Friday, April 6, 2012


She was pushing a supermarket cart across a busy thoroughfare.  In the cart was a young child as well as a few skimpy plastic bags of groceries.  For two days I had been looking for her. Not this particular woman...just a woman who looked like she might need what I had in the glove compartment of my car:  the collective generosity of twenty-five women who had participated in my nascent philanthropic idea:  "WWWW"

She continued along a narrow walking path, through a weed-filled empty lot. I followed her. I turned at the light, made a quick left turn into an apartment complex and parked my car. I got the small bundle out of the glove compartment, grabbed my I-phone and walked toward her from the other end of the path. She had abandoned the grocery cart and was walking, hand in hand, with her little girl who was wearing pink pajamas, her silky brown hair in a casual pony tail.

For some time, I had wanted to come up with a way of charitable giving that had no administrative costs attached to it.  Absolutely none, just pure giving.  I was looking for an idea that would help women in need, an idea that would be easy and possible for almost every woman to join.  "WWWW"  As the idea began to take shape, I imagined it spreading by way of the various social networks and becoming a national project.  Maybe even a world wide project.  The four "W"s stand for World Wide Women of...the final "W" could be Wisdom, Wealth or Wonder.  I never quite decided.

NOTE: You can read more about the project on The Wonder Institute web site:

"Excuse me, my name is Linda. I want to give this to you."  And I handed the woman a bundle of dollar bills, tied with a pink ribbon.
"What!  Is this a joke?"
"No, it's not a joke.  It's a gift from a new organization of women helping other women."
"Will I get in trouble?"
"No, not at all."
I gave her one of the Wonder Project Post Cards.  She said she'd look up the web site when she went to the library...

...I have been collecting these dollars from friends, slowly, slowly.  In candor, I didn't know until recently that I had actually begun a real project.  For a long while it was just a topic that came up every now and then when I was with friends.  Every time it did, someone said, "I'll give you a dollar."  And they did.  And they followed my idea/instructions by writing four "W"s on the bill, initialing it and then tearing off a small corner--on which they had also written four "W"s---and putting the corner in their wallets.  The corner is "proof" of membership.

The woman and I stood and talked for a few minutes.  I asked if I could take a picture---not of her face but of her hand and the package of dollars. 
"This is a miracle,"  she said.  "I can't believe it.  Are you sure?"

Yes, yes, I'm sure!

And then she started to cry...and then I started to cry.
She told me that she was really concerned because she only had four diapers left for her daughter and she didn't have enough money to buy more. 
We hugged each other.  I took a picture. 
She thanked me.  I got in my car.  She and her little girl walked to their apartment.  I drove away.

It was Good Friday---for both of us.


  1. This is beautiful. I would love to add my dollar and a pink ribbon.

    1. Thank you...I am grateful for any and all support for this project: just women (ordinary/extraordinary women) helping women (ordinary/extraordinary women).

  2. Tears in my eyes...I too, want to help <3 Ana Gonzales Biele

    1. Oh, Ana, thank you! Would you like to be a collector of dollars? Anyone can do it. Be sure to have the donor put WWWW on the bill (and initial it). Then tear a tiny corner off (this is the "membership acknowledgement---so one should put four W's on the corner as well and put it in a wallet---next to a driver's license, for example). Let me know your results! XXX Linda

  3. THIS IS WONDERFUL! So simple!