October News-to-Know from the Women's Initiative

record-breaking backpack drive helps over 800 children

Women's Initiative members helped make this year's United Way Backpack Bash a record-breaking event! WI contributed 150 of the over 800 backpacks that went to eight Out-2-Learn out-of-school time programs and seven of our United Way Bright Beginnings centers, including the center at Galena Park, which received backpacks not only for the children in the program, but also for their teen parents. Thank you to all who donated backpacks and supplies for students in our community!

staff members with boxes of school supplies

Appreciation Luncheon 

Women’s Initiative members and guests gathered for the annual appreciation luncheon at the Junior League of Houston for the first time in over three years! UWGH President and CEO, Amanda McMillian, was joined by Houston Texans Foundation Vice President, Hannah McNair. They discussed the importance of generational giving and how UWGH hopes to leave a legacy for future generations as we head into our second century of service in the Greater Houston area. This event was generously sponsored by UWGH Centennial Caring Champions.

View photos from the Appreciation Luncheon.
Hear why Hannah McNair supports UWGH. 

WI members in Santa Fe

wi adt members explore the folk art market and enjoy weekend in santa fe

In July, 25 WI ADT members traveled to Santa Fe for the International Folk Art Market. We met artisans from around the world who provide economic opportunities for their communities and educated us on their culture. Local WI members Anita Smith and Jan-Claire Phillips hosted us at receptions in their homes where we discussed how United Way is connecting people to possibility and the ways that Women’s Initiative members can ensure its success. It was great fun to be back on a personally funded trip after a three-year hiatus and everyone enjoyed renewing old friendships and meeting new friends.

View photos from the Santa Fe trip. 

WI members in Santa Fe

meet wi steering committee leaders decie autin and karen kershner slack

Karen Kershner Slack is Director of Organizational Development for Slack & Co. Contracting, a Houston-based sitework and utilities contractor. Karen joined WI in 2009 and has been an Alexis de Tocqueville member since 2014, and enjoys getting involved with UW’s children’s education programs like Bright Beginnings.

Reach out to Karen at linkedin.com/in/karen-kershner-817bba.

After a career Globetrotting as Vice President, Central Project Management for Exxon Mobil’s Global Projects, Decie Autin now enjoys globetrotting as a recent retiree and just returned from visits to Spain and Hawaii.  Decie has been supporting United Way for 40 years and has been an Alexis de Tocqueville member for 10 years.

Reach out to Decie at linkedin.com/in/decie-autin-99463345.

Decie Autin and Karen Kershner Slack

211 dashboard

Explore data from the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. See the top reasons people are reaching out to 211 and how your support helps them get connected with help.

The dashboard is updated Monday through Friday at 10:00 am.


upcoming events

ADT Alexis de Tocqueville Society Kickoff Reception
Monday, October 3, 2022
6:00 - 8:00 pm
McGovern Centennial Gardens
1500 Hermann Drive

UWWI Day of Service
*WI members are invited to volunteer at the Houston Food Bank.
Saturday, October 22, 2022

8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Houston Food Bank
535 Portwall Street

UWWI Happy Hour Series
*WI members are invited to attend one of three happy hours at member homes. Location details will be provided in the invitation.

  • Tuesday, November 1, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, in Tanglewood hosted by Malaika Mukoro
  • Tuesday, November 15, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, in River Oaks hosted by Page Vogelsang
  • Wednesday, November 30, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, in Tanglewood hosted by Sylvia Barnes

UWGH Rappel for a Reason
*60 rappelers will go over the edge of the Galleria DoubleTree Hotel to raise money for United Way. Visit our webpage to learn more and sign-up to rappel for a reason!
Friday, November 4, 2022
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Galleria DoubleTree
5353 Westheimer

UWWI Wine and Chocolate Reception
* Women's Initiative members are invited to a reception at The Texas Wine School.
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
6:00 pm- 8:00 pm
The Texas Wine School
2301 Portsmouth Street 

UWWI Wrap & Wine Holiday Event
*WI members and guests are invited to participate in a book drive and then wrap those books as holiday presents for students in United Way Bright Beginnings
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
6:00 - 8:00 pm
United Way Center
50 Waugh Drive

Let us know how you want to connect and enter to win a gift card!

It only takes 5 minutes to give us your feedback on UWWI events and communication and you could win one of three gift cards!  Drawing will be on Wednesday, October 12th at 8:00 AM. Click here to take the survey.

connect with us

Stay current on events and happenings, connect with fellow members, and learn more about the impact we make together in our Women's Initiative Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Access to these sites is limited to members only. To get your first-time entry, email Isha Baker.

about the women's initiative

Women’s Initiative members enjoy engaging networking events, personal and professional development programs, and volunteer opportunities where they learn about community issues and the impact United Way programs make. WI members make personal gifts to United Way of $2,500 or more annually. Our 749 members collectively contributed $5 million in 2021-2022.

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