Tag Archives: 100+ Women Who Care

Wanted: 100+ People Who Care

It’s nice to write a $100 check to help an organization. It’s even nicer when you and 99 other people write $100 checks. Bundled together,it’s $10,000.

That’s the idea behind a national movement called “100+ Women Who Care.”

Every 3 months, there’s a 1-hour meeting. Each member brings a check for $100. Anyone can nominate local charities, non-profits or worthy causes. All names go in a hat.

Three names are drawn, randomly. The 3 members who nominated them make 5-minute presentations, “selling” their causes.

Everyone then votes on which cause to support. The winner gets all the checks — made out to their organizations, on the spot. Such a simple idea — and so powerful.

Tracy Yost

Tracy Yost helped found the local “100+ Women Who Care” chapter, 6 years ago. She’s proud of her fellow members, and their contributions. Recent honorees include ConnectUS, the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, Mercy Learning Center, Circle of Care, and the Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education.

But while the coronavirus has increased the need for help dramatically, it’s also impacted donors’ checkbooks. The most recent awardee — Fairfield County’s Community Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund — received only half the usual donations.

Yost is undaunted.

“If you can only give $50, that’s great,” she says. “The key is to give. For those who can, there’s never been a more meaningful time.”

She looks forward to the next meeting: Tuesday, July 21. It’s via Zoom, but there will be the usual optional “social hour” from 6 to 6:30. The business portion begins at 6:30.

Non-members can’t vote on the recipient. But they can — and should! — donate.

In fact, Yost hopes for some inter-generational attendees. “Maybe you’re a mom who can’t usually make meetings,” she says. “But you can now. Bring your own mother and daughter too. Join us. It’s easy and fun.”

There’s one more thing: You don’t have to be a woman to be a woman who cares.

The Fairfield County chapter is one of many nationwide. Some are called “100+ Men Who Care.” Others are “100+ Students Who Care”  … you get the idea.

Just think of it this way: “During COVID, 100+ Fairfield County People Who Care.”

(For more information, email womenwhocarein203@gmail.com. To register for the July 21 “100+ Women Who Care” meeting, click here.)

100+ Women Who Care

Like many women, Tracy Yost’s volunteerism revolved around her children’s activities. Community service was a resume builder. Life was busy; time was tight.

Then, in 2013 — having just moved from Fairfield County to Santa Cruz, California — she discovered “100+ Women Who Care.”

Founded in 2006 in Michigan, it’s an organization so clever I barely know where to begin.

100 Women who CareEvery 3 months, there’s a 1-hour meeting. Each member brings a check for $100. Any member can nominate  local charities, non-profits or worthy causes. All names are put in a hat.

Three names are drawn, randomly. The 3 members who nominated them make 5-minute presentations, “selling” their causes.

Everyone then votes on which cause to support. The winner gets all the checks — made out to them, on the spot.

100 women = $10,000. Amazing!

Within a year, Tracy’s nominee — Coastal Watershed Council — was drawn. She spoke passionately — and won.

“It was an amazing, powerful experience,” she recalls. “I felt so empowered, and so connected to the community.”

Tracy Yost

Tracy Yost

A few months later, her husband was transferred back to this area. Tracy knew she wanted to start a “100+ Women Who Care” chapter here.

A woman in Wilton had the same idea.  Beth Kisielius contacted — out of all 150 or so chapters in the US and Canada — the Santa Cruz one for help. The 2 women connected quickly, and fortuitously.

Tracy arrived in Westport on January 16 (her birthday — go figure). Within a week, she and Beth had planned a working dinner.

Since then they’ve set up Facebook pages, a website and newsletters. Neither woman had ever done something like this, but clearly they are on a mission.

Now they’ve set a date for the 1st Fairfield County meeting. It’s Tuesday, March 10 (DoubleTree by Hilton, Norwalk). A social hour (5:30-6:30 p.m.) precedes the “business” meeting (6:30-7:30).

“We’re looking for women who are too busy to volunteer, or who like to know all the little things going on in the community, who like to get involved outside of their children’s schedules,” Tracy says.

100 women who care santa cruzShe is passionate about the impact 100+ Women Who Care made on her life, in a little over a year in Santa Cruz.

“I felt connected to the community,” she says. “I felt empathy, because I heard very personal stories about people who struggle. I felt part of a group who strives to make a difference locally.

“The group not  only donates 4 times a year. They connect people. They seek out ways to help. They raise the bar. They empowered me.”

Your charity doesn’t even have to win, for you to feel good. “It’s great just to tell 100 women about a really terrific cause,” Tracy notes. “And sometimes you spark an interest, and end up with new volunteers for your organization.”

(For more information on 100+ Women Who Care — including the March 10 meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Norwalk, click here.)