A Hundred Women who Care did more than wear their hearts on their sleeves at a fund raising event June 8, they reached into their wallets and pulled out $100 each to support a cause they agreed on.
Actually, there were more than 100 women in the group, so when all the counting was done Ladysmith Family and Friends (LaFF) was the joyful recipient of $10,300, money that will help them focus more on programs and services.
“This is an incredible gift,” said LaFF Executive Director Jacqueline Neligan.
“To raise this kind of money on our own we would need to put on two breakfast with Santa events, which involves close to five months preparation, all staff, many volunteers and lots of donations. This is an incredible amount of money. We are still speechless.”
And even as the folks at LaFF are trying to get their feet back on the ground, the Hundred Women Who Care are looking for another worthy cause in the Mid-Island region to support.
The organization, which formed a few months ago, plans to make quarterly contributions to a registered charity of their choosing in an area from Duncan to Nanaimo, including Gabriola Island.
The idea is for members of the group to have an immediate, direct and positive impact on local charities by attending a one-hour meeting and writing a $100 cheque four times a year.
“Charities are nominated by our members,” said Membership Coordinator Julie Stewart Boyle. “At our meetings, we draw three charity nomination forms and the members’ who submitted the forms each make a five-minute presentation about their charity.
“Members vote, by secret ballot, for one of the three charities, and before leaving the meeting, all members write a $100 cheque to the charity that received the most votes.”
Founding member and Chair Leanne Kelly said the Hundred Women Who Care format appeals to her for the same reasons Neligan cited on hearing LaFF had received the first donation.
“I was frustrated seeing the amount of time and money organizations were putting into fundraising,” said Kelly.
“I really believe in the idea of collective giving, and what we are doing gives organizations a break from fundraising and grant writing, so they can focus on the important work they do.”
Currently Hundred Women Who Care Mid Island has 103 members, but anyone can join. “The more members we have, the more money we raise,” Kelly said. “I think we may need to change our name to Hundred+ Women Who Care.”
The next Hundred Women Who Care Mid-island meeting is Sept. 14. For more information, or if you want to join, contact Julie Stewart-Boyle at 250-668-4420 or email 100WomenWhoCareMidIsland@gmail.com.