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25 Women: Dena Sokolow enjoys 'ripple effect' of advocacy

Dena Sokolow

This article is written by Heather Fuselier. It was published on March 24, 2018.

After growing up in Tallahassee, Dena Sokolow couldn't wait to get out of town. She left, and she lived in nine different cities before returning to her hometown. "This is where I wanted to raise my daughter," she says with certainty. "This is a place where we can really connect with people." And, they have.

Sokolow is one of Tallahassee's 25 Women You Need to Know, and if you're smart, to follow.

Now in its 12th year, the program is the Tallahassee Democrat's way of honoring women who lead. Meet the women every day during the month of March in print and on

As a single mom, philanthropist, and shareholder in the Tallahassee law office of Baker Donelson, Sokolow has her hands full. They're full of socks for the homeless, teddy bears for children, cookies for the garbage truck driver, and blankets for people sleeping outside.

Also in her hand is that of her 9-year-old Jenna, who started learning at an early age about the value and importance of building community through service. "Giving to others has always been part of my life," Dena says. "It's how I grew up. Now we have an annual tradition of doing random acts of kindness, and we do something different each year for her birthday. We started with socks and she wants to give people houses and jobs," she laughs. 

She is drawn to volunteering for organizations that benefit children and has been an active volunteer and board member for Boys Town for 15 years, relentlessly seeking donations from businesses for a silent auction that benefit Boys Town's neglected and abused children. "I try to help wherever I am," Dena explains, "but I look for opportunities where I can engage my daughter. The ripple effect is fun to watch; the relationships and friendships that come from volunteering is a bonus!"

Hand-in-hand with Dena's advocacy for children is the time she spends each day managing a Facebook group that started as a way for her and her friends to stay connected as young mothers and has grown to a social networking powerhouse of 11,000 users and growing.

The Tally Moms Stay Connected Facebook page connects mothers across Tallahassee and beyond to provide support, resources, and camaraderie for moms. Moderating the page opens her eyes to the elements of motherhood that all women share, regardless of their place in life. "I'd love to see even more outreach across different segments of our city," she says. "We have more in common than we know." 

Whether she is advocating for Boys Town, volunteering at Jenna's school, connecting moms on Facebook, or thinking of new ways to lend a helping hand, Sokolow encourages you to join her. "Just get involved! Yes, we are all busy, but even something small makes a difference to someone," she said. "If everyone did something that seems small to them but is big for someone else, imagine what could happen.