Inspired by nothing more than a primetime news segment, Whitney Blandford, public administration junior, took it upon herself to form the San Marcos chapter of Dining for Women.
Dining for Women serves as an organization to raise money for various charities, foreign and domestic, by strangers and friends coming together to share a meal.
The setting of these meals is a potluck at the home of the meeting’s host, such as Molly Finneran, international studies senior. Finneran is a host of the San Marcos chapter.
“Basically, hosting is awesome,” Finneran said. “You hang out, you watch videos and you donate a little bit of money.”
There is no required donation fee to attend the dinner, though it is asked that participants bring however much they can spare.
“Considering we’re college students, people usually give about five or six bucks, but you don’t have to give at all,” Blandford said. “You can just come for the experience.”
The different chapters across the nation give their meals’ funds to the same charity. However, the charity to receive the donations changes every month.
The San Marcos chapter has donated to six different charities, including The Maasai Girls Education Fund, Health in Harmony and Global Grassroots. The money from each local group is sent to the national chapter of Dining for Women and then to that month’s designated charity.
To date, the organization has raised approximately $150 from the meetings combined.
“I think that charities like Dining for Women are important because they get you thinking about where your money is going, and the global implications of non-profit organizations,” Finneran said.
The name Dining for Women refers to the women the meals benefit. The dinners themselves are open to students of all genders.
“It’s just a really diverse group of people who care about others and want to change the world,” Finneran said. “It’s a really fun way to make a difference in each other’s lives and around the world.”
The next meeting will be at Finneran’s house on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. The meeting’s funds will go to Midwives for Haiti, an organization dedicated to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality by training Haitian women to use skills necessary to save lives.