COCHRANE, Alta. – The concept is simple: 100 women gather and each bring $100. Together they pool their money and donate $10,000 to a charity of their choice. It’s a movement that started in Michigan in 2006 and since then “100 Women Who Care” has expanded globally. Calgary and surrounding communities are home to several chapters, including “100 Women Who Care Cochrane.”
The group formed last May and every four months gather at the Bears Den Restaurant in Bearspaw. While it’s still shy of hitting 100 members, since forming, the group has raised almost $25,000.
“There’s nothing more motivating and empowering as having a group of women putting in their $100 for each meeting and making a huge difference in some non-profit organization,” co-founder Colleen Buckley said.
For each respective chapter there is no board of governors, no treasurer and no membership or overhead fees. All the money goes to charity.
“We chose three charities out of a hat, ” Judy Samson, co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Cochrane, said.
“We just pick them out of a hat and each one of those members who put those nominations in get up to speak to it for three to five minutes.”
Once the three members finish their pitch, the group votes and the money is sent directly to the winning charity.
Wood’s Homes Foundation received $7,100 from 100 Women Who Care and put the funds towards its community resource team.
“Their generosity has helped us provide probably over 70 hours of phone calls to young people and families who are in distress,” Janet Stewart, with Wood’s Homes, said.
“They’re available 24/7, they’re accessible, they’re immediate, they’re mobile. Families love that.”
Knowing they’re having a direct impact on charities, and in turn people in their own communities, is motivation enough for this growing group.
“It’s just a group of like-minded women who come from all walks of life and who have something to give back to our community,” Buckley said.
For more details on 100 Women Who Care and a list of all the chapters, including Cochrane and Calgary, click here.