100+ Women Who Care

The evening begins with a glass of wine and ends with a donation in excess of $20,000 to a local charity. This all transpires over the course of 1 short hour because that’s 100 Women Who Care!

In 2006, Karen Dunigan of Jackson, Michigan recognized that her local family health centers were in crisis. Karen’s first thought was to reach out to 10 friends with hopes of each donating $1,000 to the cause. After further thought, she decided to lessen the burden by, instead, asking 100 women to contribute $100. A meeting was held and one hour and $12,000 later, 300 baby cribs were purchased and 100 Women Who Care, was born. Sadly, Karen Dunigan passed away in 2014 but her legacy lives on through the hundreds of chapters that have since formed across the United States and Canada.

“The concept is brilliant,” says Lynne Kelleher of BHHS Fox and Roach, Newtown, who started the Bucks County chapter of 100 Women Who Care in 2014. What began as just 35 members is now 235 strong! “As a realtor and active member of the community, I have chaired countless fundraisers calling on the same people and businesses year after year; hounding them to make monetary donations, to contribute items for auction and to volunteer their time. The concept implemented by 100 Women Who Care makes fundraising quick and efficient. Most rewarding is being part of something bigger than ourselves,” Lynne explains.

With a $100 check in hand, members sip wine (or their beverage of choice) and are all ears as three local non-profit organization pitch their story. Once all three have presented, the members cast their vote for one of the worthy charities. While Lynne and a small crew tally up the ballots, the rest of the members nominate more organizations, and three new charities are randomly drawn and given the opportunity to pitch their story at the following meeting. After the night’s recipient is announced, checks are distributed, and the meeting is adjourned…. It’s as simple as that! However, what’s not quite as simple is deciding on which organization to vote for. I posed the question, “why not split the gift three ways?” Lynne explained how heart-wrenching it can be, as all groups are so deserving, but granting the larger sum to a single charity can make a much greater impact.” Truth be told, each group leaves a winner by having the occasion to share their story and bring awareness to their respective foundations.

In order for a charity to be considered by 100 Women Who Care, the organization must be established (no start-ups), registered as a non-profit 501c3, and serve the local Bucks County community. The last award, in the amount of $23,500, was granted in early March to The Autism Cares Foundation located in Southampton, PA. Other recipients include: Bucks for Kids, NAMI Bucks, Nicks Clicks, Coalition to Shelter & Support the Homeless, United Way of Bucks County Covid-19 Relief, The Miracle League and more… 

This year alone, the incredibly generous Bucks County chapter of 100 Women Who Care are on track to donate close to $100,000 to four local charities. Most astonishing is how such a grand deed is accomplished in such a simplistic manner; 235 women donate 4 hours of their time and a tax deductible $400 a year! If you or someone you know may be interested in joining this amazing group of women, visit https://www.100womeninbucks.org/ “We are each strong in our own right, but together we are stronger.”  

Writer bio: Beth Crawford is the founder and former director of BC Discoveries Dance and Theater Arts Co. After many years of working in dance and theater production, including writing scripts for large scale musical theater productions, she has shifted gears to serving the local community as a social media manager and freelance writer. She is currently a blogger for Bucks on Trend where she highlights the fabulous local small businesses in Bucks County. IG: @bucksontrend. 

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