We are a group of women friends in Washington, DC who get together once or twice a year for a large potluck dinner to raise money in a very simple way for others who need various kinds of help. We invite all the women we know to attend, and we ask them to bring a potluck dish, and a check made out to Washington Womenade.
With the money we raise, we maintain a fund for needy individuals in D.C. We distribute most of the money we raise through one of our co-founders, Dr. Amy Kossoff, who is a physician for the homeless of Washington. Other requests for the needy come from various women who have attended our parties as our guests and contributors. When someone learns of a person with a particular need, if Womenade can help, we write a check. Our mission is simple - to enjoy our women friends in wonderful, warm and lively parties, while bringing money from those who have, to some who have not.
One friend at that dinner was Lisa Herrick, a clinical psychologist. She had a tradition of hosting large potluck suppers for huge numbers of women friends - everyone would arrive with a hot dish, and everyone would crowd into her house for an evening of chatter, meeting new women, saying hello to old friends. Lisa suggested that they throw another big potluck, but this time, ask each woman who attended to write a check for Amy.....they would send out invitations and letters of explanation, and try to set up a large fund of money from which Amy could draw - thereby helping more people, and no longer having to rely on her own checkbook. This was the concept in a nutshell - but the group had no name. Within a few weeks, Lisa literally dreamed one up - she woke up with the phrase in her head: If you have lemons, make lemonade. If you have women....make Womenade!!! Washington Womenade was born.