Celebrating Inspirational Women: The Lady GODIVA Program
As the legend is told, Lady Godiva rode unclothed on horseback through the streets in protest of the taxation imposed on her townspeople by her husband, the Lord of Coventry. During her ride, the townspeople stayed indoors to preserve her modesty and thank her for her generosity. Lady Godiva's courage prevailed and the taxation was lifted.
It is with that notion that GODIVA founded The Lady GODIVA Program in 2012 to celebrate inspirational women around the world. We support extraordinary women who embody the spirit of Lady Godiva through their attributes of selflessness, generosity and leadership.
Each year, GODIVA will recognize and award three women in local communities who make a difference every day. The Lady GODIVA honorees will be featured on the Lady GODIVA Program website and through social media channels to inspire others to give back in their own communities.
The Lady GODIVA Program will recognize women making a difference in three categories:
- Health, Wellness and Hunger: For women making a difference through their efforts in the fields of medicine, mental health or general well-being, as well as women who are fighting to alleviate hunger in local communities.
- Children, Families and Poverty: For women who focus directly on improving the lives of children and families, including initiatives in childhood education, foster care, services for families in need, and initiatives aimed at reducing poverty, such as job training.
- Environment: For women who are dedicated to saving the environment, alleviating climate change, preserving conservation rights, fighting on behalf of endangered animals, and other related causes.
Each honoree – one representing each category –will receive a $10,000 grant to support their work.
Lady GODIVA Every Day
Since its launch in 2012, the Lady GODIVA Program has honored some incredible women and highlighted the vital work they do in their communities. As we read through nominations each year, we realized that the defining qualities of Lady GODIVA – selflessness, generosity, and leadership, aren’t just embodied by women who have started non-profits. There’s a bit of Lady Godiva in all of us.
Each week, we’ll inspire you with a new way to celebrate yourself, forge more meaningful relationships with others, and affect small change in your community – without a big investment of time or resources. We encourage you to share your stories and photos of how you are living the ideals of Lady Godiva each day, and we’ll share them online at www.ladygodivaprogram.com/everyday.
2014 Lady GODIVA Program Honorees
Stephanie Bowman from Orlando, FL, is the Children, Family & Poverty Honoree for 2014. Stephanie channeled her personal struggles with drug abuse and domestic violence into helping the hungry and homeless through her nonprofit organization, One Heart for Women and Children. Stephanie has helped countless individuals by providing food, shelter and hope, and the One Heart annual holiday program provided gifts for over 1,700 local children this past December.
Our 2014 Health, Wellness & Hunger Honoree is Erin Dinan of New York City. Erin turned her personal passion to help and feed the homeless into a thriving nonprofit organization, One Sandwich at a Time. Through monthly sandwich-making events, Erin has fed over 8,000 individuals in New York City and was able to meet her goal of feeding 25,000 people in 2013. Erin was also honored by the United Nations on their World Humanitarian Day in 2012.
Molly Rockamann of Ferguson, MO, is the 2014 honoree in the Environment category. Molly founded EarthDance, an organization that trains aspiring farmers in the skills of sustainable agriculture. By establishing the nation’s first part-time Organic Farming Apprenticeship Program, Molly was able save a local farm and grow over 10,000 pounds of organic produce for the region. Molly has raised over $450,000 to support farmland preservation and sustainable agriculture, and has become known as St. Louis’ leading provider of education in the field.
2013 Lady GODIVA Honoree
We were thrilled to name Heidi Markow the 2013 Lady GODIVA Honoree. After losing her sister to domestic violence, Heidi stepped in to help other women gain control of their lives—and survive. Whether she's fighting for legislation to protect victims or raising money for families in need, Heidi is proud to keep her sister's memory alive.
Heidi received a $10,000 grant from GODIVA to further her work and support her cause. For more information about The Beginning Over Foundation, please visit http://www.beginningover.org/.
Inaugural Lady GODIVA
We were proud to honor Lauren Bush Lauren, Chief FEEDer and Co-Founder of FEED Projects, as our Inaugural Lady GODIVA Honoree. Lauren and the FEED team have provided over 60 million school meals to children living in 62 countries throughout the world through the United Nationals WFP. Lauren embodies the spirit of Lady Godiva through her commitment to charity and passionate leadership. Learn More about our first National Lady GODIVA Honoree Lauren Bush Lauren and her work with FEED.