What do you get when you seat one guy and six women around a table? You have either the start of a bad joke or the beginning of a gathering of Women With Good Spirits. It was my good fortune to be this past month’s featured non-profit guest speaker. However, I did not feel like some outsider attending to burp out information, but more of a guest participant.
Women With Good Spirits is a social group that meets once a month. They get together and invite a speaker from a local charity or non-profit to give a presentation of approximately 15-20 minutes. Then the rest of the time is spent socializing and asking the speaker questions, etc. The total length of each meeting could be anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours. WWGS asks for a $5+ donation per person. (100% of the donations go to the charity of the month.) Each person is asked to bring either a bottle of wine or an appetizer – an email is sent out a few days before each meeting letting each member know what they are being asked to bring. Keri Christian, the local organizer of the group, developed the idea from attending similar events in other cities.
For my part, I was there to talk about Up And At It, the non-profit I volunteer with. Although it was hard to stay on topic when there is so much good wine and conversation. That evening’s host, Courtney Herrig Holmes, made me feel instantly comfortable as did the other women. And it was obviously true that these women had wonderful spirits and tremendous hearts. The conversation bounced all over the place in between glasses of wine, cheese and pizza.
The evening and group was not overly scheduled or rigid. There were no leaders, formal introductions or sign in sheets. It was more of a back yard get together to catch up on life with a purpose. All the women felt a calling to connect to their community and somehow give back. It was a fairly unique experience in that is was both relaxing and purposeful. Any group of men or women could start such an evening gathering. The benefits to the neighborhood, community and recognition of non-profits are obvious.
By the end of the evening, I think I learned more about my audience than they did about my non-profit. I had just participated in what I considered to be the essence of community life and development. As more people attend Women With Good Spirits, I have a feeling you will see more neighborhood gatherings pop up across Sacramento.
If you are interested in attending one of their gatherings or starting your own little group, please visit www.womenwithgoodspirits.com.