From our debut article in the Idaho State Journal by Jenni Whitely:
For years, Stacey George had been searching for a way to do more for Pocatello’s community, but had limited time and money outside of her service for church and family.
In May, George found the answer when she read an article written by Lois Collins in the Deseret News regarding a giving circle movement called “100 Women Who Care” which was started in 2006 by a woman named Karen Dunagan from Michigan.
Dunagan found out that new mothers in her Michigan area were bringing their newborns home to sleep in drawers or boxes because they couldn’t afford cribs. Dunagan asked a few friends if they wanted to contribute $100 with her to help buy some cribs. These friends recruited more friends who each made a contribution of $100 which ballooned into $12,800 for cribs.
Dunagan and the other women decided to continue the group and founded the first chapter of the 100 Women Who Care organization, which Collins says has grown to over 650 established chapters and more than 250 in the process across the U.S.
The national organization has umbrella-ed it’s name to “100 Who Care Alliance” because several groups have diversified beyond “women.” International chapters have also started emerging in places like Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore, Australia and Canada.
Upon reading about the idea in March, George contacted a few friends who enthusiastically got on board in May. This group of women decided to move forward with creating a chapter in Pocatello and the steering committee was established consisting of Stacey George, Heidi Payne, Marzyeh Jalilzadeh, Joanna Davidson, Kathleen Hofman, Lanae Kener, Sherry Reddish and Becky Payne.
“We decided to give it a shot and see how the people of Pocatello respond,” George said, “and if it’s something they want. ...We obviously don’t know of all the good causes that are out there. A more diverse group of women of all ages and interests brings with them their different connections, networks, and resources. They bring with them knowledge of valid organizations that are needing help.
“We have a goal of growing this organization as not only a community of women who share in the experience of uniting to make a large donation” George continued, “but also in women connecting and interacting with each other who may not otherwise do so. … By including women from other religions, walks of life, and ages, I feel that will make us a better group of women because we all bring little pieces to contribute that others don’t have and that will make us into a bigger a whole.”
George also said that charitable organizations interested in being considered for nomination or anyone who has questions can contact the steering committee via email at firstname.lastname@example.org The chapter is also possibly seeking corporate sponsors to help with consolation prizes for the two non-profit organizations that do not walk away with the meeting’s vote. More information is also available on FaceBook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/100wwcPoky/