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I spent this evening with another group of Visalians that very quietly does wonderful things. The local chapter of Helping One Woman (www.helpingonewoman.org) meets monthly at dinner to honor a woman in the community who has experienced or is experiencing an irreplaceable loss.

The concept is so simple. Each month a woman is chosen to be the recipient of the following month’s honor. To participate, you show up, pay $15 for your dinner and donate at least $10 for the honoree. Tonight’s dinner raised over $1,200 cash donations alone. Depending on the organizers for the evening, there are usually a variety of vendors present, sometimes a silent auction, or raffle prizes. The underlying idea, of course, is to maximize the amount of money the honoree receives. There is no overhead, no “fundraising corporation” taking their cut off the top, no advertising budget. Just pure grace.

Tonight’s honoree and her husband helped their young son fight a devastating form of leukemia that ultimately took his life. The husband gave an eloquent tribute to his wife and her incredible strength while her son was hospitalized. He wasn’t maudlin, simply sincere — and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the ballroom when he was done. I know I had tears in mine.

If you have been yearning to find an organization that “fits”, or if you just want a monthly girls’ night out, consider visiting Helping One Woman the third Tuesday of each month at the Visalia Marriott Hotel. The food is delicious, the company is superb, and the warmth in your heart will last on into the month.

One woman giving $10 can buy another woman’s lunch.
Ten women giving $10 can buy another woman’s groceries.
One hundred women giving $10 each can make a real difference in another woman’s life.

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