9 months ago

Are You Giving Back? AT FORTY FIVE Magazine Issue 2021 09 31

  • Text
  • Houston
  • Personal awareness
  • Positive thinking
  • Health
  • Lungs
  • Aging
  • Women supporting women
  • Boys and girls country
  • Community service
  • Charity organizations
  • Breathing
  • Volunteering
  • Philanthropy
  • Volunteers
  • Organizations
  • Dubai
  • Wwwatfortyfivecom
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As a board member of a

As a board member of a community of women called Friends and Neighbors of Greater Houston, Diana is involved in a fabulous project, that is accomplishing great things. We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Diana to hear how philanthropy made a difference in her life and to learn more about the project. A Whirlwind Romance Diana met her husband Mike, an American and after a whirlwind romance, six months later packed up and said goodbye to her family in Vancouver. Texas was her first stop but within the year she was setting up a household in England, just outside of London. Eight months later they returned States side to Morgan City, Louisiana. That was to be a short stay, but it ended up being a five-year stop. Morgan city is a small town, but a big town where everyone is very friendly and says hi to you in the street. It was one of the longest times they spent in one place. And They Are Off First, they were in Africa first for two years. Then to Singapore for two years. When they came back to the United States from Singapore, they bought a house in Houston. (The following is paraphrased for length and flow) We were here for seven years, and we were transferred to Dubai for two which ended up being one day short of seven. That was an experience. We lived a couple of years in Nigeria. I am very quiet by nature, but that time brought me out of my shell. People might think I'm a snob but I'm just shy. We lived just outside of Lagos where there is real poverty. They have two classes, very rich and very poor. Nigerians though are so interesting. I got involved with a Canadian women’s group there and we did undertake some philosophy projects. Not as much as we did in Dubai, but it brought me further outside of my shell. When we went back to Dubai, I joined the American Women’s Association of Dubai.

"In Dubai, we would turn the hot water off and use cold water because the cold water is hot in the summer." Stepping Up With Philanthropy In Dubai, I was approached to take a board position. I would have to get up and talk in front of 300 women. I said there was no way however the group had a woman who taught public speaking and she worked with me. That really gave me more self-confidence. We had a committee of twelve ladies and twelve charities. For one, we collected blankets. You might think being in the desert, it doesn't get cold, but it's 65 in the winter. And 145 in the summer. We would turn the hot water off and use cold water because the cold water is hot in the summer. There are a lot of migrant men who have left their families to come and earn a living and sailors. We provided groceries, donations to the food banks. Each year at Christmas we would do shoeboxes filled with sundries and calling cards. There was a charity for special needs and Make-a-Wish. I remember one day standing outside in the extreme heat giving out food. The lineups were overwhelming. The bakeries came with seven truckloads of rolls and sliced bread. We also had a Gala once a year where this once shy girl was now able to go to businesses finding donations. I had grown up for sure. The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me We would raise anywhere from 85 to a hundred thousand dollars and that money went for scholarships and other philanthropy projects. One year we picked one girl about six who was the fourth generation but the first one to go to school. We had her mother and her grandmother at our luncheon. And there wasn't a dry eye in the place. That was probably the best thing that ever happened to me in philanthropy, or anywhere besides my husband and family.

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