The Airdrie chapter of 100 Women Who Care is gearing up for its upcoming meeting February 27, when members will vote on which local charity will receive a donation of up to $10,000. According to co-ordinator Stephanie Rabel, the group is always looking for new members.
“A lot of people want to give to charities, but they’re too busy to donate their time or help out in that way,” Rabel said. “This is just a financial commitment and we meet for only four hours each year, so it’s a great way for us to give back and support the community.”
Since the group was started in September 2016, 100 Women Who Care has donated to six different charities that serve the Airdrie area. According to Rabel, organizations are nominated and selected by the group’s members.
“Any member in good standing, who has been paying their donations on time, can nominate an eligible charity,” she said. “Before the meeting, we cut the nominations off and randomly draw three charities from the ones that have been nominated.”
Those three charities are asked a series of questions to ensure the donation they receive will be put to use within the community, Rabel said. Representatives from each of the three charities are invited to the meeting, where they can provide a brief five-minute presentation to the group’s members.
“We really want to make sure they are helping the community, and we want to know how they plan to spend the money,” Rabel said. “But in the end, our members are the ones who have the say. Everyone has the opportunity to vote – even if you’re not present at the meeting, you can send in your ballot. And at the end of the night, the winning charity walks out with a donation that all depends on how many members we have at that time.”
Currently, Rabel said, membership is sitting at around 95 women – but she said she hopes to see the group grow to 200 members or more, which would allow them to support two charities at each meeting.
“Our membership does really fluctuate, but it seems when some drop off, more join up,” she said.
“We just ask that you commit to one year at a time, depending on when you join.”
The group hosts meetings from September to June each year, Rabel said – so a member joining in February would be responsible for contributing donations for just two meetings before they would need to sign up again in September.
“We find that it works better for people if they’re not committing long term,” Rabel said.
“This way, there’s no obligation to continue if your situation changes – we just ask that you honour the commitment you’ve already made.”
For more information or to sign up ahead of the upcoming meeting, visit 100womenwhocareairdrie.com
“The point of this group is just to get 100 women to contribute to organizations that help support the people of our community,” Rabel said.
“These organizations are so important as Airdrie grows – it’s great that we can still have this small community feel. It’s just four hours of your time and $400, but you can really make a difference.”