More than 120 women representing United Way and their Women’s Leadership Councils descended on Capitol Hill on February 28 to make some noise and to make a difference for communities. Prior to the day, half of the participants had never met with their Congressional offices. For them, this was a new experience in learning how Congress gets business done. For everyone, it was a great experience in what a group of people – in this case, very strong women – can accomplish when they work together.
The women signed up to participate in an event that would give them an opportunity to make a difference nationally, and learn skills to help their voices to be heard on the state and local level. All of these things were accomplished. With 91 meetings with Congressional offices, many Members of Congress agreed to the volunteers’ requests on the spot. Participants learned how to get moving on the state and local level from women who are already having success, with Andy McGuire of Des Moines, Toni Van Buren of San Antonio and Barbara Washington of New Jersey. The majority of participants are now energized to get to work advocating on the state and local level.
The event was led by Carol MacPhail, a member of the United Way National Women’s Leadership Council. Carol is a dedicated volunteer who offers her time and talent to the Women’s Leadership Council nationally, and locally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she is a partner at Deloitte Tax. Following the day, Carol sent a message to the participants that captured the spirit of the day.
"Life is a marathon and not a race, and so it is with our journey to advance the common good. We enjoyed many positive outcomes from our time together in Washington including increasing support for 2-1-1 Calling, educating our elected leaders on the work and focus of the United Way, participating in our American democratic process and irreplaceable networking among sisters.
My fondest wish is that we will have each discovered the power of our unique voices to advance the work of the Women's Leadership Council. And I am confident that my wish has been granted!"