At the Deixler home last Sunday evening a group of women and a few good men were doing more than just enjoying food and conversation.
By Georgetta L. Morque
At the Deixler home last Sunday evening a group of women and a few good men were doing more than just enjoying food and conversation. They were also contributing to an important cause — the Rye chapter of Dining for Women, which raises money for needy women and girls around the world.
Ellen Deixler learned about Dining for Women after meeting a woman involved in the organization in Oregon. Known for championing causes, Deixler wasted no time starting a local chapter.
“Dining for Women is a wonderful concept. Each month, we find out about a different project that needs funding,” said Deixler, who with Vivian Linder hosts a group of around 20 for a potluck Sunday dinner every other month. Women bring food and donations, and Deixler says it’s easy to organize.
This month, Dining for Women’s featured program is the Nyaka AIDS Orphans project in Uganda, which helps train grandmothers raising HIV/AIDS orphaned youths with business, life, and empowerment skills. Next month, the program is Gentle Safe Free Childbirth in Bali, which will cover the costs of midwives and lifesaving medicines and supplies used in childbirth.
The evening starts with a YouTube video about the project, which brings you into the country and prompts discussion. Dining for Women also provides recipes from the various countries, so members can provide an authentic dish. Deixler was especially impressed with the curried vegetable dish from Tanzania that she prepared earlier this year. “Food is a fun part of it.”
Dining for Women began in 2002 when Marsha Wallace, a mother of four in Greenville, S.C., was moved by an article about friends who met for a potluck dinner and donated the money they would have spent on a restaurant to a needy family. The following year, Dining for Women launched with the mission of helping change the world “one dinner at a time,” and has since raised $3.2 million through local chapters across the country for programs around the world. Participants can also visit the projects served through Dining for Women’s travel program, which has arranged 13 trips to 11 countries.
The organization is included in “A Path Appears,” the new book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn due out later this month.
Chapters are popping up all over according to Deixler. For information on the Rye chapter, email edeixler @aol.com. To learn more about Dining for Women, visit diningforwomen.org.