Charitable Giving

A member for almost 20 years, Winna was drawn to the mission of the Daughters of the American Revolution to support historic preservation and education in communities across America. She has served as high as the State Vice Chairman of Junior Membership, to create awareness among women under the age of 40 of the purpose and service of DAR, as the Cumberland District Secretary, and as a registrar in her local chapter. It is her belief that the study of history and genealogy is key to the future success of any community.


The DAR, founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America's future through better education for children.

DAR members volunteer millions of service hours annually in their local communities including supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veteran patients, awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and supporting schools for underserved children with annual donations exceeding one million dollars.

As one of the most inclusive genealogical societies in the country, DAR boasts 177,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.
Winna Denning has always been a strong believer in the powerful impact women can have when they are given the right tools and opportunities. She financially supports Thistle Farms, inspired by the staggering statistics and incredible transformations of the women this organization supports.


Founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest on Vanderbilt's campus, Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. Thistle Farms is our social enterprise.

For two years, we offer housing, food, medical and dental needs, therapy, education and job training without charging the residents or receiving government funding. Women come to Magdalene from prison, the streets and from across the Southeast and the country. The women of Magdalene/Thistle Farms range in age from 20-50, and many have been sexually abused between the ages of 7-11, began using alcohol or drugs by 13, have spent years in and out of jail, and have spent on average a decade on the street prostituting. 72% percent of the women who join Magdalene are clean and sober 2 1/2 years after beginning the program.

After four months, the women find work, return to school and/or enter Magdalene’s job training program at Thistle Farms, a social enterprise. Magdalene also offers a matched savings program to help residents prepare for economic independence upon graduation. Women who remain in recovery two years post-graduation are eligible for a new home buying program administered by two local congregations and Magdalene.

Magdalene was founded not only to help a subculture of women, but also to help transform the culture itself. We stand in solidarity with women who are recovering from abuse, trafficking, addiction, and life on the streets, and who have paid dearly for a culture that continues to buy and sell women.
From a young age, Winna has recognized the issue of hunger as the main source of persistent poverty worldwide. Providing clean water to people who have never had access to it is the first step in rewriting the history of hunger and destitution that so many suffer from every day. Inspired by their unique approach to changing this problem, Winna has committed to financially support WaterAid and be a part of the change they're creating.


Many women and children in rural areas of the developing world spend hours each day walking miles to collect water from dirty or unsafe pools and rivers. In urban areas they collect it from polluted waterways or pay high prices to buy it from vendors. Carrying heavy water containers is an exhausting task, which takes up valuable time and energy. It often prevents women from doing vital domestic or income-generating work and stops children from going to school.

The tragedy is that the water they have worked so hard to collect is often unsafe and contaminated with deadly diarrheal diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. Every day 1,400 children in the developing world die from preventable water-related diseases, that's one child every minute. People suffering from these diseases or caring for children who are ill from them are often unable to work to earn money, yet face large medical bills. They remain trapped in poverty. Lack of water, sanitation and hygiene costs Sub-Saharan African countries more in lost GDP than the entire continent gets in development aid.

We work with local partners to help communities plan, build and manage safe water supplies and toilets. And we use our experience and research to influence decision-makers to do more to provide these vital services. We use practical technologies and train local people to maintain their new water and sanitation facilities so they can keep them working long into the future.

By working with local partner organizations we’re able to invest in the future of local communities. Our partners’ understanding of local culture, languages and institutions ensures that together we can cost-effectively develop programs that meet the real needs of vulnerable communities.

Yet the sheer scale of the water and sanitation crisis means that we can’t solve it alone. So we work with communities to influence governments and other service providers to prioritize safe water and sanitation. The incredible generosity and commitment of all our supporters - individuals, institutions and corporations - makes all of our work possible.

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