Loreen Ruault (back left)

Loreen Ruault (back left)

There’s a new charity in town

100 Women Who care - Vernon is a new fundraising initiative that holds meetings once a month to decide that month's charity of choice

A group of local women have come up with an innovative method of supporting a number of charities in the North Okanagan.

The concept is simple:  100 women (or more) who care about our community will meet four times a year. At each meeting, members will nominate their favourite local charity, and three will be drawn to be voted on by the attendees, with one chosen to be awarded funds.

Every member — present or absent — then writes a $50 tax-deductible cheque to the chosen organization. The other charities can be nominated again at another meeting. At the end of the year, at least $20,000 will have been raised for the community, and it’s all done in under 60 minutes.

The concept is not new. There are close to 350 chapters worldwide, and 73 in Canada. The driving principle behind this grassroots movement, in simple terms, is that there is strength in numbers. It’s gratifying to make a difference in your own backyard when the time and financial commitment are manageable. Our local charities need all the help they can get, and because the pooled resources turn into large donations, recipients are often able to initiate and fund more ambitious projects.

The model is ideal for busy women who want to give back but don’t know which charity to donate to and don’t have the time to put a lot of effort into it. It’s an opportunity to celebrate individual philanthropy and encourage it.

Communication to the members is done via email and a Facebook group. The 100 Women Who Care concept is both fun and meaningful. It allows women to network, learn about great things happening in their local community, and become part of a team that is both empowering and powerful. Attendance is not mandatory, but the meetings allow for those on tight schedules to pop in and out, as they only last 60 minutes.

The inaugural meeting for the Vernon Chapter of 100 Women Who Care, is tonight at the Okanagan College Kal View Café. It is requested that women commit to a one-year cycle to provide fair and equal opportunity to all charities that are submitted and awarded. The doors will open for registration at 5:30 p.m., and the meeting begins at 6 p.m. For more information, please e-mail 100womenvernon@gmail.com.