COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Nearly 400 people from all over poured into the at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center for the 11th annual Power of the Purse luncheon.

United Way’s Women United hosts the event every year to to raise money for programs and scholarships that benefit women and girls across the Chattahoochee Valley. Nearly $17,000 in scholarships has been awarded through the Women United Scholarship.

The Women Helping Women Assistance Fund is another leading initiative for the organization that started in 2020. This program has provided assistance to nearly 100 female-headed households.

United Way staff and volunteers encouraged guests to donate undergarments as they trickled in. The donations are set to be distributed among United Way’s agency partners in support of the “Wear One, Bring One” initiative. Through the undergarment program, Women United has distributed nearly 20,000 items.

One Women United board member says she realized how great of a need there is for basic necessities like undergarments.

“It seemed like a good way to bring women together to show how we’re empowered to help one another by not only collecting undergarments, which just seems like a really basic need when you think about it,” said Marie Miller, a volunteer and United Way Women United Board Member. “But you would be amazed at the number of people who don’t have access to even those most basic needs.”

The luncheon’s female led panel discussion highlighted the challenges that women face daily.
The topics addressed included the importance of education, the effects of poverty and the barriers that women face in the workplace.

For more information about United Way Women United, visit their website here.