By Stacey Gualandi
Great group of gals. Check. Perfect potluck portions. Check. Dozens of donations. Check.
When I set out to start the first Hollywood, CA, Chapter of Dining for Women on February 23rd, I expected these key ingredients would make for a fun evening.
After all, in a profile in EYE last month, DFW founder Marsha Wallace said “collective giving” was such a simple concept: invite women to a potluck and money saved by “dining in” is in turn donated to a designated charity each month. But I never knew just how rewarding, inspiring and enriching this evening would be.
I am pleased to report that 22 fabulous women from all walks of life arrived at my two bedroom condo in the heart of Hollywood to reunite with old friends and to meet new ones. It was a perfect blend of ladies who all “got it”, the idea of meeting, greeting, reminiscing, sharing…not only to help feed our soul (and stomachs!), but also to aid women in other parts of the world.
February’s DFW designated program featured PINCC, Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer, an organization that funds cervical cancer screenings for women in under-developed areas. Our efforts, combined with donations from over 200 Dining chapters, will go a long way to help prevent this cancer among women living in El Salvador.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been a potluck without plenty of food! We chose a sustainable, El Salvadoran theme to tempt our tastebuds. My guests brought homemade or store-bought dishes like a healthy quinoa salad, crunchy kale and broccoli, pupusas, plantains, crudite, fruit, and the piece de la resistance–Whole Foods’ Veggie Pizza!!!
Every month’s gathering will focus on a different charitable program. I am fully committed and hope to share this experience not only with my friends, but also with soon-to-be friends. Its all about changing the world…one dinner at a time!
The evening of course never would have ever materialized, if not for the opportunity to write for EYE. For more information on how you can join Dining for Women, email Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org