EVERETT — One hundred women each armed with $100 is a force to be reckoned with.
In this case, it’s a force of exponential giving.
The group 100+ Women Who Care About Snohomish County gets together three times a year to pool their money for a charity.
Each member donates $100. They make a fun event of it and rake in some serious cash.
“People love what we’re doing. If I give 100 bucks, it’s great, but if 100 of us give 100 bucks, that’s huge,” said Janet Bacon, the local chapter’s co-founder. “That’s our goal, $10,000. Anything more than that is gravy.”
Usually, more than 100 people give $100 and some give more.
The group met at various venues in the past. At October’s meeting at the Everett Sons of Norway Normanna Lodge, they collected $20,275 for Babies of Homelessness.
This included $15,275 from the 100+ Women Who Care and $5,000 from Best Buy’s Richard Schulz Foundation. The money went to buy diapers, formula and wipes for babies that are homeless.
The local chapter, modeled after a national group, has raised more than $162,000 since it started in 2019.
The founding group was started in 2006 by a Michigan woman who had $100 to give to charity, and an epiphany: Her 100 bucks by itself wouldn’t do much, but what if she could muster $100 donations from 99 other women? Within an hour, her new group had raised $10,000 to give to a health center that provided cribs to needy families.
It goes like this: Three charities are in the running for the money at each meeting. They do short presentations about how the money would be used. And after the nominees leave the room, the women vote on which agency gets the money.
Previous recipients cover a spectrum of charities that includes services for seniors, child advocacy, and people with mental and physical disabilities.
Steven Landro, Normanna Lodge vice president, was so impressed by the group of women in his venue at the October meeting that he pitched in $100.
“It seemed a worthwhile cause and being there watching what they were doing, and how they do it, I just felt compelled to donate myself,” he said. “My bartender (Connie Herrington) who was working also donated $100.”
The downtown Everett lodge is designed for a mixed gender crowd, but he made it female-friendly. “I put a sign on the men’s restroom to make it a women’s restroom,” Landro said.
He’ll do it again. He offered the group free use of the lodge for future meetings.
Faith Food Bank in Everett was the first recipient of the women’s group in 2019.
Director Roxana Boroujerdi said when she entered her food bank for a chance to get $10,000, “It sounded like it would be like winning the lottery. I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll try it.’”
She gave her pitch at the meeting.
“We so desperately needed the money,” she said.
She got more than money.
“I was hauling food in my little car and one of the women in the group donated her family’s van,” she said. “A small group within the 100 women, they formed their own little group and they bought us two commercial refrigerators and a commercial freezer, which was about another $10,000.”
The group meets again in February at the lodge.
Members are of all ages, with many in their early 30s to 80s.
People can come alone and meet new friends.
“We have a welcoming group,” Bacon said.
More at 100womensnohomish.com, email@example.com or 214-883-4820.