By Darla Childress
Women’s Fund of Smith County

A taxi driver was called to a residence.  Upon his arrival, he waited for the passenger.  After becoming a bit frustrated with the wait, he approached the door of the home owner.  When the door opened, an elderly woman began apologizing for the delay and asked for his assistance with her bag.  As the driver entered the house, he noticed a large box of memorabilia in the corner and all of the furnishings in the house covered as if abandoned for years.  He assisted the woman to the taxi and asked her destination.  She replied, “I’m going to Hospice but would like to drive through the city on the way.”  The driver explained that was the longest route and would greatly increase the fare.  But the elderly woman shared that her doctor had given her a week to live at most and she would really like to see sights along the way one last time.  He immediately turned off the meter and spent the next three hours touring the city with his new acquaintance. When they finally reached Hospice, he helped the women to her room, kissed her forehead and said goodbye.  The significant impact made on both lives that day was greater than either could ever have imagined.

As a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker…have you ever asked yourself, “What is my place?  What is my purpose?”  Most likely, one or possibly both of these questions have come to mind at some point in time.  The Women’s Fund of Smith County is the perfect answer to help fulfill such questions.

Just as with the taxi driver and the elderly woman, the Women’s Fund significantly impacts the life of each individual involved and many more. When a woman’s home is repaired by Habitat for Humanity, she along with her children, grandchildren and entire family are touched.  When a child is partnered with a mentor through the Mentoring Alliance, that child and his/her family all receive gifts of hope and promise, lasting a lifetime.  When a student is given the opportunity to be immersed in musical programs provided by the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, that music expands to friends and family beginning a new dynamic of interest and talent.  And when a woman is given skills through Christian Women’s Job Corp, receiving personal and professional coaching to help her reach employment goals to better provide for her family, everyone benefits.  These four agencies were awarded grants this year by the WFSC, and their funded programs are making a profound difference in our community.

Debra Smith and I are honored to serve as co-chairs of this year’s Mother’s Day Luncheon. We both agree that after attending WFSC events and seeing the diversity of women involved, all with a common goal and desire to serve others, it was obvious to us that we wanted to be a part of this giving organization. Debra says, “Confidence in knowing that the Women’s Fund allocates funding to benefit those in need and the fact that the money remains and is distributed to residents in our community makes us so proud to be a part of the Women’s Fund.”  It’s pretty remarkable to think that over a million dollars has been granted in simply ten years.  The grants given have impacted 26 different Smith County nonprofit agencies and countless lives.  I ask, “Who would not want to be a part of the Women’s Fund?”

We invite you to join us at our Mother’s Day Luncheon on May 10th, as we celebrate women who inspire us.  Special guests from the Mentoring Alliance will highlight the event, sharing stories of how their grant from the Women’s Fund is positively changing the lives of children and families.  This is your opportunity to discover how you can truly make a difference, finding great delight in your personal purpose and place.  Plan to be inspired and transformed!

Darla Childress is a proud member of the Women’s Fund of Smith County. She and Debra Smith are serving as co-chairs of the fifth annual Mother’s Day Luncheon on May 10th at Willow Brook County Club, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Seating is limited.  For reservations and more information, please visit or call 903-509-1771.