Four Caledon women came together recently to put the power of numbers to work for the benefit of the many charitable organizations that exist right here in our community. Forming a local chapter of the 100 Women Who Care movement, Karen McDonald, Michelle Newton, Christine Gnass and Barb O’Handley have embraced the concept of raising $10,000 in one hour to be donated to local charitable initiatives. Yup, you read that right, $10,000 in just one hour. Speaking with Michelle and Karen before the February 1st launch of the program, they shared with Just Sayin’ Caledon the idea behind, and their passion for, this unique giving concept.
The 100 Women Who Care initiative began in Michigan some 11 years ago Michelle told us, and now has over 400 chapters including several in the GTA. Michelle was introduced to 100 Women through a family member and after attending several meetings and doing some investigative legwork, she saw how successful it can be and says the program “really resonated” with her. “The whole concept is to take individual donations and combine them through a large group effort that in the end is going to have a significant impact on our community.” Recruiting long time community volunteer Karen McDonald to join the Executive just made sense and Karen, previously involved with the D.A.R.E. program, amongst other school and community initiatives, was eager to assist, seeing this as an opportunity to continue “giving back.”
That said, Christine Gnass and Barb O’Handley also climbed on board and together these four dedicated individuals got down to work. An invitation went out through email, on social media and by word of mouth for the women of Caledon to band together. As they explained, joining is easy and involves a $100 commitment from participants, four times per year. Knowing that might prove onerous for some, 100 Women Who Care also allows teams of four to come together, sharing the required donation amount equally. Membership involves attending four meetings per year where participants nominate their charity of choice. From the nominations, three are chosen randomly to present to the assembled members and at the end of the presentations, a vote takes place on who will receive the donated funds. It’s that simple. In one hour, 100 women (or more, membership is not limited to just 100) can raise a potential of $10,000 or more for a charity that serves the Caledon community.
After the first meeting took place on February 1st, organizers are thrilled to announce that over $5,600.00 was raised for the charity Meals on Wheels. A total of 80 women attended the meeting, consisting of both individuals and teams, an overwhelming response from the women of Caledon. The energy in the room was palpable and it’s anticipated the momentum will propel 100 Women Who Care to exceed the 100-member mark by the time their second meeting takes place on May 10th, 2017. Meetings are currently being held at the Caledon Ski Club who has generously donated their West Lodge space to the initiative. Registration takes place at 7:00 pm and meetings start promptly at 7:30, lasting one hour in total.
In conclusion, Michelle and Karen had this to say: “We are all committed to the long-haul. We want to see this succeed. It represents people from all over Caledon: Terra Cotta, Palgrave, Bolton, Mayfield West and Inglewood. We hope it energizes the whole community to become aware of the many organizations that serve Caledon and that it will provide an impetus for growth, something that ultimately, everyone will benefit from. It’s gonna be a good ride!”
The cheque presentation will be taking place on Monday, February 13th at 2:00pm at the Meals on Wheels offices located at 80 Allan Drive in Bolton. If you would like to know more about the 100 Women Who Care, and how to get involved before the next meeting, please visit their facebook page.