One of the joys of publishing “06880” is the chance tell stories of Westporters who quietly — but very effectively — do wonderful things for others. Many folks volunteer their time with organizations that — while very important — many of us never hear of.
Were you aware of AWARE?
Founded over 20 years ago in New York by Amy Saperstein and friends, the goal is to make a difference in the lives of women and girls. (AWARE stands for Assisting Women through Action, Resources and Education.)
When Amy moved to Westport, she launched a local chapter.
Each year the group selects a women’s cause, then partners with a charity to benefit it. Through a fundraiser, hands-on activity and educational event, AWARE shines a light on a different meaningful women’s issue. Previous partnerships have included Mercy Learning Center, and an organization to aid victims of sex trafficking.
This year, AWARE supports female veterans. The Westport chapter has partnered with Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, a Bridgeport transitional home.
Once a month, AWARE volunteers serve dinner to homeless female vets there. They work with “AWARE kids” to assemble diaper bags filled with newborn supplies, for pregnant veterans in need. And they organized a panel discussion in Westport, with female veterans from 4 military branches.
Westport Michelle Hogue says it is “refreshing to volunteer with a diverse group of women. We learn and listen first, then engage and assist.”
Hogue hosts this year’s cocktail party fundraiser (Saturday, April 30, 7 p.m.).
But that’s not the only big event to be “aware” of.
In June — at the National Organization for Women’s 50th anniversary gala — they’ll receive NOW’s Intrepid Award.
That’s pretty cool.
But nowhere near as cool as the work these Westporters do — under the radar, but way over and above — for women beyond our town borders.
(For tickets and more information on AWARE’s April 30 fundraiser, click here. To learn about upcoming meetings and events, email AwareCt@gmail.com.)