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1:48 AM Wed, Sept. 26th

Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters kicks off women’s initiative

Billie Orr, Prescott councilwoman and honorary chairwoman of the YBBBS Women of Influence, speaks at the WI event held recently at the home of Karen Morse. (YBBBS/Courtesy)

Billie Orr, Prescott councilwoman and honorary chairwoman of the YBBBS Women of Influence, speaks at the WI event held recently at the home of Karen Morse. (YBBBS/Courtesy)

As 75 percent of donors in North America are female, women are the most powerful voice in philanthropy today, according to the 2017 Global Trends in Giving Report.

This philosophy led to the creation of the Yavapai Big Brothers Big Sisters Women of Influence, a group of dedicated female community leaders who share a goal to eliminate the YBBBS wait list of 200 children.

“As staff and board support our strategic plan of 10 percent annual growth based on community need, Women of Influence gathers female leadership to recruit Bigs and raise the necessary funds,” said Juliana Goswick, YBBBS president & CEO. “Funds raised will also be directed to build and train additional staff to ensure quality matches and one-to-one professional support.”

According to Billie Orr, Prescott councilwoman and Honorary Chairwoman of the YBBBS Women of Influence, “The launch of the Women of Influence initiative was an amazing evening shared by 50 strong women from across our community. I am honored to help promote effort for YBBBS and the 200 Littles waiting to be matched with their Big Brothers and Sisters.” 

Co-creator of this innovative model of community engagement, Melanie Sabelhaus, who initially launched the program with the American Red Cross, shared her experiences during the event. “My ask of the women of Yavapai County is that you invest your time, your talent, and your treasure to empower young children — who don’t have a voice — with an opportunity to have someone like you in their lives. The time is now. Our children are our future.”

YBBBS is proud to bring this innovative model to our community. “The steering committee took ownership of the Women of Influence — they named it, set the membership level and invited the guests,” Goswick said.

Led by Kristy Everson, co-owner of Mandalay Homes and a YBBBS board member, and Meghan McAnally, owner of TerraSole Outdoor Designs, the kickoff for the program was held Thursday, Sept. 28, in the home of Karen Morse.

“As I saw all of these powerful women come together for the good of our children, I was inspired by their energy and commitment,” Everson said.

McAnally agreed.

“We will grow that energy with a monthly gathering to look at our goals, as well as to aid community partners that support the children we serve,” she said. “The first event will be gathering donations for the Yavapai Food Neighbors Project.”

To learn more about the Women of Influence, call Goswick at 928-778-5135, ext. 103.

Robin Layton is community relations and marketing director for YBBBS.