Empowering To Help, Helping To Empower

By Caitlin Hites Daily News staff writer Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) 30 year old Ashley Alred has deep roots in Idaho where she was born and raised. This local leader is a terrific example of a woman who is using all of her unique talents to make a real difference in her community.

Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho

Ashley Alred understands that people fly under the radar for a variety of reasons, but with her to-do list, she has never considered that as an option for herself.

The 30-year old is not only a wife, a mother of two and a well-known licensed Real Estate Agent in Washington and Idaho for the RE/MAX Home and Land team, but she is also the chair of the Women's Leadership Guild in Pullman and serves on committees for Stuff the Bus, Distinguished Young Woman, Pullman Kiwanis and Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation.

"I was born and raised (in Colton), so I really am appreciative for what we have and I think there are more causes out there than people understand," she said.

As a director on the Pullman Regional Hospital board, Alred jumped on and took the reigns of the Women's Leadership Guild as soon as it was being brainstormed. Alred said the guild was just an idea in January of 2015, but by the end of the year, it had given $20,000 in grants to community organizations.

"Our idea is to get a bunch of women who want to make an impact, want to do something different," she said. "We come together to empower each other, to educate each other and really do a difference in our community."

Women from all different backgrounds have joined the Women's Leadership Guild, each giving $1,000 annually to the cause.

Fifty percent of the yearly fee is allocated to grant awards. Community organizations are able to apply for grants through the guild, and the members come together to vote on the causes.

"Last year we only had five applicants, and were able to fund all five," Alred said. "This year there are 14."

While Alred expressed that she wished she could help each and every cause, she feels as though the annual meeting still offers that assistance. Each organization is able to give a presentation and set up a booth, where interested members can investigate and help separately from the allocated grants.

"Obviously we focus on women and children, but all of these organizations benefit everybody," Alred said. "All ages and all genders."

Alred said her mantra is "people empowering people."

"You appreciate what you have, you take what you need and then you help others," she said.

One of Alred's favorite parts of chairing the organization is that she is able to watch peoples' passions come to life.

"If you're on the board of one of these groups, I want you to fight for them," she said. "I want you to tell us why they're great and why they deserve money and then as a group we choose: Do we agree?"

The group of women involved in the guild is "very diverse," from stay-at-home mothers to business leaders to doctors and community activists, Alred said.

"One thing I admire about people is passion. I don't care if you're 6 years old and you're my daughter and you're passionate about wearing a pair of purple shoes that might not be weather appropriate, or if you're 50 and have lots of money and you're passionate about just writing a check and making a difference," Alred said. "I want to hear that passion and I encourage that passion."

One of Alred's favorite rewards of her position in the Women's Leadership Guild is hearing follow-up stories of how the grant money has influenced organizations. Alred's eyes started to shine as she explained one instance in particular of grant money awarded to Friends of Hospice that funded a traveling harp for a musician to provide music for those nearing the end of their lives.

"You just get that goosebump feeling," Alred said. "And that's why I love this."

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