2021-2022 Community Impact Highlights
WAHHI’s mission has endured over the 62 years of the Association. There have been many changes in our Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Daufuskie communities, but the WAHHI mission remains constant: To facilitate communication among women, to encourage projects that benefit the community, and to promote the natural and cultural beauty of the Lowcountry.
WAHHI supports and enhances our Lowcountry community in many ways such as the Charitable Fund grants to local nonprofit organizations, to special WAHHI Anniversary community gifts, to the Difference Makers Interest Group food drives, to special speakers and bestselling authors who build insight and expand knowledge, to the chef series that excites our interests in new food tastes, to outdoor sports and on the water events that build friendships and a greater knowledge of our environment, and keynote speakers at member luncheons who enrich our appreciation of local arts and culture.
Over 940 members enjoy a women’s community of smart, caring and energetic women who have a positive impact on each other and where we live. Highlighted below are some of the ways WAHHI has been at work this year in our community through the generosity of your time, talents, and financial resources.
The year of RESILIENCE
2021-2022 was the year of RESILIENCE for our organization, community and members personally. We weathered two years of a pandemic to emerge changed in many ways but stronger and thriving. Dealing with COVID restrictions proved to be a roller coaster ride, but we were relieved and happy that our 4th and final member luncheon in April did not require masking or other restrictions. WAHHI leadership remained vigilant throughout the year, willing, and ready to adapt to any public health changes in order to keep our members safe and healthy as they began to once again participate in WAHHI activities, meetings and events. ZOOM continued to play a role in groups such as the Author Series, Member Spotlight (new this year), book groups, new/prospective member informationals, and a number of committee meetings. As Interest Groups came back to life they continued to practice social distancing through outdoor gatherings at the beach, member’s patios, etc. And of course outdoor sports like Pickleball, golf and boat tours remained popular with many members.
Youth Service Awards
This program, organized in 1980, continues to recognize high school seniors who excel at community service. This year a $1,000 cash award was made to each of five recipients. We congratulate the following outstanding youth who demonstrated an active commitment to community volunteerism.
Congratulations 2021 WAHHI Youth Service Award Recipients
- Addie DeVaney – May River High School
- Beckett Jones – Hilton Head Preparatory School
- Edy McGoldrick – Hilton Head High School
- Theodore Oldham – John Paul II Catholic School
- Jennifer Richardson – Bluffton High School
This Interest Group is comprised of over 100 active and volunteer-minded members who have FUN while doing good in a day. These women have led our Association’s efforts to:
- Build children’s literacy through the Free Little Library Program at four outreach locations – over 800 new books collected to restock these little libraries.
- Address food insecurity in our community through a food drive for Second Helpings – over 1,300 lbs. of food and $1,137 in cash were, contributed.
- Pledge the Pink Walk brought out over 40 WAHHI volunteers to set up, support, and cheer hundreds of walkers to raise funds for a cancer charity of choice.
- Build good will through Operation Morale Support by collecting soccer balls, beanie babies and stuffed animals requested by our troops in Syria to distribute to children in this war-torn area.
- Support pride in home ownership by painting a newly built Habitat home on the Islan.
- Bring joy and laughter during the holidays to The Children’s Center and Bluffton Self Help through the Annual WAHHI Holiday Toy Drive collection – over 40 bags of toys and cash donations.
- Promote environmental awareness by filling 150 bags of oyster shells used to build oyster habitats and promote oyster shell recycling efforts in collaboration with Outside Foundation.
- Fill a sweet tooth during the annual February luncheon collection and delivery of cookies for our police and fire first responders.
- Help with the annual SOAR Valentine Party by purchasing party favors and assisting with festivities.
- Help with the Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Lowcountry annual gala preparations and hostessing.
A huge THANK YOU to the leadership of Difference Makers and every WAHHI member who contributed to the success of these efforts.
WAHHI Charitable Fund
There are a number of visible and tangible gifts that our Association has contributed to the community in the past. Bike path maps, the bronze Walter Palmer statue on the grounds of the Coastal Discovery Museum as well as the front porch of the Gabled Farm House, and last year the 60th WAHHI Anniversary gift of a labyrinth that will be handicap accessible just broke ground in March. To highlight these and other contributions over the years made possible by the generosity of our members, there is now a booklet “Traveling the Island With WAHHI”, compiled by our Historian, Marie Danforth. It can be found on the website, in a downloadable format, for members and visitors to enjoy their discovery tour.
This year $12,000 was awarded through grants to local nonprofit organizations focused on building resilience through programs benefiting women and children impacted by the COVID pandemic.
Congratulations to the 2022 WAHHI Charitable Fund Recipients
- The Children’s Center
- Hopeful Horizons
- Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth
- Lowcountry Legal Volunteers
- Love House Learning Academy
- Neighborhood Outreach Connection (NOC)
- The Pregnancy Center
- Sandalwood Food Pantry
We are grateful for your generous support along with that of our vendor partners who donate items for door prizes and raffles, and to those businesses who sponsor Shop for a Cause events. Charitable Fund Grants and Youth Service Awards were funded by:
- WAHHI Diamond members
- Numerous fundraising events (Shop for a Cause – JMcLaughlin, JBanks Design, Phillips Shoes; Happy Days Dinner and St. Patrick’s Day Dinner; WAHHI Garden Tour; Golf Scramble; Belk Charity Day)
- Individual member donations to the WAHHI Charitable Fund (held in trust by The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry)
- Vendor tables at the December WAHHI Luncheon
And many thanks to the creativity, time, and energy of our Fun Raising Funds Interest Group members for their unceasing efforts to make these events possible.
Every membership year is the result of many women coming together and committing time, talent, or resources. We are a 100% volunteer-based organization. We urge you to join these women who are dedicated to making a difference in our communities while enjoying the WAHHI benefits of camaraderie, team spirit, and just plain FUN. There is always room for more hearts and hands so please contact the President using the Contact Us form