2019 – 2020 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 for over 58 years.
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.
We started our WAHHI year helping our neighbors in need with the donation of over 600 pairs of shoes to Circles for Success collected at our September luncheon. This year, however, was unprecedented with the cancellation of our April luncheon, many special events and interest group meetings due to the COVID19 pandemic. Our community focus shifted to social distancing, lots of hand washing, and different acts of kindness with our neighbors and community organizations.
Please take good care of yourself – and our community – by practicing safe distancing and other preventative actions at this time.
With almost 800 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.
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.
Congratulations to our 2020 WAHHI Youth Community Service Awards recipients who each demonstrated an active commitment to community volunteerism:
- Logan Bedenbaugh, Hilton Head Island High School;
- Kierstin Clark, Hilton Head Preparatory High School;
- Madison Frank, Hilton Head Island High School;
- Laura Huggins, Hilton Head Island High School; and
- Anna Sulak, Hilton Head Preparatory High School.
With the schools not in session due to the COVID19 situation, each student received a $1,000 cash award via mail. Thank you for your generous support of this effort!
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, our special grant focus was on the cultural and environmental dimensions of our mission. Congratulations to the 2020 WAHHI Charitable Fund Grant Recipients:
- The Heritage Library;
- Arts Center of Coastal Carolina;
- Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project;
- Coastal Discovery Museum;
- The Outside Foundation;
- Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island;
- The Children’s Center;
- Hilton Head Audubon Society;
- Sandalwood Pantry;
- Family Promise;
- Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office K-9 program;
- Hilton Head Island Fire and Rescue
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 over 170 children and families celebrate the holiday season with 27 bags, or about 200 toys and financial donations of $195 to The Children’s Center and 14 bags, or about 120 toys, and financial donations of $305 to Deep Well; and
- Say “thank you” to our front-line community heroes with the February First Responder Cookie drive — WAHHI women baked over 3,000 cookies and delivered them to the main Fire and Police stations on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton.
Difference Makers also provided support for SOAR (special needs); Hopeful Horizons (abused women/children); Meals on Wheels recipients; returning military; The Children’s Center; The Heritage Library; the Camellia Garden in Honey Horn; the Stingray Support Circle at HHI Middle School; local Special Olympics; 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. Our Fun Raising Funds Interest Group led the way by selling raffle Youth Community Service Awards and Belk Charity Sale tickets; selling bags and mugs at the Bluffton Farmer’s Market; and helping plan the Lobsterfest. Many thanks also to our Interest Group members for their creative, energetic efforts!
As always, 100 percent of fundraising is dispersed to our selected charitable endeavors — our Youth Community Service Awards and the WAHHI Charitable Fund.
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 from the:
- 16 Board and Council leaders,
- 51 awesome Ambassadors,
- 68 committed Interest Group leaders,
- 50 committed Youth Community Service Awards Committee members; and
- 8 Charitable Fund Committee members,
- 52 energetic Fun Raising Funds Interest Group members, and
- 170+ Community-minded Difference Makers.
In fact, we estimated that our volunteers contributed over 5,300 hours this year to WAHHI and community organizations. With each volunteer hour estimated to be $25.43 in value, this means that WAHHI has almost $150,000 of in-kind value contributed to the community we love.
Continue to stay in touch with WAHHI via:
Website at www.wahhi.org
“WAHHI Wednesday eBlast”
Facebook – Facebook.com/wahhi.fun
Instagram – Wahhi.women