One of my favorite aspects of living in New York City is being able to meet so many ambitious and motivated people. Especially those individuals who have an untraditional (read: incredibly interesting) background.
This past Tuesday, I was invited to meet Nana Meriwether, the co-founder and Director of Development for Meriwether Foundation, a non-profit organization that operates programs in health and education in rural and impoverished communities across Africa. Just four years old, the organization has already created programs in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
For Meriwether, helping others was a birthright. Originally born in South Africa to parents who were both highly active in bettering their community, Meriwether would accompany her mother at a young age while she worked. Now living in New York City, the former Miss USA and volleyball star is more than thrilled to continue to live out her family’s legacy.
Highly active in the organization, no one could accuse Meriwether of not being enthusiast about her role in the foundation. Arriving early for our coffee shop meet-up in the Financial District, she was kind enough to indulge me in her larger-than-life personal background story before eagerly relaying the types of bimonthly fundraising events she creates to involve donors.
Fashion Week invites? Cupcake baking and wine nights? Summer galas in the Hamptons? I think that’s something we can all get on board with.
“I try to come up with really fun events…and the money goes directly to the program,” says Meriwether. “It’s an exciting process.”
In fact, this Saturday, March 15, Meriwether will be hosting a Charity Spin Event at Cyc Fitness in downtown Manhattan complete with celebrity guests and, well, fun for a great cause.
With a number of events up her sleeve (spa days, restaurant tours etc.), Meriwether’s dedication to help those less fortunate keeps the passion in her work alive. A long-time fan of the famous Mahatma Gandhi quote, ‘you must be the change you wish to see in the world,’ she continuously works to be that change. And it’s working.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be working to better someone’s life.”
And that is something I know to be true.
NYC Girl in Pearls
For more information on the Meriwether Foundation and their events, please visit: www.MeriwetherFoundation.org.
Images via the Meriwether Foundation website.