By Gillian Sheridan
Guest Columnist
Women’s Fund of Smith County

 “There is an astounding legacy of philanthropy that we have all created – one we need to pass on to the next and future generations.” – from Raising Charitable Children by Carol Weisman

Studies show there has been a recent surge of women philanthropists and that they actually give more than men.  However, women are often recognized as raising children or raising money as a volunteer, but have you ever stopped to consider how women are raising charitable communities?  Some might say the answer starts at home by raising charitable children.

It’s the focus of the Women’s Fund of Smith County Power of the Purse Luncheon this month, “Live the Give,” and one of the reasons I decided to serve as the Chairman.

I believe encouraging our children to give comes from leading by example.  My husband and I share information with our two young daughters about the organizations we support with our time, talent or treasure, and why.  We teach then about being thoughtful with a donation and the impact it can have to change a life. It’s all part of the equation to make sure their own life is balanced.

Many of us fear that without some balance, most children will grow up thinking only of themselves. This observation is what led our luncheon keynote speaker, Carol Weisman, to write “Raising Charitable Children,” which is already in its third printing.

In an inspiring yet humorous tone, Weisman shares real-life stories of how families have either initiated or supported ways to teach children how to give back to those in need.  Weisman offers specific steps to help translate these ideas into action and start making a difference now!

In her own family, Weisman and her husband started a family tradition whereby they and their sons (starting when they were just four and six) made a small donation to a program or charity of choice on their birthday. This was not in lieu of a party or gifts, but in addition to them.

I have personally found that instilling cherished values in children returns many blessings for parents and ultimately, our community.  It’s been said that giving is better than receiving because giving starts the receiving process.  How true!

I hope you will join us for the Power of the Purse Luncheon as Carol Weisman provides tips for sharing the gifts of generosity, selflessness and compassion with children of all ages and backgrounds.  You will walk away enlightened and encouraged, and may even be moved to create some new family traditions of your own as we strive to raise charitable communities!

As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

The Women’s Fund of Smith County invites you to the 2016 Power of the Purse luncheon: “Live the Give – How Women are Raising Charitable Communities.” The event takes place Tuesday, October 25, 11:30 a.m., at the CrossWalk Conference Center, with all proceeds benefiting the Women’s Fund mission and outreach to women and children in Smith County. For ticket information, visit or call 903-509-1771. Bring a friend and be inspired!

Gillian Sheridan, CBS 19 Morning Anchor and Grace Community School Director of Development, is a charter member of the Women’s Fund of Smith County. The Women’s Fund of Smith County is a nonprofit organization that leverages the philanthropic capacity of women as a catalyst for positive change. For information about joining go to or call 903.509.1771.