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United Way of Thurston County Women’s Leadership Council: Mobilizing the Caring Power of Women to Improve Lives

FTE_WLC_2016Every December, the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of United Way of Thurston County, a diverse group of women who are engaged in volunteerism, advocacy and making lasting change in our community, organizes a Shelter Shower. Everyone brings pre-wrapped gifts of cleaning supplies, toiletries and other daily essentials needed by one of our community’s shelters to “shower” the residents right before the holiday season. For the 95 women who belong to the WLC, this is just one aspect of their commitment to helping women and girls in our community.

In 2016-17, the WLC provided $50,000 in grants and scholarships to organizations promoting economic empowerment and financial self-sufficiency for women and girls. In addition, members engage with nonprofit organizations through volunteer opportunities to support women and girls.

For many of the organizations receiving funding, these grants are critical to their success. Last year’s grants included Dry Tykes & Wet Wipes, a local organization that provides diapers and wipes to low-income families. Lance Benson, the founder of Dry Tykes & Wet Wipes acknowledged the grant, “This means I can take a couple of deep breaths for almost a year. It will give me time to plan a few more steps ahead.”

WLC steering committee members Deborah Albright, Jamie Boelow, Dusti Demarest, Martha Wagner Engle, Alicia Ferris, Janelle Guthrie, Christine Lawrence, Maria Robinson, Stephanie Stocker, Brenda Williams, and Rachel Young are all very excited about the possibilities that WLC sees for the near and distant future. “We know we are on to something. Women who view themselves as leaders feel empowered to give back to the community. We know we have the power to shake things up and make a measurable difference in our own backyard. By mobilizing the caring power of women we are making an impact on the lives of struggling families in Thurston County,” stated Rachel Young.

All Washington State employees can contribute directly to the WLC’s efforts through the Combined Fund Drive #1479702. Help them deepen the impact of their work and join them in their efforts by becoming a WLC member. Learn more by contacting Patricia Hart at United Way of Thurston County at

CFD Charity Code# 1479702

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