Adapting, Enduring, and Thriving

Cynthia Tidwell

I love an opportunity to share good news about the Royal Neighbors mission. Back in 1895, nine pioneering women stood up and declared that women’s lives had not only emotional worth, but financial worth as well. And, that this worth should be protected. They also knew that by coming together, they could drive positive change for themselves and their communities.

One hundred twenty-six years later, it is my privilege to continue this legacy – especially during a year that has presented so many challenges for us all. Despite the innumerable challenges of the last year, we have endured and adapted. And… we are thriving! Our financial strength and business success are critical because they help fund our very important mission to empower women and their families.

Throughout our summer issue, you will find stories about women making a difference in their personal, professional, and civic lives. As we battled a pandemic, members peered into their communities and asked themselves, “How can I help?” I am humbled that so many members chose to make a difference utilizing our philanthropy programs as vehicles for good. You are an inspirational community.

Social Good is how we measure the philanthropic impact of Royal Neighbors. It includes the value of Philanthropy Programs; member savings on health, wellness, and legal services; and volunteering. The positive impact delivered in 2020 was unprecedented, totaling over $19.3 million, including more than 287,000 hours of volunteer service.

Two women who are inspiring youth volunteerism are featured in Gathering to Give. A quote from the article encapsulates the spirit of giving. “I want to empower all youth to go out and serve others, so when they become older, they are more likely to volunteer and have empathy for others.”

As women, we serve so many different roles, and we often forget to save time for ourselves to feed our emotional, physical, and spiritual health. In Well-Being, you will read about the importance of committing time to self-care. For me, taking care of myself means getting outside and enjoying nature. Dedicating time to slow down and reflect makes me a better President and CEO of this wonderful organization.

While much has changed in women’s lives since our founding, the need for financial protection has not. As we adapt to living in this new environment, we will continue to protect women and their families while honoring their strength and recognizing the value they bring, regardless of role. I believe our founders would be proud of every single one of our members and the organization we are today.

With gratitude and hope,