Difference Makers
Welcome 9 Philanthropy 9 Difference Makers
WAHHI Women donated almost 1,000 items to Bluffton Self Help!
Pockets Full of Sunshine

Difference Makers Do It AGAIN!!! Thank you to our WAHHI Difference Makers for partnering with the Rays from Pockets Full of Sunshine to fill 14,000 Easter eggs with small toys and candies. YES! That’s 14,000 eggs filled over a two-day period to help the Rays get ready for the big Easter egg hunt. The Easter eggs will be used for the Easter Eggstravaganza sponsored by the Island Recreation Center. The event is FREE and open to the public, and will be held on Saturday, March 30, from 10am – 1pm at Shelter Cove Park. The egg hunt begins at 11. Spread the word! This sounds like a great event for kids and grandchildren! A big thank you to Lynn Roberts and Gina Hines and ALL the Difference Makers who participated in this project to help our Rays. Pockets Full of Sunshine is a previous recipient of a WAHHI Charitable Fund Grant, and we are proud to have formed a strong partnership with this amazing organization. For more information on Pockets Full of Sunshine and how to volunteer your efforts, please check out their website: http://www.pocketsfullofsun.org

A Special Valentine’s Day at Boys & Girls Club

Thank you to our 18 WAHHI members who volunteered at the Valentine’s Day project at Boys & Girls Club, and to Difference Maker Elaine Scott, the mastermind behind this project. Founded in 1998, the Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton has played a critical role in providing young people a safe place to go after school, supervised by trusted, caring adults.

Through their structured after-school programs and relational support, these youths are encouraged to develop the attitudes, skill values and behaviors that enable them to succeed in life. This non-profit is one of our 2024 WAHHI Charitable Fund Grant recipients, and we also partnered with the group for this Difference Makers project. We were given a presentation and tour of the beautiful facilities and learned more about this amazing organization. After the tour, we taught the kids (in six different classrooms) a Valentine’s themed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) lesson about binary coding.

They made bracelets that spelled L-O-V-E using colored beads to represent the corresponding code. Each grade level, 1st – 5th grade, had a WAHHI Difference Maker leader and one or two helpers. The Boys & Girls Club of Bluffton serves over 600 members annually, from kindergarten through high school. Bluffton area schools transport nearly 350 students to the Club every day to take part in safe, secure and educational programming focused on five core areas: Character & Leadership Development, Education & Career Development, Health & Life Skills, The Arts and Sports/Fitness & Recreation.

The Club is always looking for volunteers to help with after-school activities. 

WAHHI Difference Makers. . . . . . Partnering with Hopeful Horizons for our October project

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  Join WAHHI Difference Makers on October 26 as we learn more about the mission of Hopeful Horizons and their new program Furnish a Future.  Hopeful Horizons is the Lowcountry’s leader in ending child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assault.  It is the only children’s advocacy, domestic violence and rape crisis center that serves the 3,200 square mile, five county area of Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper, and Allendale counties.

Furnish a Future is a unique program for Hopeful Horizons, led by a dedicated volunteer group. The program creates safe and joyful spaces for individuals and families who are starting a new life after fleeing domestic violence and staying at an emergency shelter.

In many cases, women and their children who are assisted through Hopeful Horizons’ housing program need to rebuild from the ground up. The Housing Program works with shelter residents to secure permanent housing, pays a portion of the deposit and rent (for up to two years) and continues to provide supportive services.

Register for the event on Wild Apricot Events Page.  After a presentation, we’ll will be making a tangle toy.  This simple craft helps children, teens and adults calm their minds and keep their hands busy during stressful situations, such as forensic medical exams, therapy sessions, or emergency room visits.  We will also be decorating bags for families and writing note cards of encouragement.  Encouragement and kindness are much appreciated by these women and children.

If you would like to help further, you can do so in many ways:

Hopeful Horizons/Furnish a Future Wish List:  https://www.hopefulhorizons.org/wish-list

Items can be ordered through Amazon. You can also deliver items to HH Tuesday-Thursday from 9-4pm at 10 Pinkney Colony, Suite 101, Bluffton

To make a donation:  https://apps.hopefulhorizons.org/donate-now

WAHHI has many members who volunteer their time to support Hopeful Horizons and Furnish a Future all year long.  We are so proud of these women who find the time to dedicate to helping these families settle into their lives.  Thank you Ladies!    To Volunteer your time to support victims of domestic violence:  www.hopefulhorizons.org/volunteer-opportunities

For more questions on Difference Makers you can contact:  Gina Hines, ghines1760@gmail.com or Claudia Aller, claudiaaller25@gmail.com

Difference Makers Book Collection

Dear WAHHI Women,

It is so exciting that we have collected 676 children’s books at our September luncheon with more still to come! We were able to fill our Little Libraries with some of these books this weekend!

