By Whitney Patterson
Women’s Fund of Smith County

As March is Women’s History Month, I have been reflecting on great leaders of the past as well as the present. From time to time I will tell my 7 year-old daughter stories about both of my grandmothers, who are no longer with us. I’ll tell her about the things they did that may seem small, but were really groundbreaking for their time. I think about them more and more as I get older actually. These women, along with my mom, had such a great influence on my worldview, my outlook on life, from such a young age. (Not discounting the men in my life. Hi, Dad!)

This encouragement to become whatever I wanted, to strive for whatever goals I set, made a huge impact on my life. This doesn’t only happen among families. When women encourage each other, it is powerful. And, when women work together for the good of our community, we can literally move mountains.

I have seen this firsthand as a member of the Women’s Fund of Smith County. Each year, we all pitch in so that the organization can award deserving nonprofits in our community with much-needed impact grants. This incredible cause is what brings us together, but this group of women has also become a source of encouragement, mentorship and friendship for me and others.

As an active member and board director, I am inspired by the power of this group of women. Since its founding over 10 years ago, the organization has awarded a total of over $1.6 million in impact grants to 27 different local nonprofit organizations. This very impressive number is a result of women pooling their funds, some giving $50 a month and others giving much more, so that we can truly make a difference.

The membership team of the Women’s Fund of Smith County is always working to grow our membership, so that these impact grants can be increased. Our goal is to double membership by our 20 year anniversary in 2027.  As Vice Chair for Membership for 2019, I am proud of the 61 new members we have already recruited for this year and I am ready to welcome more into the circle!

Membership is an important element to the sustainability of our giving circle.  More members result in more high impact grants being awarded to nonprofit agencies, which in turn provide incredible services for women and children in our community.

Wondering if membership with the Women’s Fund of Smith County is right for you?

Membership is an open invitation to any woman with a giving heart. We believe there is strength in numbers and diversity.  As we say – Together is better! Currently, there are 280 members in the Women’s Fund of Smith County. Members of the Women’s Fund of Smith County are from different backgrounds, with different giving capacities.

There is still time to join us for the 2019 year. If you have ever had an interest in joining the Women’s Fund of Smith County, now is the time!  To learn more about the Women’s Fund of Smith County, please join us at the upcoming member guest social on March 26th at Hollytree Country Club, from 5:30 pm -7:30 pm.  Members are encouraged to bring a friend and socialize with other members, while learning more about the mission of the Women’s Fund of Smith County.

Whitney Patterson, Director of Annual Giving for TJC, serves as the vice chair for membership of the Women’s Fund of Smith County.  Membership is open to women who would like to learn more about collective giving.  Please like us on Facebook or visit for more information.