• Search
A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

Avani Desai Is Leading by Example

Through her work with 100 Women Strong, this Orlando mom is raising children who love to give back.

As moms, our job is to prepare our children to be responsible individuals. Part of that job is helping them understand how they fit into their community and what role they play.

That’s why I’ve made a conscious decision to get my children involved in service at a young age. Kids are givers by nature. We’re all born with empathy and the potential to cultivate great compassion; therefore, it is important to give them firsthand, age-appropriate exposure to our community’s needs. Things like serving meals to the homeless, visiting sick children in the hospital or spending time with homebound seniors can make a lasting and impactful impression on kids. These experiences foster empathy and teach children that sometimes the simplest gestures are the most profound.

Another thing I’m doing is teaching my children that there is strength in numbers — that while one person alone may not end homelessness or hunger, a team of people working together most definitely can. Collective giving and providing help to those who need help is a practice that can never be initiated too early in life.

That is the guiding principle behind 100 Women Strong, a “giving circle” that I co-chair for Central Florida Foundation. Each member of 100 Women Strong donates $1,100 a year. We then analyze, research and consult with experts to identify initiatives that will help improve the lives of women and children in Central Florida. By pooling our funds, we can achieve collective impact that spans far beyond our individual contributions.

Since 2006, 100 Women Strong has invested more than $550,000 in local initiatives, including partnerships with the Foundation for Foster Children and Harbor House of Central Florida.

Recently, 100 Women Strong issued a grant that’s especially close to my heart. In partnership with the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, we’ll be helping expand a pilot program to address the social and emotional needs of children at two childcare centers in Pine Hills.

The program is focused on implementing the Circle of Security Model, which prepares caregivers with skills that foster feelings of attachment and security in the children. These interactions create the foundation for a healthy and productive life.

Talking with my kids about the “strength in numbers” principle has inspired us all to think bigger about ways we can help our community. Now, we often brainstorm our next charitable contributions together as a family.

So many of us want to shield our children from the tough realities of the world. But it’s during these early years that they’re most influenced by what they see and hear — and when they learn lifelong habits. Just know, you’re investing in your child’s character, direction and future — and that of the world.

Avani Desai
Written by
Avani Desai

Avani Desai is a mom of two, executive vice president at Schellman & Company, member of board of directors at Central Florida Foundation and co-chair of 100 Women Strong, a collective giving initiative of the Central Florida Foundation that inspires women in Central Florida to help improve the lives of women and children through strategic philanthropy.

View all articles
Avani Desai Written by Avani Desai

Categories

Follow us

Proactively formulate resource-leveling imperatives through alternative process improvements.

Family Events

iCalRSS

August 2019

August 23, 20196:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Festivals / Nature Play https://www.leugardens.org/fairy-festival-august-23-600-930-p-m/


It's a fairy party at Leu Gardens!





Enjoy a self-paced walk through the enchanted gardens to see the whimsical Enchanted Fairy Doors exhibit in addition to other festival activities created with your little ...

More
August 23, 20197:00 pm
http://semoranskateway.com


Grab your skates and head over to Semoran Skateway!





It's an all night skating party to celebrate back-to-school!


More

Grab your skates and head over to Semoran Skateway!





It's an all night skating party to celebrate back-to-school!


August 23, 201911:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Yum! Come in and enjoy some baked goods with Blue Bird!





Gear up for the Grand Opening on August 29th! Taste and give feedback to the blue bird crew.


More

Yum! Come in and enjoy some baked goods with Blue Bird!





Gear up for the Grand Opening on August 29th! Taste and give feedback to the blue bird crew.


August 24, 20198:00 am - 11:00 am
Foodie Fun / Nature Play https://www.eventbrite.com/e/maitland-community-cleanup-day-lake-sybelia-registration-67038801861


Gather the family and get your hands dirty!





This is a great way to teach environmental stewardship through action.


More

Gather the family and get your hands dirty!





This is a great way to teach environmental stewardship through action.


August 24, 20199:00 am - 12:00 pm
Free


We LOVE this FREE day of tennis for the whole family!





Free games, prizes, clinics for the kids and adults, and lots of FUN!


More

We LOVE this FREE day of tennis for the whole family!





Free games, prizes, clinics for the kids and adults, and lots of FUN!


August 25, 20197:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Kiddie Culture


Old Town is hosting movie night that you won't want to miss.





Watch Coco and explore the classic Old Town shops and restaurants!


More

Old Town is hosting movie night that you won't want to miss.





Watch Coco and explore the classic Old Town shops and restaurants!


August 29, 2019
Recurring Events https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival/


Discover new foods from around the world!


More

Discover new foods from around the world!


August 29, 20197:00 am
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/hollywood-studios/star-wars-galaxys-edge/


Bright Suns! Welcome to Batuu!





Jedi and Siths gather at the opening of The Star Wars Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios!


More

Bright Suns! Welcome to Batuu!





Jedi and Siths gather at the opening of The Star Wars Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios!


More