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An Inspiring Year: Women on a Mission

In the past 12 months, I’ve had the honor of featuring more than 30 of your fellow nonprofit leaders as “Women on a Mission.” Every time I get a chance to research and write about these amazing women, my heart takes flight - and it makes me more determined than ever to offer marketing help to all the great nonprofits out there, so they can continue to do their good work.

Here are some highlights and updates from the past year:

  • Let me start with one near and dear to my heart as I’m a board member! Debbie DiCarlo and her team at Cancer Support Community Arizona have been busy expanding their mission to ensure that all those impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by the community.

    The core of what they offer is its free programs that focus on five interconnected elements to support those facing cancer: emotional support, health & nutrition, education, social engagement, and resources & referrals to bring awareness of community resources to patients and their caregivers.

    In addition to continuing its programs in the Phoenix area, CSCAZ is bringing its services to northern Arizona and will be opening a new facility there in 2019.

  • Doniece Sandoval founded Lava Mae  with a vision of “radical hospitality,” manifested through mobile hygiene units that provide the homeless with showers, bathrooms, and pop-up care facilities across the San Francisco area.

    Now that vision is going nationwide. Unilever, best known for its personal care products, just announced a new social mission “The Right to Dignity,” which will support mobile shower organizations around the country – including Lava Mae - to help provide reliable access to showers and other basic hygiene needs.

    Unilever said in its announcement that it partnered with Lava Mae to understand how it could best make an impact. “We’re hopeful that with the help of Unilever, we can continue to shed light on the lack of access to showers and ultimately build more mobile shower units to serve our unhoused neighbors across the country,” Sandoval said.

  • Co-founders Markey Culver and Julie Greene at The Women’s Bakery had a big reason to celebrate recently. The nonprofit, which teaches women in Africa how to bake nutritious, affordable bread and establish bakeries, won the $50,000 Global Impact Award from Washington University’s Skandalaris Center. The group will also receive ongoing mentorship from the Washington University community.

    In less than three years, The Women’s Bakery has educated 80 women, launched half a dozen bakeries, doubled the annual income for the women working at the bakeries, and directly impacted the lives of the women’s children – not only because they are eating better, but because their mothers can invest in their nutrition, education and general safety.

  • And Pretty Brainy, which empowers girls to pursue STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, plus Art), held a 24-hour, all-women “innovation marathon” this past fall focusing on climate change.

    During the event, high school and college students, working in small groups, used engineering and rapid prototyping to innovate new ways to reduce greenhouse gases.

    Founder Heidi Olinger started Pretty Brainy to make sure that young girls didn’t lose their interest in STEAM because it was considered not feminine or a shortcut to being unpopular. Pretty Brainy champions girls working cooperatively to come up with solutions to real-life problems, and it gives them a safe place to experiment – and even fail – as they work on solutions.

    I hope you enjoy getting a chance to catch up on these amazing women and their powerful organizations. And if you’re on a long flight or car trip coming back from your holiday travels, you can binge-read about all of this year’s amazing Women on a Mission here.

Are you a Woman on a Mission? A #ChangeMaker working hard to make the world a kinder, brighter place for those in need? I'd love to share your story.

All you have to do is fill out this form and share with me your vision, your mission, your journey and the impact you're making through the work of your small nonprofit. I'd love to feature you as a Woman on a Mission AND bring a little more attention to your good work with a little marketing love!

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