Women Philanthropists Change the World

This year, Giving Tuesday falls on December 1, a day when many non-profit organizations will receive donations that will help them pursue their missions. Over the years, women philanthropists have established non-profit organizations and provided funds to ensure that a number of social issues were addressed. Match the philanthropist with her contribution:

____ 1. The first self-made female millionaire in the U.S. - she was a major donor to the YWCA in Indianapolis.
____ 2. Among the organizations she founded was what became the Teachers College at Columbia University.
____ 3. Her bequest established a women's college still in existence today.
____ 4. Today her Center for Women and Public Policy works to end slavery and support women leaders of today and tomorrow.
____ 5. The "Bread Woman" of New Orleans, her chief beneficiaries were orphans tended by the Sisters of Charity.

A. Margaret Haughery
B. Sophia Smith
C. Madam C.J. Walker
D. Grace Hoadley Dodge
E. Swanee Hunt

Known by such nicknames as "Bread Woman" and "Friend of the Orphans" Margaret Haughery was well-known for her philanthropy in New Orleans. An immigrant from Ireland whose parents both died when she young, Haughery followed the path of domestic service, a familiar path for Irish immigrants. After her husband and young daughter died, she worked as a laundress for a hotel in New Orleans and spent much of her income supporting orphans looked after by the Sisters of Charity. When she decided to provide the orphans with milk, the cows she bought ended up being a profitable dairy business for her. Likewise, her bakery was one of the early steam bakeries and provided bread to the orphans. Several orphanages were built with the funds that she donated to the Sisters of Charity. The second woman in the U.S. to have a statue commissioned in her likeness, she was given a state funeral when she died.

Left very wealthy after the death of her father and siblings, Sophia Smith is believed to have originally determined that she would establish a school for the deaf, as she suffered hearing issues much of her adult life. However, a school for the deaf was endowed by someone else before her last will and testament was written and she decided to establish "an Institution for the higher education of young women, with the design to furnish for my own sex means and facilities for education equal to those which are afforded now in our Colleges to young men." Smith College was chartered in 1871 and welcomed its first class in 1875. Today, it is renown for the education it provides to women. Smith has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Grace Hoadley Dodge was a strong advocate of the value of education for women. She founded the Kitchen Garden Association in 1880 to teach household management to working class women. This association evolved into the Teachers College and part of Columbia University in 1889. Dodge devoted her time and talents to raise money for it and for the other organizations to which she was devoted. Dodge was exposed to money and business at home; her grandfather had founded Phelps, Dodge & Company. However, she was precluded from using her business knowledge due to her gender. Among her many accomplishments, she was instrumental in the founding of the Travelers Aid Society in 1907.

The first self-made female millionaire in the U.S., Madam C.J. Walker made her money through her hair care and skin care products for African-American women. Not satisfied with the products that were available to her, Walker developed her own products and then encouraged other women to sell them. In 1905, she developed hair care products which she promoted by touring the country and demonstrating them. By 1910, she was established in Indianapolis where her company manufactured products and trained beauticians - "Walker Agents" who sold her products. In 1916, she moved to Harlem where she actively gave to causes including scholarships and homes for the elderly. She was a significant donor for the Indianapolis YWCA. Walker has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Swanee Hunt's philanthropy is targeted toward achieving racial and gender equity worldwide. When she was in Denver, she established the Hunt Alternatives Fund which works for global change. She was a force in the Women's Foundation movement as well. After serving as U.S. Ambassador to Austria, she founded the Center for Women and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The Center has established programs to fight slavery, ensure women are elected and appointed to public office and support the leaders of tomorrow. Hunt has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These philanthropic women are profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. They changed and continue to change the world and we salute their contributions.

(Answers 1-C, 2-D, 3-B, 4-E, 5-A )

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