Monday, November 17, 2014

Working with Women Helping Women: Jenelle Sisco

While volunteering at the Women Helping Women event in downtown Spokane a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but be deeply moved and inspired by the amazing people I conversed with. Many of these women had lived lives full of philanthropy as well as shared their time and services to help their community. To be surrounded by amazing examples of leadership and service was overwhelmingly powerful and gave us a strong idea of what we wanted to accomplish this year as Setons, and as individual women.

But first, a little background on this amazing project: Women Helping Women is described as a “Mama Organization” where smaller nonprofits or smaller organizations apply to receive grants from their board members which are given by donors and volunteers. The board members pick a few organizations in the community to give hefty grants to and follow up with throughout the year. The money that they give through grants is offered to a few organizations after a tough application process as well as site visits by the board members and a few months of deliberation.

The event was held for their top donors and contributors and was a beautiful dinner event at the Barrister Winery where they announced the speaker for their annual luncheon celebrating the power of womanhood as well as honor the donors and organizations they worked with that year. I was so inspired by all of the stories I heard of powerful women making it in all of their respected industries and hearing the story of their guest speaker. To make it a little more special, one of the event coordinators and board members was a former Seton, who shared many ideas for the organization and made us feel like family. Her generosity, work ethic, as well as her organized nature was powerful on its own. Now multiply her by 100, because there were a hundred women who were so inspirational in their own individual way. I couldn’t help but notice that service was a common theme between these women.

To say that I was inspired is an understatement. In my own life, I have always had strong women role models, and this just added many to that list as well. Seeing so many amazing and powerful women in one room and speaking to them about their lives and what inspired the work they did was such an empowering experience. Not only was it philanthropic, but also it was service that grown women did along with their everyday lives. They were making time between being mothers, business owners, and wives to do service for others. Their passion and selflessness inspired me to continue my service as long as I can, and showed me it’s very possible.

-Jenelle Sisco
Seton of Gonzaga

If you are interested in learning more about Women Helping Women, visit their website at

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