We currently have Little Libraries located at the Hilton Head Boys and Girls Club, Deep Well and the Sandalwood Food Pantry. The Bluffton Boys and Girls Club is now also welcoming books from us.

Thanks to our member Kay Sharp, we will soon have a Library at St Andrews by the Sea. Her husband, Tom, has graciously offered to install it for us!

The ladies of WAHHI have generously kept these libraries filled since 2018! You are all amazing!  Anyone that would still like to donate books to this cause is welcome to place books in the libraries at any time or feel free to contact Cathy Todd for pick up. cathytoddhh@gmail.com

Again, we thank everyone who has donated books or volunteered in the collection. You have definitely made a Difference!   

Cathy Todd

Thank YOU for Making a Difference this Season

What an amazing season of giving from our WAHHI members! All efforts were coordinated and led by our WAHHI Difference Makers, with generous support from YOU.

In November, we partnered with Second Helpings for two events. The first event was a “Make an Amazing Meal” presentation. It was a wonderful afternoon held at St. Andrews by the Sea and Second Helpings to learn more about food rescue in our community and how that donated food is used by our food pantries to serve hungry neighbors. We had over 50 WAHHI members participate and a number of signups to volunteer for future efforts to help St. Andrews, Second Helpings and Deep Well.

We followed this afternoon with a food drive on November 14. There were two sites for donations, one each in Bluffton and Hilton Head. Our Difference Makers manned the trucks, along with our partners at Second Helpings. Special thanks to Vicki McIntyre, Sarah Winter, Judy Weidler, Jan Steffan, Jackie Darling, Linda Benninger, Renee Roth, Nancy Sigmund and Julie Defeo for manning the trucks. We collected a total of 1,057 pounds of food and $566. A big thank you to Kay Williams for putting together both of these events for WAHHI!

In December, the WAHHI Holiday Gift Drive adopted 96 families at The Children’s Center. These families were made up of 366 individuals, consisting of 196 children, 93 moms, 61 dads and 14 grandparents. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our WAHII members we gave our families 623 gifts, and we were able to provide each child with a second gift. What an amazing act of love by our membership! The success of the gift drive was largely due to the wonderful community representatives who reached out to their members, coordinated the gifts, held wrapping parties and delivered the gifts to the The Children’s Center. The Children’s Center will distribute these packages to those 96 families on a special afternoon where each family will receive a package of wrapped gifts from their “wish list”. Thank you to the following neighborhood coordinators for their hard work and leadership: Anita Maynard, Diane Horowitz, Ruth McCully, Gina Hines, Eileen McKnight, Lynn Price, Becky Minton, Mary Healy, Cate Jarrett, Judy Purvis, Sue Siegel, Karen Simpson, JoAnn Barnard, Gigi Kotler, Sue Tassitano, Peg Meddaugh, Linda Schilder and Helen Devitto. A big thank you to our project leaders Michele Foote and Mary Beth Schmitt.

Your generosity continues to humble us—well done, WAHHI!

Our nonprofits are always looking for volunteers to support their efforts. To learn more about our nonprofit partners and to volunteer your time and talents, check out their websites:



Difference Makers September Project

Little Library Program.

In 2018, WAHHI member CATHY TODD’s father, Donald Wagner and Dr. Harold Cross, both residents of Seabrook Retirement Community, built 3 book boxes and placed them on Hilton Head. They built them after learning about the program and wanting to help children have access to reading. Throughout the year, others in the community have donated to these libraries and often the books are returned by the children before taking a new book- just like a library.

The libraries are located at the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head, Deep Well and Sandalwood Food Pantry.  They are loved and well used and are refilled often.  As Cathy told us: “One day when I was refilling a library, a man approached me and asked if he was allowed to borrow a book. I said of course he was welcome to borrow books whenever he liked. He thanked me then told me he was using our books to help himself learn to read better. It made me realize how important this program is.”

