Kent women network for charity
By Nichole Dobo — The News Journal

A new nonprofit in Kent County, Gals that Give, has set out to give busy professional women an opportunity to blend charity fundraising with business networking.

Gals that Give was started late last summer by a group of women who met while working on boards of local nonprofits. Their idea was to fill a central state need – there aren’t as many charity events downstate as there are in northern Delaware.

So they made their own.

“Who doesn’t love a girls night out?” said Stephanie Turner, a co-founder of Gals that Give. “It’s another reason to get together and raise money for charity.”

They host events where women can get together with friends while also supporting a nonprofit.

“Why not have a girls night out where you can check all the boxes?” said Kim Willson, one of the four group founders.

On Thursday, more than 100 women turned out for the latest event, at The Outlook at The Duncan Center benefiting Purrfect Haven Cat Rescue, a local no-kill pet group.

They raised $3,572 for their cause.

Each monthly event benefits a different nonprofit. During the night, the chosen benefactor speaks to attendees about the work they do, which helps spread their message.

The founders of Gals that Give are: Willson, of Ruggerio, Willson & Associates; Turner, of Faw Casson & Co.; Erin Barrett of The Outlook at The Duncan Center; and Christina Lessard, of Lessard Builders.

They worked with the CenDel Foundation, which manages more than 1,000 charitable funds, to secure nonprofit status.

They have hosted five events so far, raising a combined $11,800 for nonprofits in the community.

They get together every third Thursday of the month for cocktails, dinner, an auction with donated items and a 50/50 draw. There is a “great energy in the room,” Lessard said, which makes for a way to get to know new people in a relaxed atmosphere.

Gals that Give leverages social media, including a Facebook page and Twitter account @GalsthatGive, to get the word out. Their invitations are sent to people who sign up to hear about events by emailing

The founders say the outings bring together women to help the community, while also making connections with a diverse group of people who might not be at a typical business networking event. The ages range from young professionals just out of college to retirees looking to reconnect.

“I think the women really enjoy the faces you see,” Turner said. “Sometimes at networking events you don’t see people outside your industry.”

Contact staff writer Nichole Dobo at (302) 324-2281 or On Twitter @NicholeDobo.