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100 + Women Who Care

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Article by Tammy Richards

Photography by Janie Jones

Originally published in Johnson County Lifestyle

There is no shortage of organizations in the Kansas City Metro area doing great work in the community. However, one group, known as 100+Women Who Care Southland KC, stands out with its unique approach to giving back.

In August 2017, close friends Carla Hayes, Debbie Swearingen, Debbie Jackson, and Teresa Hinrichs Perrin got together to share a bottle of wine and some good conversation. They began discussing the different organizations they had volunteered with or served as board members of and the time commitments involved in those roles. They agreed that some people, themselves included, don’t always have a lot of time but still want to impact the community that they live in.

“It reminded me about the organization my sister and brother-in-law in Iowa had told me about,” Perrin explains. “We all knew we had contacts to share the concept of starting one here, and as we told people the response was positive. We decided to dive in.”

They began by doing research and contacted the original founders, who continue to support others wanting to start a group. They found more than 175 geographic 100+ Women Who Care alliances across the US and internationally, including one in Kansas City and another in the Cedar Creek neighborhood in Olathe, KS.

“Each group has overall the same mission but may do unique things as to how they run meetings and administrate,” Perrin says.

They decided on the name, 100+ Women Who Care Southland KC. The group is for women who live, work or play in the Southland. They secured one of their employers, BHC RHODES in Johnson County as a place to hold their meetings.

“It is the perfect place with a great interior layout for both the business and networking we do,” Hayes says. “Having easy access, parking, and a facility we can use all the time has been great for the members. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for members to be involved and make a big difference while keeping time and resource demand small.”

The concept of 100+Women Who Care is simple. Members gather for quarterly meetings where 501c3 organizations nominated by three members make a five-minute presentation. At the end of those presentations, a vote is taken, and the one receiving the highest number of votes is the benefactor of the donations for that quarter. Each member then writes a check for $100 directly to the non-profit selected.

“We know women are caretakers at heart and love to be engaged in worthy causes,” Jackson says, “yet we understand that time and dollar resources can be limited. This gives an opportunity for involvement of both time and financial resources that make a big impact.”

Perrin continues, “It is great to get together with other women for 30 minutes four times a year and have the ability to put $40,000 into our community.”

Nominations of the non-profit organizations can be made by any member by simply putting names in a basket. Once three names are drawn, they are put into an envelope, and the rest are kept until the next meeting. Each organization is verified before being allowed to present to the members.

“For these non-profits and the members, it is a win, win, win,” Perrin says. “For the non-profit, they get exposed to women who care about our community, and though there is one ‘winner’ that gets the money, the other two have always reported back that they also benefited by the evening. Members meet and network with amazing women in this area and have developed new friendships and contacts. They get to be involved in something that makes a BIG impact.”

To date, they have had presentations from 15 organizations, all great organizations and resources for our community.

“It is so humbling and gratifying to see that we have heard from a diverse group of organizations that serve different needs,” Perrin says. “Their one common thread is that they truly make the lives of people better.”

100+ Women Who Care Southland KC is always looking for more women to join them. Current membership ranges from women in their 20’s through 70’s, including full-time moms, small and large business execs, teachers, entrepreneurs, or active retirees. 100+Women Who Care does not charge membership dues nor receive money. Every dollar goes directly from the member to the 501c3 organization.

“A true shout out to our members and to those that want to join us,” Swearingen says. “It’s not about the founders of this group. The members are the ones that make it happen, and we just provide the opportunity.”

To find out more visit them on Facebook or contact teresa@specificiti.com.

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