Jack Brezina: Giving back
|By Jack Brezina - Contributing Writer | July 5, 2018|
Making a difference in our community … most of us want to approach our civic responsibility with that kind of mindset. However, it is not always an easy and simple task to accomplish. Many people donate their time and talent by volunteering. Others join clubs and organizations that promote good work by raising money and then sharing the proceeds with those in need. All worthy endeavours, which contribute to the well-being of our fellow citizens.
But not everyone has time to give. Busy family and business schedules leave some hard-pressed to find time for regular meetings or to participate in fundraising ventures.
And so I was intrigued to hear of an organization called One Hundred Women Who Care, Haliburton County. Joan Featherstone, of Minden, is the woman who brought the concept to Haliburton County. It is something new here, but has been an idea which is being adopted around the globe.
The concept is quite simple. Three times a year, the group meets at the Dominion Hotel to consider three worthy recipients, local not-for-profit or charitable organizations. After hearing about each of the organizations being “nominated” by members who explain why each was worthy of support, they discuss the merits of each, ask questions and then vote. The winner is the recipient of $100 from each member of the group.
Now there are some rules of course.
As Joan explained, One Hundred Women offers a bridge for people who want to contribute to their community but can’t make a big-time commitment. Since it was formed, the local chapter has donated a total of $22,450 in its first five sessions. The recipients were: Food for Kids; the Food Bank; Family Support Centre; Volunteer Dental Outreach; and the YWCA HERS shelter in Haliburton County. Members write their cheques directly to the organization and receive a receipt for their donation.
The organization operates with little overhead. Members donate skills and resources to support what little infrastructure it takes to keep the organization operating.
The name of the organization can be a little misleading. While it started out as a women’s only movement, those barriers quickly fell by the wayside and in some communities the membership is male and female, all male and there is even a group that youth can join (with a reduced financial commitment). In some cases, group members pair up sharing the $100 per meeting contribution. The Haliburton County group currently has more than 60 members. The chapter in Kawartha Lakes has more than 350. The membership number is flexible. The One Hundred in the name is more of a target than a requirement.
One Hundred Women Who Care, Haliburton County is always looking for new members. Prospective participants are welcome to sit in on a meeting to get a sense of how it operates. The next one is July 25 at the Dominion Hotel, Minden.
While it is well recognized that often a volunteer gets as much out of sharing time and talent as the recipient, organizations like Women Who Care provide another option for those wishing to make a difference in our community.
For more information, contact Joan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jack Brezina is a contributing writer for The Highlander.