Two years ago, approximately 870 books were donated by our generous and amazing members through our Difference Makers. Difference Makers collects these books to help restock the boxes with fresh, new reading materials for the island’s children and young adults. Most of these books have now been distributed!

October Hopeful Horizons Project Recap and photos

Your generosity is overwhelming, and we are so grateful for what you achieved! Over 50 kits were put together for survivors of domestic violence who are starting their lives over and working with Hopeful Horizons, right here in our community. Thank you for your enthusiasm, your caring and kindness, your gifts and your hard work.

 Our volunteer team will be helping families establish new homes after fleeing violence and they will have that very special feeling of “home” when they move in. Thank you thank you thank you!

The Joy of Health & Wellness

Difference Makers held a very successful event, The Joy of Health & Wellness on March 9th @ Hilton Head Public Library.

70+ WAHHI women heard from an OB/Gyn doctor (and WAHHI member) about the importance of staying up to date on pelvic, breast & colon screening exams and the importance of flu, pneumonia, shingles, and other vaccines.
An HHI Fire & Rescue representative gave details and demonstrated the hands-only CPR method and how to find and use an AED machine.
Our WAHHI past President, Tamra Avrit, spoke via video about saving her husband’s life by performing CPR.
The importance of blood donation was stressed by an American Red Cross representative and a Nurse Practitioner from Hospice Care of the Lowcountry spoke about hospice vs palliative care.
All speakers were available afterward for questions and with information on how to sign up for CPR classes & blood donation.

Click here for more information

We have completed the following projects:

  • Help teach children about the environment by gathering recyclables for The Sandbox.
  • The Sandbox is an interactive children’s museum that conducts art classes and teaches children to make art projects with recyclables donated by our members.
  • Address food insecurity in our community through a food drive to support the new wellness store at Volunteers in Medicine.
  • Bring joy and laughter during the holidays to the families of The Children’s Center. This year our neighborhood teams gathered over 400 gifts that were sorted to create a full package for every family member of all the children from The Children’s Center.
  • Supported awareness of domestic violence and collected personal items for women and their families in emergency shelters for Hopeful Horizons.
  • Helped create Christmas ornaments with the Rays at Pockets Full of Sunshine.
  • Cleared the campus and built a walkway to link the medical offices to the new Wellness Center at Volunteers in Medicine. Learned about the importance of the need to supply healthy food and vegetables to our community.
  • Worked with the American Heart Association and other medical professionals to have open conversations about health and wellness issues for women.
  • Promote environmental awareness by filling 150 bags of oyster shells used to build oyster habitats and promote oyster shell recycling efforts in collaboration with The Outside Foundation.
  • Clean up our beaches and keep the environment beautiful and safe with The Outside Foundation.

A huge THANK YOU to the leadership of Difference Makers and every WAHHI member who contributed to the success of these efforts.

The Difference Makers are happy to entertain opportunities to support a local nonprofit organization in making a difference in a day.  If you have an opportunity that you would like us to consider, please click the link below to complete our application.  We receive many requests during the year and will try to accommodate as many as possible!  Please make sure to add your group’s contact information.

Contact Eileen Faas or Gina Hines at difference-makers@wahhi.org for more information.

WAHHI Difference Makers – 2023-2024 Project Request Form

WAHHI women can put their gifts, expertise, talent, time, and generosity by participating in Difference Makers events. Typically, a monthly project is coordinated to meet a need of one of our community non-profit or other area organizations which may involve education regarding the specified organization’s history & purpose, collection of needed donations, and, as often as possible, hands-on work to benefit an organization‘s short-term need. 

WAHHI members who volunteer to lead and/or participate in these projects have FUN meeting and serving these worthwhile charitable organizations in our area. Participation in Difference Maker projects is “as available” and no long-term commitment is required, however, many of our members may decide to become regular volunteers at one of these community non-profit organizations.

If you are interested in suggesting a project or in helping to organize an activity, please complete our Project Request Form. All of us are Difference Makers in our communities!  You can participate in a way that works for your time and talents through our projects.  You can sign up to participate through WAHHI Events on member resources.  Participate as much as you can as every project varies.

Our projects will always tie to our mission and values and include an educational component. If we are bagging oysters with The Outside Foundation, you may stay for lunch after to learn about our local oyster environment. We want to make a difference in a day, but also feel a sense of partnership with the organization that we are supporting.  Learning how our hearts and hands can impact the community in big ways makes all the difference!!

We hope you join US this year to Make a Difference in A Day!