Live Local, Give Local
100 Women Who Care Calgary is a local grassroots organization that brings women and local causes together in a simple, powerful way.
Being a stay-at-home mom to two little boys, age 18 months and 3 years old, I was run off my feet and rarely got to sleep a night through. I realized that my visions of modelling charity to my kids might have to take the back-burner, because who has the time? But I really did care. And I really did want to help in a way that my kids could be proud of. And, let’s face it, as someone who had left a career six months earlier to stay at home with my kids, I wanted to show my little guys that their mom could be a leader in the community – even though she no longer earned a paycheck.
So, when I walked into a meeting of 100 Women Who Care – Windsor / Essex County (Ontario), having been invited by my mother-in-law, Donna Lapczuk, it lit up a spark inside of me that would soon become a wildfire.
These ladies met just four times per year, for only 1 hour. In that hour, they learned about 3 amazing local charities (spoken for by other members of the group that had put in the nomination), they jointly selected one of those charities and promptly each wrote a cheque – directly to that charity – for $100. When one hundred women get together and each give $100, why that’s a $10,000 donation. In just one hour. I was floored. I knew I had to bring this concept to Calgary. I no longer cared about the time I lacked, nor the sleep I lacked. I loved the power of the group, the voices of the women taking matters into their own hands. This just had to happen in Calgary.
By September, I was buying a domain name, creating a Facebook page and starting the recruiting process. That’s when my co-founder, Christy Parker, came into the picture. It was as if the stars aligned to bring her in at just the right moment! The date was already booked, Nov. 4, 2013 at the Marriott Hotel Downtown Calgary. I was working on the website (something I had never done before). The only thing I had up online was a Facebook page. Christy had heard of the launch of the Kingston chapter of 100 Women Who Care and was similarly inspired to get one going in Calgary. She found my Facebook page and the rest is history. A beautiful partnership ensued and five weeks later, we raised nearly $8000 for the Hera Program at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary.
To date, we have held seven 1-hour meetings and have given Calgary charities a total of over $100,000! Visit our website to view the charities we have supported.
100 Women Who Care Calgary is NOT a charity, we are a vehicle. Donations are 100% direct to charity. We have no bank account or employees because we don’t collect, spend or donate anything – it is our members who make the donations directly to the local charities. The goal of the group is to support the wonderful work that our local charities do in funds, exposure and awareness in a minimal amount of time. We have an amazing team of volunteers along with the assistance of some very generous sponsors. 100 Women Who Care Calgary is proud to say that we were the first chapter of it’s kind in Western Canada. The concept is simple and effective and we encourage members of every city and town to seek out or start a local chapter and make a difference in your community today.
By Alison Lapczuk
Co-Founder, 100 Women Who Care Calgary
Proud to be ‘1 in 100’!