Last night was the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth annual gala, where 10 honorees were celebrated for selflessly devoting themselves to causes at the local and national level, making a difference in their communities and motivating others to get involved and create change.
The honorees are tackling a variety of issues including fighting drug addiction, helping homeless veterans, providing diapers for mothers living in poverty and creating a shelter for young victims of human trafficking.
Ranging in age from a 19 year-old college student who created a computer program that teaches the cloud how to diagnose breast cancer, to a 62 year-old quadriplegic woman addressing childhood hunger in her city, this group of women joins the 80 esteemed Women of Worth honorees from the past eight years.
Each honoree was awarded $10,000 from L’Oreal Paris for her charitable cause or project. The National Honoree, Phyllis Sudman, received an additional $25,000 for her organization Simon’s Fund.
All of the 2014 honorees are not only Women of Worth, they are Women You Should Know!
And The Honorees Are…
Corinne Cannon– Washington, D.C.; Founder and Executive Director, DC Diaper Bank, a nonprofit organization which has distributed over 1 million diapers to mothers in poverty to help reduce maternal stress, founded after Cannon’s own experience as a new mother showed her that even with a strong network of support, stress can affect parents in many ways.
Stephanie Decker– Sellersburg, Ind.; Founder, The Stephanie Decker Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps children with prosthetics engage in sports and provides access to leading-edge prosthetics to those who need them, created after Decker lost both of her legs protecting her young children from the destructive forces of a tornado.
“I’m a firm believer that the only limitations we have in life are the ones we put on ourselves.”- Stephanie Decker
Shaaron Funderburk – Gastonia, N.C.; Founder, Off the Streets Program (OTSP) and OTSP Transitional House, a nonprofit organization providing a home and support for women recovering from drug addiction and homelessness, created following Funderburk’s own recovery.
Mary K. Hoodhood – Grand Rapids, Mich.; Founder, Director, Kids’ Food Basket, the largest childhood anti-hunger organization in Michigan which helps underserved children. Despite being quadriplegic, Hoodhood was determined not to let her disability hold her back from helping others and has thus dedicated her time to giving back.
“Compassion is the ability to make a change. You don’t just give things to people, you change them.” – Rachel Jackson-Bramwell
Rachel Jackson-Bramwell – St. Clair County, Ill.; Founder and Executive Director, Project Compassion and Compassionate Resources Center, a nonprofit that provides support for the St. Clair County and Greater St. Louis-areas homeless and low-income women and children, often overlooked by government services.
Deborah Snyder– Alexandria, Va.; President and CEO, Operation Renewed Hope Foundation, a nonprofit that helps to eliminate homelessness among veterans, created after Snyder’s retirement from the U.S. Army as a Lt. Colonel and helicopter pilot.
Phyllis Sudman– Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; Co-founder, Simon’s Fund, which raises awareness of the warning signs and conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in children, founded after Sudman tragically lost her 3-month-old son, Simon.
“Women need to be a part of piecing the future together.”- Brittany Wenger
Brittany Wenger – Bradenton, Fla.; Duke University student and aspiring pediatric oncologist who invented Cloud4Cancer, a computer program that uses artificial intelligence and test results to diagnose breast cancer with 99 percent accuracy, driven by a young family member’s battle with the disease.
Audra DiPadova Wilford– Santa Ana, Calif.; Founder, MaxLove Project, a nonprofit organization that empowers families fighting childhood cancers and life-threatening conditions with whole-body wellness resources, education and research, founded after Wilford’s son Max was diagnosed with brain cancer at age four.
“When I learned we live in a world where women are sold for sex, my heart was so broken. Then I got pissed off.” – Jenny Williamson
Jenny Williamson – Granite Bay, Calif.; Founder and CEO, Courage Worldwide, an international nonprofit volunteer organization building homes for children rescued out of sex trafficking.