United Way of the Lowcountry Women United offers members the opportunity to be part of a dynamic, philanthropic and fun organization of women leaders who care about our community.
Women United’s mission is to mobilize the caring power of women together to advance the common good by focusing on education in the forgotten pockets of Beaufort and Jasper counties. The group — previously named Women’s Leadership Council — was formed locally in 2012.
Members work together to engage, educate and empower others to become leaders and actively participate in the betterment of our community.
Women United’s newest education support initiative is Mimi’s Closets, which offers essential school and personal supplies to needy students during the school year. The initiative’s goal is to create special teacher supply closets stocked with donated school and personal items at preschool and elementary schools throughout the Lowcountry. In addition to school supplies, Mimi’s Closets will contain basic needs items such as pullups for preschoolers; toothpaste and toothbrushes; sanitary wipes, soap and sanitary hygiene products; first aid supplies; and more. Women United established the first Mimi’s Closets this fall at James J. Davis Early Learning Center and Whale Branch Elementary School. Women United hopes to expand the initiative to additional schools with underserved students in 2022. Click here to learn how you can support Mimi’s Closets.
In 2021, Women United distributed more than 1,000 pre-made backpacks to students in need. Operation Backpack is an initiative of Women United, providing local students with backpacks filled with school supplies to start school. Women United works with school social workers to identify students in need who are not being served by another agency. Due to the pandemic, monetary donations are being collected to purchase pre-made backpacks filled with school supplies that can be used for in-school or virtual learning.
Congratulations to Nan Brown Sutton, Women United’s 2020 Woman of the Year. The Woman of the Year Award was created to celebrate women in Beaufort and Jasper counties who have made a powerful impact on the local community through their volunteer efforts and serve as role models for inspiration and achievement of other women.
Women United held its first virtual Power of the Purse Auction this year. Proceeds from the fundraiser support education initiatives including Women United’s Breaking Barriers to Education Fund, Operation Backpack and the Women United Scholarship Fund.
The Breaking Barriers to Education Fund seeks to help fulfill needs that would otherwise prevent a student from attending school or from reaching their full potential. The fund is administered by the United Way of the Lowcountry HELPLINE, which works with school officials to directly remove financial barriers that stand in the way of a child’s education.
The Women United Scholarship Fund was established in 2020 to support local, non-traditional female students pursuing a higher education degree at University of South Carolina Beaufort or Technical College of the Lowcountry. Through the support of women in the community, Women United presented three local women with $1,000 scholarships each, totaling $3,000.
Women United holds free quarterly networking events as well as workshops, featuring talented and inspiring women in our community. The workshops have become a resource in developing, encouraging and supporting women leaders, professionally and in philanthropy.