Editor’s note: The story was changed to correct the next meeting date to Feb. 15 from Feb. 4.
A new charitable group in Paintearth County has already made a substantial impact in the community.
The 100 Women Who Care group, which was founded in the spring of 2022, has to-date donated nearly $21,000 to several local charities.
“The idea is we support our communities,” said Doreen Blumhagen, one of the steering committee members.
To date, the group has supported “Smile Like Emily,” a not-for-profit which established public access defibrillators in Castor, the Coronation Elks “Kids Can Play” sports equipment loan program which all Paintearth County residents can access, and the Castor-Halkirk Handivan.
Meeting four times a year, the group moves around the county. Meetings are held in Halkirk, Castor, Coronation, and Brownfield on a rotation and each meeting features a catered meal from a business located within the region.
According to Blumhagen, meetings typically last one hour and two or three charities are given an opportunity to present to the group. The charities are nominated for presentation by a group member and are asked to “present from the heart.” Presenters are not allowed to use PowerPoint or handouts to aid in their presentation, but just give a give a verbal presentation as to why their group should be chosen.
Blumhagen says that the group is a “giving circle ” based on the international model of 100 Women Who Care.
The original group was started in the United States by Karen Dunigan in 2006. According to the 100+ Women Who Care website, the organization was founded as a way to “efficiently and quickly” raise money for local charities. Since the initial group was founded, both official chapters and giving circles have popped up across North America.
“It’s supposed to make a difference instantly,” said Blumhagen.
Unlike traditional forms of fundraising, the funds donated to the charities come from the volunteers themselves. According to the website, each member is supposed to write a cheque for $100 directly to the chosen charity.
In the case of Dunigan’s first meeting, $10,000 was raised to purchase 300 new baby cribs for a local organization in her group’s region.
Blumhagen says that the Paintearth County group currently has just over 100 members, but more are always welcome.
For a charitable organization to be considered for funding by the group, it must be in need of funds and must serve all residents of Paintearth County.
The next meeting of the Paintearth 100 Women Who Care is Feb.15 in Brownfield, which will put the “first year under our belt,” says Blumhagen.
According to Blumhagen, the Feb. 15 meeting will have a twist compared to the usual meetings; four or five presenters will have an opportunity to share about their program and funds will be divided between two worthy causes.
For more information, or to get involved, check out the Paintearth 100 Women Who Care group on Facebook.