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Women 'dining in' at potlucks donate 'dining out' money to aid women globally

Members of the organization Dining for Women are raising money for women around the globe each time they get together for dinner. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren reports.

Potlucks have a purpose beyond sharing food for thousands of members of Dining for Women

"Basically a group of people get together to share a meal and learn about a grassroots non-profit organization," said Marsha Wallace, president and founder of the Greenville, S.C.-based organization that started with 20 women at one dinner about a decade ago and now counts 8,000 members in chapters across 38 states.


The average donation at a monthly potluck is $32, about each woman's "dining out" cost.

"When everybody does that it turns into $42,000," member Cari Class told NBC News.

The money combined from all the chapters goes to a different charity every month to help women and their families, which also empowers the women who give, members say.

They've helped in a wide variety of ways, such as saving girls from sex slavery in Nepal, donating sterile birth kits in Tibet, supporting an embroidery business in Afghanistan and sponsoring a girls school in Kenya.

Dining for Women's website notes that the group gives only to women and girls internationally because 75 percent of the world's 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty are women and children who live in developing nations. The website also gives information about starting new chapters and how programs are selected to receive donations.

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