Summer Social

Join us for Women’s United in Philanthropy 2018 Summer Social on Thursday, August 16at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, located on Route 250 in Charlottesville. Members and their guests can enjoy a fun night at the museum with live music – a perfect opportunity to get better acquainted with other WUP members! As always, the Summer Social is free and members are encouraged to bring a guest. Food trucks will be on site with food/beverages for purchase. We hope to see you there!

Women United in Philanthropy Supports the Virginia Festival of the Book

Smart Women Got it Done: Code Girls was the catchy title given to the session partially sponsored by Women United in Philanthropy at the 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book. The session, held at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on Thursday, March 22nd, featured author Liz Mundy and WWII cryptographer Dorothy Braden Bruce. The book, Code Girls, The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of WWII, reveals the story of thousands of American women recruited by the Army and Navy to serve as code breakers. The women faced sexism and misogyny while keeping their service secret.

Opioid Abuse in Our Community

Community experts in the prevention and treatment of opioid abuse advocated for proactive and compassionate support of patients needing pain management at a panel discussion hosted by Women United in Philanthropy (WUP) on Tuesday, February 27.

Patients should look for alternatives to opioids for managing pain, such as yoga, acupuncture, and mindfulness meditation, before taking an opioid, according to Paul V. Targonski, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health Services at the University of Virginia. “Ask yourself if you really need it,” advised Denise Bonds, MD, MPH, Director of the Thomas Jefferson Health District. “Or are you taking the minimal number of pills that you need?”

In 2014, more Virginians died of opioid overdoses than in traffic fatalities. In Central Virginia, opioid overdoses have not reached the high levels that they have in the southwestern part of the state, and multiple sources of prevention and treatment are available to patients coping with pain and addiction. These include Region Ten outpatient and residential treatment centers, which were described by Mary Jackson, MSW, Director of Women’s Residential Recovery for Region Ten.

Robert Tracci, JD, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Albemarle County, also advocated for compassion for opioid addicts who may commit low-level criminal offenses. “We can’t incarcerate our way out of this problem,” he said, and described the success of a local drug court that helps addicted individuals commit to be drug-free and employed to avoid incarceration.

Nearly 100 members of the community gathered at the Omni Charlottesville to learn from the WUP panel, part of a series of annual educational events hosted by WUP. The panel was moderated by Dorrie K. Fontaine, RN, PhD, Dean of the University of Virginia School of Nursing.

Membership Open House & 2016 Grant Recipients Presentations

The Women United Membership Open House on November 1st was, yet again, a great opportunity for members and guests to mix and mingle while celebrating the successes of the past year. Even more importantly, however, was the chance to hear from previous grant award recipients as they describe how the Women United Human Services Grant Awards have impacted their work serving women and children in our community. Jennifer Jacobs, Executive Director, AHIP (Albemarle Housing Improvement Program) shared how the $20,000 grant they received went toward providing and improving basic shelter needs for community members in dire need. Karen Reifenberger, COO, Piedmont Housing Alliance described how they used the $20,000 award to provide basic food needs to children and family members at Friendship Court in Charlottesville.

This year, eight new members joined at the event and several prospective members indicated they will also join.

Women United Participates in Day of Caring

The surprising heat during this year’s United Way Day of Caring on September 20, 2017, did not diminish the spirits of eight Women United volunteers.

Through United Way –Thomas Jefferson Area, we volunteered at The Salvation Army on Ridge Road. Our task was to transition the chapel back to its original function after the previous night’s Fifth Annual Telethon. Diane, the site janitor, and our host, Antonio Rice, Director of Development, quickly put us to work. With sleeves rolled up and muscles flexed, we hauled heavy stage backdrops into storage, re-positioned the band equipment back on stage, disassembled banners, dusted the pews and vacuumed.

Opened in 1912, The Salvation Army welcomes all who are in need.  Rice put it best when he said, “We are the safety net for anyone who has lost their way.”

The Salvation Army serves hot meals 365 days a year and served 60,000 meals last year. They can also house up to 56 clients overnight.  Food, shelter, clothes, and respect are what The Salvation Army offers to help those in need get back on their feet.

A big shout out to those who gave their time: Jennifer McCune, Karen Boyette, Kelly Downer, Kristin Cummings Streed, Maribeth Haynes, Mary Pat Hanson, Tracy Meade and Shannon Holland, who did a fabulous job coordinating.

 –Maribeth Haynes, Member, Communications Committee