Women-Helping-Women (WHW) started in 2008 influenced by hearing Nicholas Kristof and Sheryle WuDunn speak about their book ‘Half the Sky’.
We have grown to 125 women, mostly from East Shore but not all. Pre-pandemic we always had at least one global project and one local project benefiting girls and women. We were very active with a group called Baracat, who built schools for girls in Afghanistan. We helped pay for supplies and teachers’ salaries. Unfortunately, these schools have either shut down or gone underground since the Taliban took over the country. We have partnered with our Muslim sisters from the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) in Redmond on many wonderful projects.
We also have supported The Sophia Way homeless women’s shelter from the beginning, providing meals and financial support. We currently have some volunteers doing this important work. They buy and cook a meal once per month to deliver to the Bellevue shelter, and could always use more help.
For the three years preceding the pandemic we were very actively involved in Lake Hills Elementary, which is located about one mile from East Shore. This is a Title One school, which means 60% of its kids are low income. There are at least 25 different languages spoken here in addition to the Spanish Immersion program. Currently some of us from WHW are helping out in the library. We hope to get back into the classrooms for literacy tutoring this coming Fall. Bellevue School District research showed our tutoring raised children’s reading skills significantly. This is so rewarding.
In the future, we hope to expand our scope again to include a global project, perhaps helping Ukraine. We look forward to partnering with our new minister. We could definitely use some fresh ideas and new leadership to join our team. Maybe you?
by Laurie Wick, Chair