The car door slammed shut and the car pulled out of the driveway—just like it would nearly every day, even for half a day on Sunday forty-something years ago, when Harriet Goldsmith’s husband, a new lawyer, went to work at the law firm in Greenville, SC, where they had just moved. Goldsmith, a native Floridian, was new to Greenville and had no friends and no car with which she could go make some. “I had to find something to maintain my sanity,” says Goldsmith. “And my path was volunteer work through the Junior League, and that gave me an instant group of people, plus I learned about the community of Greenville. If I hadn’t cared about the community and making Greenville a better place, then the idea of collective giving would not have stayed on my radar screen, and it was that caring about the community that we all shared,” she says.
By “we” Goldsmith means her friends, or more appropriately, whom she now calls her “soul sisters,” Sue Priester and Frances Ellison, with whom she formed Greenville Women Giving, a philanthropic organization “founded on the idea that collectively, women can make a real difference.”