October 12, 2017
Mist hangs in the air outside. Laughter echoes down the hallway. Smells of coffee, sweet breads and egg casserole waft through the air. The room pops with hues of burgundy, burnt orange and golden yellow, pumpkins line the window sills, cornucopias filled with autumnal foliage are the focal point of each table.
On September 26th, the Women of Purpose kicked off their annual membership drive with a come-and-go breakfast event. Forty-eight ladies faced the misty morning and enjoyed a breakfast that was prepared by the Women of Purpose Executive Committee members. The event was hosted at the Finney County Historical Museum and was complete with a display of impactful “Women of Purpose” throughout Finney County’s history, compliments of the Finney County Historical Society. This annual event serves as a time of catching-up, fellowship, and good old-fashioned fun for anyone that is currently a member or who wants to know more about Women of Purpose.
The Women of Purpose is an endowed fund held by the Western Kansas Community Foundation. The fund was created in 2009 by 10 ladies with the purpose of empowering Southwest Kansas women to take an active role in philanthropy. Since the fund’s inception, the group of 10 ladies has grown to over 160 members over the years. Each year, community members (men, women, and businesses alike) have the opportunity to contribute $100 toward an annual voting membership for the Women of Purpose. Those membership contributions help to grow the fund and increase the amount of available grant money each year. Every spring, after the annual grant allocation has been determined for the fund, proposals for program funding centered on women’s needs and a pre-determined topic are requested from area non-profits. Once those proposals are received, all who have paid their annual membership for the year are allotted a vote to determine the recipient of the grant award. After votes have been tallied, an annual luncheon is held at which the previous year’s grant award winner gives a report on what the grant did for their program and the new grant award winner is announced.
Over the past seven years, the Women of Purpose Fund has provided grants to women’s programs that teach financial literacy, programs that provided wigs to cancer patients, programs that encouraged healthy living, and programs that helped women get back in the workforce. An unknown author once said “each time women gather in circles with each other, the world heals a little more.” With each membership and every grant award, this giving circle aims to make that quote a reality by providing a better life for area women.
The Women of Purpose Fund is one of 15 eligible organizations to receive matching dollars on Match Day, November 28th.
For more information about the Women of Purpose Fund, contact Stacie Hahn at 620-271-9484.