On Oct. 15, 2015, women gathered for the inaugural Cayman Islands’ chapter meeting of 100 Women Who Care, which culminated in more than $42,500 being raised for the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, a domestic violence organization – an astonishing amount and a fitting cause, given the group’s female attendees.
Fast forward three years and the group, run by a small volunteer committee, now has more than 200 registered members in Cayman and has raised nearly $240,000 for 17 local charities, ranging from animal protection groups to special needs organizations to specialist health charities.
The local chapter of 100 Women Who Care is part of an international group – 100 Who Care Alliance (Women, Kids, Men, People), which boasts more than 600 fully operational chapters of men, women, kids and businesses, in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Singapore, Ireland and five Caribbean countries, including Cayman.
Being female is the only prerequisite to joining the 100 Women group, which attracts a cross-section of women from all age groups, nationalities and career paths.
One quality that they surely all share is being busy. Jobs, husbands or partners, children and pets, travel and quality personal time – a woman’s work is never done. A lack of spare time certainly does not equate to a lack of compassion, and 100 Women Who Care is therefore the perfect method for busy women to still contribute to their community.
“Our membership makes it easy for women who lead busy lives but want to give back,” explains 100 Women chairwoman Andrea Young. “With a group of us meeting for only one hour, four times a year, we, together, can achieve more and can actually make a change in our local community.”
This simple method of giving is quick and effective: meet. listen. vote. During the quarterly one-hour meeting, the group listens as three charities drawn from a pool of nominees present their needs, before the women vote on which of the three will receive a donation of $100 per member.
“This combined donation of $10,000+ makes a real impact, without time-consuming fundraising events and planning,” says Young. “Our mission and our hope is to provide for those in greatest need in the Cayman Islands.”
At the group’s ninth meeting they also introduced the role of premier event sponsor, which allows $1,000 to be donated to each of the two runner-up charities, ensuring all three charities benefit from the evening.
Around 100 of the registered members usually attend the quarterly meetings, and those who are absent and still want to donate can send their donation with a friend or arrange to have it picked up by the 100 women team.
This ease of donation and accessible membership requirements, as well as the format of 100 Women Who Care overall, provides the perfect outlet for busy women to make an impact on the community in which they live, and their local focus allows members to truly see the difference their dollars make.