We've been at this now for a year and a half and I'm amazed every quarter to learn more about what local non profits are doing in our area! There are some talented and committed people here with a love for organizations that are touching lives in ways many of us could never have imagined!
Even more amazing are the people we've met, made friends with, and are now working together with to change lives in our community. From bankers to stay at home moms, artists to real estate developers, coming together for a common cause makes us all one.
When we started this chapter, there were visions of quick growth and hitting that $10,000 goal at the second meeting! But the reality is everyone has so many opportunities to volunteer, so many organizations they want to support, and on top of that families they need to feed and chauffeur to so many activities that growth has been somewhat slow. (My husband teases me that my middle name should be "NOW" because I want everything now...and I admit....I do!) But we ARE growing each quarter and the organizations we are helping are thrilled with our donations, so I am trying to be confident that we will meet that goal one day in the near future!!
And we WILL! And when we do, maybe we will change the goal to $20,000 in an hour! Can't wait to see the faces of the recipients (and our members) when we do! But in the mean time, just knowing we are making a difference in so many lives will keep us going back, challenging others to join us, learning, and working together to make our community better for everyone....after all that's what really matters!
It's so hard to believe our last meeting of our first year is almost here! What an amazing experience this has been. While we have not grown to the level I believe we can, we are meeting quarterly, growing with every meeting, and good things in our local community!
Our meetings are great in that they allow us to get to know each other, and to learn about local non profits in the area that we may not have known about. With three randomly selected organizations having the opportunity to present at each meeting we are able to learn about them even if they are not selected to receive our donations that quarter. If you visit our "local women local effect" page you can read about all of the ones who have been selected this year, and there is a link to each of their websites.
The international 100 Women Who Care Alliance is also growing and there are chapters being established all over the US and Canada. There are also some 100 Men Who Care chapters starting as well as 100 Kids...it's just an amazing outpouring of care and I'm so thankful we have a local chapter. Learn more about the Alliance by visiting their website at http://www.100womenwhocare.org/. Spread the word to your friends who live out of town...maybe they can join one or start their own chapter! We are willing to assist anyone who would like to start a chapter, and the other groups are also very helpful when starting a new chapter.
We use Facebook for most of our outreach https://www.facebook.com/100WWCEC and there are some great pictures on our page as well. We also have a Twitter account and would love for you to follow us @100WWCEC!
So thankful for the amazing ladies along the Emerald Coast! We truly are local women having a local effect....and a good one!
When I first heard about 100 Women Who Care, I knew it was right for our community. I had the privilege to call Northwest Florida home for four years while my husband finished up his Air Force career, and we had just moved back to the area after a brief hiatus in SC. I loved the idea, I was looking for something to do since I wasn't working, and I knew the sweet spirit of the people in the Panhandle.
I am a sucker for a good cause and I believe I learned that not only from a very giving mom and dad, but also from the Air Force. You see, when I got married in 1984, not only did I marry the love of my life, I also married the Air Force! And I learned very quickly volunteering is a way of life in the Air Force. You just do it! You learn to take care of other Airmen and their families as if they are your extended family...and really they are! After all, they are the people you celebrate things with, the big things and the small things, they are the people you spend holidays with and they are the people you lean on when times are tough.
You also learn to take care of your communities. When you move around all over the US (or the world), you become part of the community where you live. Most military communities welcome you with open arms: they teach your children, stock your store shelves, and make your morning latte. And as military spouses we were always looking for ways to "give back", to make sure these communities know how much we appreciate them allowing us to be part of their communities. This means we volunteer...we raise money for their local organizations, work in their food banks, and participate in their community activities. It means we live the definition of giving, to "freely transfer the possession of something (our time and/or money) to someone (our local community)".
So when the opportunity to introduce the concept of 100 Women Who Care came up, I jumped at it. I called a few of my friends who still live in the area and pitched it to them. They loved the idea too, and so I "volunteered" them to be the steering committee. We met a couple of times, set meeting dates, did as much advertising as we could for free on social media, asked the great folks at Clemenzas to allow us to meet there, and we just did it! At our initial meeting, we had over 50 people in attendance and raised $2800...in an hour....and presented it to the Arts & Design Society of Fort Walton Beach to enhance their children's programs.
So we will continue in June what I hope will be a long and effective means for "giving back" to this amazing community we now call home. If you have thought about joining us, just do it! There are so many great organizations here and 100+ Women Who Care Emerald Coast is the perfect way to learn about and share information about the great things going on here!