Women’s group gives big

A new organization in Red Deer made almost $90,000 in charitable donations to four community groups without spending a dime on administration costs.

A new organization in Red Deer made almost $90,000 in charitable donations to four community groups without spending a dime on administration costs.

They got off to a strong start in 2016 when on Monday evening, 100+ Women Who Care – Red Deer, chose Suicide Information and Education Services to be this year’s first recipient of the group funding.

Cindy Jefferies, one of the founders of 100+ Women, said they expect the latest group chosen will get up to $22,000 once all the donations come in. About $12,000 was gathered on Monday. More will come in from those unable to attend.

The idea behind 100+ Women is for women to each donate $100 four times a year. Some people group together in twos, threes or fours (but with one vote only) to come up with the $100, said Jefferies.

Members nominate groups, and then during a get-together at donated venue space, the final three are drawn from a hat. Thirteen different groups were nominated this time.

Individuals from the three groups made their pitch at the meeting, and members of 100+ Women then voted to determine the a winner.

Jefferies said they spend no money on the process, as even tax receipts for the donations are picked up by members rather than mailed. 100+ Women meets for about one hour only four times so it does not require a lot of time to help make a difference.

Once an organization receives funds, it cannot be a contender again for two years. 100+ Women was started in 2015 by Jefferies and Susan Knopp. The group’s first meeting drew over 200 members. There were 180 women who each donated $100 at all four of the 2015 meetings.

They donated a total of $89,700 to the Red Deer Hospice, Eastview Middle School (for a playground), Safe Harbour Society and the Central Alberta Immigrant Women’s Association.

Jefferies said that despite the current downturn in the economy, the membership of 100+ Women is holding steady at about 220. People who have not lost their jobs are mindful that others have and they are prepared to help as they can.

Dawne Adkins, education co-ordinator with Suicide Information and Education Services, said Tuesday the money will be used for education and outreach work. She said the non-profit organization is always busy, either providing education to groups including schools, as well as offering referrals and other help to those in need.

Suicide knows no boundaries as it can affect anyone, and that may have been the defining message when the organization was chosen to receive the funding from 100+ Women, Adkins said.

100+ Women will meet again April 25, Sept. 26 and Nov. 14. They are on Facebook at 100 Women Who Care – Red Deer and also they have a website, which is 100womenreddeer.ca

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