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!