2020-21 Community Impact Highlights
WAHHI is much more than a great lunch with an engaging speaker four times a year! WAHHI is about fun, friendship and our community.
WAHHI builds and supports our Lowcountry community in many different ways, such as the Difference Maker’s Interest Group tending the Camellia Garden at Honey Horn Plantation, to newcomers’ luncheon welcome tables, to book clubs building insight and knowledge to cooking clubs bringing friendship and fellowship over a great meal.
With almost 700 members, we enjoy a women’s community of smart, caring and committed women making a positive impact for each other and where we live. Summarized below are a few highlights of WAHHI at work in the community due to your generosity with your time, talent, and financial resources.
Our 2020-21 WAHHI year was challenging with the COVID19 pandemic. While we had to be socially distanced, we did not want to be distant! We met in small groups – sometimes in backyards, in parks, on the beach, or even in parking lots! Some interest groups were on hiatus, while other groups were meeting routinely to connect women and keep everyone engaged, such as Pickle and Play and Golf Nine and Wine. We conducted the first-ever ZOOM all membership meeting in February 2021 to celebrate our Association’s 60th Anniversary. We meet outside for two membership meetings and luncheons at the Coast Discovery Museum’s pavilion. We enjoyed other Zoom virtual programming with a best selling Author Series, an Environmental and Cultural Speaker Series, and different events that kept us outdoors, such as on the water tours and trips (kayaking, paddleboard, sunset trips), or in small groups and online, such as the Chef Series.
WAHHI Youth Awards
The Women’s Association’s Youth Community Service Award Program is the organization’s most visible community effort. This program has recognized local outstanding students who excel at community service since 1980. This year, each recipient received a $1,000 cash prize.
Congratulations to our 2021 WAHHI Youth Community Service Awards recipients who each demonstrated an active commitment to community volunteerism:
- Grace Weismantel – Hilton Head Island High
- Madison MacCabe – Hilton Head Christian Academy
- Emma Drury – May River High
- Brooke Simons – Hilton High Island High School
- Jack Paul Barney – Hilton Head Preparatory School
WAHHI Charitable Fund
Some of the more visible contributions we’ve made to the community in the past are in gifts, such as the HHI Town Bike Path maps, the “Tales of Hilton Head” bronze Walter Palmer statue currently in situ on grounds at Honey Horn Plantation and a 50th Anniversary gift to the Coastal Discovery Museum where a plaque bearing WAHHI’s name is on the front porch of the Gabled Farm House.
This year, $10,500 was awarded through grants focused on women and children needs. Congratulations to the 2021 WAHHI Charitable Fund Grant Recipients:
- The Heritage Library
- Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project
- Family Promise
- Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island
- The Children’s Center
- Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country
- Sandalwood Community Food Pantry
WAHHI 60th Anniversary Community Gift
In recognition of our milestone anniversary, WAHHI made two additional community contributions this year:
- Awarded $2,500 to The Sandbox Children’s Museum for their capital campaign; and
- Awarded $20,000 to the Coastal Discovery Museum for the development of a new garden labyrinth on their property. “The Coastal Discovery Museum’s labyrinth will provide a beautiful focal point for landscape improvements at the core of our property, while also providing an active outdoor space that can be used by people of all ages and ability levels,” said Coastal Discovery Museum’s Executive Director Rex Garniewicz when he accepted the gift. Labyrinths act as a symbol for the journey of life and may serve as a place of meditation and contemplation and be a place to be active participants with their environment. The construction of the Labyrinth will include paved pathways to make the exhibit handicap accessible and native plants for the hedge walls. A landscape architect will be designing the Labyrinth so that it is a focal point of the museum’s message of living in harmony with the Lowcountry. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
WAHHI women are active, community volunteers and women who like to have FUN! Today, the Difference Makers Interest Group embodies the spirit of WAHHI’s mission with their motto of “having fun doing good in one day.” These community-minded, active volunteers have led our Association’s efforts to:
- Improve children’s literacy through the FREE Little Library Program in four targeted outreach locations;
- Help children and families celebrate the holiday season through holiday toys and contributions to The Children’s Center and Bluffton Self Help;
- Address food insecurity in our community with a food drive for Second Helpings. The food drive contributed a TON of food (over 2,100 pounds) and almost $3,000!
- Filled cosmetic bags for the women at Hopeful Horizons Shelter in Beaufort. Members dropped off cosmetics, nail polish, hair accessories and other personal items to help;
- Collected gently used formal dresses, shoes, hand bags, and tuxes for Hilton Head High School’s upcoming Prom Pop-up Shop; and
- Many other projects!
Difference Makers also provided support for SOAR (special needs); Meals on Wheels recipients; returning military; The Children’s Center; The Heritage Library; the Camellia Garden in Honey Horn; Memory Matters; and Neighborhood Outreach Connection.
To each and every WAHHI member who contributed to these efforts – and the Difference Makers Interest Group members who led our efforts – THANK YOU!
With your generous support – and that of the public – we exceeded WAHHI’s fundraising goals for the year. We are grateful to each of you for the support – and to our vendor partners who donate items for door prizes and raffles – and those businesses who sponsor Shop for a Cause events. Many thanks to our Fun Raising Funds Interest Group members for their creative, energetic efforts!
Our Youth Community Service Awards, Charitable Fund grants, and 60th Anniversary Community Gift were funded by:
- Our Diamond Anniversary members;
- Numerous fundraisers supported by members and the community (Shop and Dine Local at Shelter Cove Mall (December 2020)), Shop for a Cause Events (Evelyn and Arthur (December 2020), Dine for a Cause events (SERG Takeout Kitchen (March 2021), One Hot Mamas (March 2021); Charitable Fund Dinner (October 2020); Springtime Golf Scramble (April 2021);
- Member donations to the WAHHI Charitable Fund, which is held in trust by The Community Foundation of the Low Country;
- 60th Anniversary Community Gift raffle; and
- A portion of unused membership dues held at year end.
To make each WAHHI membership year happen requires a lot of women volunteering as we are a 100 percent volunteer-based organization! Our Association has been blessed for another year with women who want to make a difference and give back to their women’s community through volunteerism. If you would like to volunteer with your time, talent or treasure to help WAHHI, please contact President@wahhi.org.