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100+ Women Sault Ste. Marie has raised over $250,000 for charities since 2016

Brain Injury Association of SSM and District next on the list of local non-profits to be supported
A successful campaign to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society SSM & Algoma Region

Do you want to help local charities? Do you want to make a difference? Are you held back by the thinking that there isn’t much you can do, all on your own?

There is hope. You can band together with 100+ women in your community and make a huge difference to four different charities in your community, every single year.

100+ Women Who Care was founded by Karen Dunigan of Jackson, Michigan in 2006. Her group of 100 women raised over $12,800 at its first meeting to purchase 300 new baby cribs for a local non-profit agency.

Since then, over 350 chapters (which include Men, People and Kids Who Care) have been launched around the world in a like-minded effort to make a positive difference on a local level.

The premise is simple:

  • 100 or more women get together for about one hour;
  • each woman or team of women donates $100 (or more);
  • and all donations go directly to one local registered charity or non-profit organization, chosen by the membership.

The 100+ Women Who Care Sault Ste. Marie chapter was founded in 2016 by five women who wanted to make a difference in Sault Ste. Marie: Sandra Hollingsworth, Patricia (Murielle) McGrath, Cathy Shunock, Marnie Stone, and Rosetta Sicoli. The current executive committee includes Hollingsworth, Stone, Gabrielle Louttit, Toni Lukenda and Tracey Fyfe.

The premise is working. Since May 2016, this local group has raised over $250,000 for small, local charities and not-for profits in this community. At its very first meeting, the group raised $11,600 for the Algoma Autism Foundation. At the sixth meeting, they raised a record $17,700 for the No Limits Adaptive Ski Association and SkiAbility Algoma.

At the recent, twentieth meeting, the group raised $11,500 for the Alzheimer Society of SSM and Algoma District. Often the organizations supported have few if any staff and were started by someone local affected by the issue who saw a gap in services and decided to step up.

It’s easy to join 100 Women.

The membership isn’t capped at a certain number, and you can join as an individual or as a team.

There are just a few rules: members, whether individuals or teams, commit to donate at least $100 at each of four consecutive meetings. Members agree to fulfill this commitment even if they did not vote for the charity or non-profit selected. Members also agree to donate $100 even if they unable to attend a quarterly meeting. That’s it!

In return, members get the satisfaction of knowing that they helped and made a difference to non-profits in their community. The Sault St. Marie chapter also hopes that along with a financial boost, their efforts provide a vote of confidence to these smaller local groups: that they are seen, and they matter.

The next 100+ Women Who Care Sault Ste. Marie chapter meeting is coming up on Wednesday February 8 at The Water Tower Inn in Sault Ste. Marie.

Doors open at 5 p.m., the event begins at 6 and ends at 7 p.m. Light snacks will be available for a $10 donation. The Brain Injury Association (BIA) of SSM and District will be the recipient of all the funds raised.

“Brain injury can be complicated, isolating and frightening,” said a spokesperson. “This tiny registered charity relies on hometown heroes who quietly assist individuals with brain injuries on an absolute shoestring budget. The BIA operates on about $1,800 in annual income, with one employee paid by the Ontario Brain Injury Association. They sometimes get about $500 in donations annually. Yet, somehow they have assisted thousands of people since becoming a registered charity in 1995.”

She continued, “Donations through 100 Women will help support much-needed outreach, programs and services for survivors and their caregivers. Donations may also help support a few social events, such as bowling, or pizza. Simple outings perhaps, yet hugely significant, providing a safe environment for those living with acquired brain injury and their caregivers.”

You can become a member of 100+ Women Who Care SSM here. You can RSVP to the event on February 8 by emailing [email protected].

The Sault Ste. Marie chapter would love to keep growing and helping. Have the pride and satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference in your community, and join today!