Welcome 9 Philanthropy

WAHHI has a long history of community outreach. From its inception, the women of WAHHI have participated in activities that benefited our community. Read "Traveling the Island with WAHHI" on our website and learn about the early days of WAHHI, including the projects and landmarks that WAHHI has contributed to the growing HHI community over the years.

WAHHI's Community Outreach has three major components: Difference Makers, WAHHI Competitive Grants, and Youth Service Awards. These three initiatives significantly impact the geographic area that WAHHI encompasses.  Each outreach component made changes to encourage members' input and involvement this year.

Difference Makers (DM) is an Interest Group offering one monthly project. Members of this interest group have opportunities to serve as project leaders. All WAHHI members are encouraged to participate in each planned project, especially those that coincide with their availability and specific passions. It is still possible to sign up for the projects scheduled for September and October.

Difference Makers is seeking project proposals for the remainder of the year. Contact Eileen Faas or Gina Hines for further information. Please be prepared to share a brief description of the nonprofit organization that needs help, what they need, etc.

The WAHHI Charitable Grant Committee is excited to welcome the DM Chairs to the Charitable Grants Committee. Gina and Eileen's involvement will help facilitate information-sharing about community needs and nonprofit organizations. It will also hopefully enable the committee to meet the increasing number of requests for assistance. The Competitive Grants Committee will use a Portal (Foundant Technologies) to make grant information and applications more accessible to local nonprofits. Committee members will also use the portal to review and score grant applications. The new system will generate comprehensive reports about the grant process and an annual history.

Each year since 1980, WAHHI has sponsored Youth Service Awards as a way to acknowledge local high school seniors who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to civic engagement. Award recipients are recognized at WAHHI's April Luncheon. In 2021, each of the five award winners receive a check for $1,000 to support further education. WAHHI members have the opportunity to serve on the committee that promotes this scholarship and reviews applications.

WAHHI’s Community Outreach initiatives rely on the Fun-Raising Committee’s efforts. Under the leadership of Linda Dreisbach, the Fun-Raising Committee works year-round to raise the funds needed to support the WAHHI Community Outreach initiatives. Linda and her committee are always looking for enthusiastic members to help plan and facilitate fun activities, such as shopping days, social events, etc. Contact Linda to help put the fun into fundraising!

WAHHI’s Community Outreach initiatives need your support! Consider participating in a Difference Makers project, assisting with a fundraising event, becoming a Diamond Member, or contributing your time or talent. This year WAHHI is focusing on finding JOY in life. There is no better way to find JOY than by looking outside ourselves and seeing where we can make a difference in the lives of others. WAHHI’s Community Outreach programs mobilize members’ hearts and hands. We invite you to find ways to participate in community outreach and help those in need in our community. Together, we can make a difference, and you will feel the JOY of participating in an organization that has consistently benefited our community.

Please use our Contact Us page to contact the Difference Makers, Fun-Raising, WAHHI Charitable Grants, or Youth Service Awards.

Contact Us

Difference Makers

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 goodwill 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
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
Your Contributions

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.

Your Volunteerism

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