By: Channa Sweet
The COVID-19 pandemic and sheltering in place has left many of us craving in-person connection as we navigate a virtual world. Meeting new people and bonding over shared values has been difficult. That challenge is what United Way Bay Area’s (UWBA) Women United recently stepped up to address by creating a virtual space for philanthropic women to connect. Nearly 50 women celebrated “Galentine’s Day” together at Toast for a Cause, a virtual fundraiser that raised a glass to new friendships while raising money to support United Way Bay Area’s SparkPoint program and its ambassadors.
SparkPoint centers serve as one-stop sites where low-income individuals and families can access a full range of integrated financial stability services. As Barbara Bennett, chair of UWBA’s Women United said, “Because we’re focused on policies and programs that help break the cycle of poverty in the Bay Area, expanding SparkPoint services and particularly the Ambassador program is a high priority for Women United. We are thrilled that the funds we raised will enable more SparkPoint clients to take part in this powerful career development opportunity.”
The SparkPoint Ambassador program was designed to harness the passion of SparkPoint clients while enhancing participants’ potential as leaders and change agents. Through professional development, ambassadors are trained in areas of public speaking and storytelling, and support grantmaking and strategic decisions of the SparkPoint program.
Toast for a Cause was a success as it helped Women United reach 57% of its $10,000 annual fundraising goal! We thank award-winning local winery, Balletto Vineyards for supplying the wine, SparkPoint Ambassador, Nanette Rico, mother of five who shared her inspiring story of how she started her own business through SparkPoint, and all of the powerhouse women who showed up for our Bay Area community.
If you are passionate about helping to break the cycle of poverty in the Bay Area and interested in being part of Women United, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us at WomenUnited@uwba.org to learn more.