I have to tell you about my evening last night....
I have recently become a member of 100 Women Who Care Calgary. I heard about this group through my affiliation with Canadian Business Chicks. Some of the ladies that are in this group also participate in 100 Women Who Care. I signed up initially for a guest ticket and then shared my registration on my facebook page. Little did I know, a few other girlfriends also signed up when they saw my registration (what an awesome ripple!) and then I walked into a room that already had some familiar faces in it.
Between the time I bought that guest ticket and the day of the event itself, I pulled the trigger and decided to be a member, so I actually was able to attend the meeting with a vote, which was great. I was flying a bit blind on what the format was, but trusted it was something I wanted to be a part of.
For those of you who are not familiar with the group, let me tell you about it.
When I arrived, there was a registration and those who were members (not on a guest ticket) received a ballot. I was greeted by a gal I have known for a number of years through my career who is an active member. She told me who we both new that was already in attendance. Yay! I cruised in, bought a glass of wine and went looking for my buddies.
What impressed me at the onset was that the organizers run this like a tight ship. They want to ensure that people who only have an hour to be there get out on time. The meeting was scheduled from 7 - 8 p.m. (of course optional networking before and after) and that meeting started ON TIME. Last recipient for the funds was the Calgary Counselling Centre and they got up and explained the impact of our donation. Last meeting, in an hour, we raised $22,600 for the Calgary Counselling Centre and then an anonymous donor matched OUR donation by 50%, so this worthy cause received over $30,000 from this group of ladies as a result of our fundraising. Talk about impact! Also, because of the hardships Calgary has experienced, the Calgary Counselling Centre was extremely overtaxed, and these funds gave them what they needed to meet this demand, at a record breaking time for them where Calgarians needed help coping. So so amazing.
Then, they did a quick powerpoint that explained that since this group started in 2013 our impact in total has been $264,105 to local charities. The other amazing thing, was when I saw the list, I was made aware of many charities that I didn't even know existed. There is a lot of good work being done in this city.
The more formal program after that included a list of charities that members voted in for consideration for this meeting. The list was extensive - around 30 charities. All the names went into a hat, and we pulled out three charities. Like toastmasters, the speeches were timed and the members were able to stand up and give a three minute presentation on their chosen charity. After that time, all the members voted for who they wanted the funds to go to, which is always a tough choice with so many worthy causes.
While they tabulated the votes, we were delighted to be entertained with draws for door prizes. You can bet that BeautyGram is going to be putting in some gift baskets for those draws in the future to honor the ladies who are donating to so many worthy causes.
Once the votes were tabulated, the winner for this meetings donations was Calgary Meals on Wheels. So exciting!
What I love about this, is the IMPACT that this meeting has on local charities. This group meets four times a year, so the commitment of each member is $100 per quarter. Judging from the amounts the recipients receive, it looks like there are over 200 members. Amazing, amazing work!
After the votes were done, there were some snacks out so ladies could either leave or enjoy a nibble if they wished and network. Of course that's what I chose to do. I had a good visit with my buddies who joined me over a taste of a delicious charcuterie board.
Kudos to the women who sign up to be involved. I am now a proud member and have already paid my $100 to the Calgary Meals on Wheels program, and I look forward to submitting my vote for charitable causes that I have been involved in, specifically Canadian Liver Foundation and Feline Rescue Foundation of Alberta.
What also makes my heart big, was that hearing about this cause through Canadian Business Chicks, created a ripple with my guest ticket, which created four new members, which added an additional $400 to the pot last night. If everyone told two friends who told two friends... just imagine what we could do. That is why I am sharing this with you. If you are a Calgary gal and this story resonates with you at all, I encourage you to check out the group. $100 is a lot of money to anyone. However, when we get together with friends for a special evening, $100 is also a night out, yes? If you knew that your $100 out would create a $20,000 impact to a local charity, why the heck not? Four nights out a year with friends at $100. I'm in. I am SO in.