Networking

“Schmais” (informal restaurant gathering to enjoy good company and cuising): Networking and sharing take place around a table at local restaurants. Each month we choose a different locally-owned restaurant to expand our appreciation of the increasing diversity of available cuisine in the Syracuse area. There’s no agenda and each of us pays for the food we order, but the laughter is contagious and the friendships are enduring.

International dinners: We have held several international dinners reflecting the cultural diversity of our members. The events feature inspirational speakers, build connections in the community and raise funds for local and global initiatives including:

  • Grandmothers to Grandmothers, a project of the Stephen Lewis Foundation that helps grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa by providing food, housing grants, school fees, and grief counseling for children orphaned by AIDS
  • Ibtida, a Pakistan-based educational organization
  • Relatives As Parents Program, giving critically-needed help to relatives caring for children outside the foster care system
  • Women for Women, helping women in war-torn areas rebuild their lives through microfinancing

Sycamore Hill Gardens: Since 2010 Sycamore Hill Gardens in Marcellus has graciously opened their grounds to us each spring for a fundraiser.

WTB has networked with various interfaith and women’s groups with whom we share similar goals.

Local networking

  • InterFaith Works of Central New York is an umbrella group for many of the religious organizations in the area, and we have collaborated with them in projects serving New Americans and in cosponsoring World Interfaith Harmony Assemblies and dinner dialogues.
  • The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation is a local non-profit honoring Matilda Joslyn Gage, one of the leaders of the suffragette movement; we have collaborated in organizing educational programs.
  • With the Syracuse Federation of Women’s Clubs we have collected donations for Salvation Army Christmas baskets and Zonta projects on behalf of girls.
  • Chadwick Residence is a local hospitality ministry for women in transition. We have gathered supplies for those who live there and held some programs for them.
  • Literacy CNY (formerly Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse), affiliated with ProLiteracy Worldwide, with headquarters right here in Syracuse, is an organization we became involved with in our early days, and some WTB members are tutors there.
  • We are partners in the Charter for Compassion, and several of our leaders were instrumental in getting Syracuse and Onondaga County to sign up as Participating Communities in the Charter for Compassion in 2016.

Exchanging ideas with similar organizations

Leadership in international interfaith initiatives

  • The North American Interfaith Network brings together people of faith from the US, Canada and Mexico. WTB co-founder Betsy Wiggins has chaired its program committee.
  • United Religions Initiative is an international interfaith network active in 78 countries. WTB co-founder Danya Wellmon has served as vice-chair of URI North America.

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