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Dining club for women raises funds around the world

6:33 PM, Dec 2, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A group of women in Jacksonville is raising money for underprivileged women around the world. Dining for Women started in Greenville, South Carolina about a decade ago. It's helping empower women in third world countries.

Marsha Wallace asked her friends one year to bring a potluck dinner item and a donation instead of going out for her birthday one year. That's how it all began. Since then, more than 425 chapters have started and more than $2.78 million dollars has been raised.

Julie Handley and Cheryl Tupper started the chapter in Jacksonville.

"We wanted to make a difference, we wanted to learn what women are doing across the globe, and particularly when we heard about the plight of these women, and the challenges that they face," says Handley. 

Once a month, the women meet at a member's house, enjoy dinner and conversation, all while raising money for less fortunate women. They have also made the trip to meet some of these women they've helped over the years. The women recently went to Vietnam and Cambodia.

"To me it's a fabulous concept how you can share our social activities that we do normally anyway but benefit someone in another part of the world," says Tupper

Handley says, "The idea that we would be able to with a small donation, the equivalent of what we would spend on a dinner out, we could actually make a donation that could help empower them and touch their lives."

Michelin Tutein wants to start a chapter in Orange Park. She hopes to one day be able to visit the countries and meet the women she is helping.

To actually wake up and walk in a day and the life of the person you're actually helping to benefit. What an amazing feeling that would actually be to just know that you're able to do that," says Tutein.

For more information on the Dining for Women club, click here.

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