Become One of the 100 Women Who Care

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100 Women Who Care 2018" attendees at the recent meeting

If you’re a woman and you care about making an impact in the lives of those living in the Greater Pittsburgh region, then this article might be a new connection for you.

There’s a local group of women that meet four times a year to learn about non-profits in our area, and then make a collective donation to one organization at each meeting.  Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that.

check presentation for our January recipient, Dreams of Hope, with the Executive Director of Dreams of Hope Seth Rosenberg, two board members (Randi Starr and Sharon Pircheski), 100 WWC Founder Kim Patterson, and Ash Andrews

This group calls themselves 100 Women Who Care.  At the beginning of each their gatherings, any member can nominate a local charity, non-profit, or worthy cause by putting the name of that organization into a hat.  Once the meeting officially starts, three names are drawn at random to be considered for the evening’s donation. The 100 Women Who Care member that put the organization in for consideration then gives a “pitch,” as to why the larger group should select their nomination for the quarterly donation.  After the three presentations, each individual woman casts a vote via a ballot process, to select one organization to receive all of the evening’s donations.

So how did all of this get started? I asked one of the local organizers, Ash Andrews, to tell me a little more about the history of the group.  She said that 100 Women Who Care originated in Jackson, Michigan by a woman named Karen Dunigan.  The idea was to find a way to raise money efficiently and quickly for local charities.  From what I understand, at their first meeting, each woman in that group wrote a $100 check, raising over $10,000 to purchase baby cribs for a local Michigan organization.  Since Karen started 100 Women Who Care, there are now more than 250 chapters across North American and beyond.  Ash said that the Pittsburgh group was started in 2015 by Kim Patterson, Alice Greene, and Brandi Phillips.  Ash then came on board as an additional organizer in 2016.

The Pittsburgh 100 Women Who Care group works to make participation accessible to those who might be earlier in their career, with fewer financial resources to offer.  For example, group members who are 35 or under are able to make out a quarterly donation in the amount of $35, rather than $100.

a group of teens from Dreams of Hope who were excited to receive the check

When I asked Ash why it’s a group of women giving to these non-profits she said, “There is a certain, incredible strength that women have when they join together around a common cause. Since 2015, our chapter has donated close to $100,000 to local nonprofits. We can make a real, lasting impact on small, local nonprofits with our combined support.”

This past January, Dreams of Hope received the quarterly donation from the Pittsburgh group of 100 Women Who Care.  “Through the power of the arts, Dreams of Hope provides the region’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, and allied (LGBTQA+) youth a welcoming environment to grow in confidence, express themselves, and develop as leaders. Their creative contributions educate audiences, build awareness, and increase acceptance,” says their website. And just in April, the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwestern PA received the quarterly donation.  For a look at all of the places receiving support from 100 Women Who Care, you can visit their website.

If this sounds like something you would like to get involved with, the next meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, from 5:30-8pm at Smallman Galley in the Strip.  Anyone is welcome to join, no registration is required.  Networking is first on the agenda, with the meeting beginning at 6:30. And while you’re there, food from the current chefs at Smallman Galley will be provided, with drinks for purchase at the bar.  If you’d like some more info before the meeting, you can reach out to the organizers via their email address at 100WWC@100womenpittsburgh.org