How the Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island Thrived During Covid-19
Courtesy of the January 2022 Issue of Pink Magazine
By Robyn Zimmerman
Photography Courtesy of WAHHI
To say the last two years have been tough is an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. The world literally stopped in March, 2020. Everything came to a screeching halt, schools and businesses went virtual overnight, restaurants and theaters closed, and travel shut down indefinitely. Yet, in the midst of this crazy “new normal”, we all desperately sought ways to stay connected with friends, colleagues and, especially, our families.
Here in the Lowcountry, for the Women’s Association of Hilton Head Island (WAHHI), a social and philanthropic organization that thrives on connecting women to women, it meant a complete 180. WAHHI’s leadership was challenged to rethink how the Association could remain relevant to members and provide opportunities for women to stay involved. Drawing on tech-savvy members, the organization was able to quickly pivot live events to the Zoom platform, converting many meetings, quarterly luncheons and other events to virtual or outside venues.
“Last year we had a clear course of action. In order to stay relevant, we had to go virtual,” said President Betty Hambleton, a member of WAHHI for 22 years. “This year has been entirely different and much more challenging as we began to emerge from the pandemic and open up. We have had to be prepared, adapt and be fluid, and that is why I chose ‘resilience’ to be our 2021-2022 theme. We are living in an undulating curve, not a straight line, constantly re-evaluating our next move, always making decisions based first and foremost on the health and safety of our members.”
Betty references a recent article on resilience by Amit Sood, MD, of the Mayo Clinic that has given her inspiration. Dr. Sood said, “Resilience isn’t something you’re born with; it’s something we all need to work on continuously throughout our lives.”