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Donor Spotlight: WFF Receives “Random Acts of Kindness”

April 29, 2019

Random Acts of Kindness Giving Circle.
Random Acts of Kindness members pose at their April meeting. L to R: Rose Ann Cattolico, Claire Gebben, Carol Schultz, Heidi Heidenreich, Deb Bigelow, Joyce Mardock, Peg Morgan. Not pictured: Jeanne Ellis, Adena Hanson.
Photo by Peg Morgan

By WFF Staff

The rules are simple: host once a year, listen with an open heart, and give what you can. These guidelines build the foundation of a giving circle called Random Acts of Kindness.

“Simple acts and ideas can be the most revolutionary,” said Deb Bigelow, who started the group in 2017 after learning about another giving circle in her hometown of Seattle.

She invited some friends, they invited some friends, and soon a steady group of 9 women formed who each pick one nonprofit to benefit from the group when they host. After the hostess, who picks that month’s nonprofit, shares the organization’s cause and mission, they each make a donation to the organization. Next, they check on the time, allowing each member an equal amount to give her “check in.”

“We have shared deeply in these moments of accepting listening and I think have deepened our friendships,” said Bigelow.

To kick off 2019, Bigelow picked WFF. She first learned about WFF in December at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Giving Marketplace in Seattle. Visitors can learn about nonprofits while purchasing “gifts that give back” for the holiday season. Board Directors Barb Gauld and Dr. Kathleen Davis sold artisan goods such as stuffed elephants, jewelry, bags, and headbands created by survivors in our reintegration programs. Bigelow bought greeting cards while learning about WFF’s mission to prevent and treat devastating childbirth injuries such as obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula can develop during prolonged, obstructed labor. Pressure from the baby can tear a hole between her vagina and bladder and/or rectum. Left untreated, a woman will leak urine and/or feces uncontrollably through her vagina.

I was with a friend at the Gates Marketplace who knew about fistula and the shunning, but I had no idea. Something this preventable and correctable that is causing such pain, sorrow, economic hardship, isolation, and sadness just hurts me.

Deb Bigelow

Learn about more about what you can do to help women and girls with childbirth injuries.