, third or even fourth chance serves as a strong reminder to never lose hope. We fall down, and we get up.

It is an honor to be a part of an organization that strives to be an agent of transformation, to offer a helping hand up and a chance to try again. This spring, we embrace and advance our renewed mission statement: The Women’s Fund of Smith County believes that together is better. Through collective giving, we transform our community by funding programs that enrich the lives of women and children.

At the heart of our giving circle are the core values of collaboration, respect, excellence and responsibility. We value the impact philanthropy has on our community. We value our relationship with area nonprofits, who share our dedication to serve others. We are committed to transforming our community through an impactful grants process which results in both launching and expanding programs to positively change lives.

Service to others requires not just the giving of our dollars, but the giving of ourselves. It involves a human encounter, reaching a depth where both persons give and receive. Devotion to the underserved requires more, because deprivation comes in many forms. We can find the needful in even the most comfortable of places. The lonely, the forgotten, the worried, the regretful weighed down by remorse – all yearn for deep personal connection. Maybe we can help them find spring again.

Sometimes, the most desired gifts are empathy and grace. Oscar Wilde reminds us, “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” We’re all on this journey of life together, helping each other look onward and upward.

The giving experience is much like the message of Easter: suffering and sacrifice, love and forgiveness, hope and redemption. To give well is to be a part of the joy and the beauty of transformation.

Kristen Seeber serves as president of the Women’s Fund of Smith County. Membership to this giving circle is open to any woman interested in transforming community and lives through philanthropy. Visit www.womensfundsc.org for more information on mission and outreach.

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