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100 Plus Women Who Care choose to support other women in need

May 31, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

The New Tecumseth chapter of 100 Women Who Care met for their second ever meeting at the Gibson Centre for Arts & Culture, Mercer Pub, last Thursday, May 23.

The one-hour meeting was an opportunity for three local charities to present their need for support, and a chance for local women to network.

In all, 43 women attended, donating $3,800 at the meeting – and donations are still flowing in.

100 Plus Women Who Care New Tecumseth meets four times annually, with each woman who attends bringing a cheque for $100 – for the potential total collection of $10,000 per meeting, donated to one local charity.

Additionally, two friends can divide the donation ($50 each) but they only have one vote, or up to four members can donate $25, with one vote.

“This is to encourage as many women to participate as possible and support their community,” said France Young, 100 Women board member. “In addition to the financial support, this group is about awareness and connecting women to organizations. In fact, there were members who came forward following the meeting to volunteer at some of the presenting charities, and even women considering board membership on the charities. So, even if funding is not achieved at the event, the opportunity to raise more awareness for the work being done and connecting new members to the charities themselves is a benefit to charities, attendees and the community grows stronger this way.”

At the meeting each charity representative is given five timed minutes to share their story, and say how the funds would be spent. Each representative can then field up to three questions from the audience, with the winner of the funds decided by private ballot.

At the May meeting, the three charities were: Matthews House Hospice (Sanctuary at Home program) as presented by Andrea Roylance; Imani’s Place (support for at risk and exploited women) as presented by Marisa Parise; and It Takes A Village To Raise A Child (affordable academic support for children “BrainiACTS” program) as presented by Sheila Dickson. 

After hearing each of the presentations, the 100 Women group members chose Imani’s Place.

And here’s why…

“My name is Marisa Parise it is an honour to stand before you to share an inspiring mission. I am a board member of this incredible organization, Imani’s Place…’Imani’ meaning ‘faith’ in Swahili. We are a faith based non-profit organization that will house, mentor, support young woman who find themselves vulnerable, homeless and at risk for exploitation, right here in your Town.

“Canadian youth statistics: 20 per cent of youths make up homelessness population, and 93 per cent of trafficked victims are Canadian, not foreigners. This has been a growing concern in our province for young vulnerable woman which has now ranked first in sex trade trafficking.

“It started with a woman, Lisa, who had a vision to purchase a house and use it for humanitarian purposes to support young woman, for her own personal reasons, she researched your community and met with a variety of agencies to determine interest.

“A passion I share; sexually exploited children and youth, I recently traveled to five Asian countries in order to become more aware of the impact of this dark abuse. To see the devastation and shame these children held… starting at the tender age of 10 years old was simply horrific. There are no words, no words for this darkness.

“Will you choose to shine a light in their lives? Our children are not for sale. They have no choice or voice and suffer silently in pain. Together we can stop this. Imani’s Place home environment will consist of volunteers and one overnight staff to operate the home, as mothers would, to support and provide a safe environment for young women.

“Lisa takes delight in sourcing those who have first hand experience in order to ensure we provide successful situations in helping young girls stabilize, finish school and find employment to move forward independently.

“Imani’s Place has completed our application for a non-profit charity status and should have this confirmed within the next six months. Lisa was invited to present her vision to [a local service board], and they have generously agreed to assist in taking Imani’s Place under their wing until our status is obtained; donations can be accepted with income tax receipts issued.”

Imani’s Place took home a cheque for $5,000, the combined donations of 63 women in attendance, and funds continue to flow in.

Matthews House Hospice and It Takes A Village To Raise A Child are not out yet – their names will be put “back into the hat” for a chance to win at a later meeting.

100 Plus Women Who Care New Tecumseth are sponsored by: Gibson Centre for Arts & Culture, The Times, TD Wealth Management Alliston, Concession Road Mercantile, The Circle Theatre, The Briar Crier, Sutton Group, The Mortgage Station (Lisa Purchase), Kelly Higgins Graphic Design.

The group currently has 63 members and is actively looking for more local women to join them – without obligation – at the next meeting.

The 100 Women Who Care movement was started in November of 2006 by Karen Dunigan of Jackson, Michigan.

Karen’s group of 100 women, at their first one-hour meeting, each wrote a cheque for $100 directly to a local charity. Collectively, they raised $10,000 to buy 300 new baby cribs for an organization in their city. Since then, the idea took root and spread across North American. Today, Women Who Care chapters have formed all over the world. These groups collectively have donated more than a million dollars to locally based organizations.

Groups looking for support can apply online. Only local charities or non-profits able to provide official charitable tax receipts, will be considered.

For more information about 100 Plus Women Who Care New Tecumseth, visit them online at, ‘Like’ them on Facebook, or call France Young at 705 500-1901 or Debbie Hudson at 705 435-8874. 

The two remaining meetings for 2019 are scheduled to take place at the Gibson Centre on September 19, from 7–8 p.m., and November 21 at the same time.


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