A group of women on the Saanich Peninsula are making a big difference in the lives of others, $100 at a time.
The 100 Women Who Care – Saanich Peninsula chapter began meeting in May 2015 as a way to give back to the community. The group meets four times a year, with representatives from three different charity organizations nominated by someone from the group. The members then vote on which charity they’d like to support, with members each writing a $100 cheque to the group with the most votes.
“It’s difficult to choose sometimes, it’s such a wide range of charities,” said founding member Sheena Pennie.
The 100 Women Who Care movement originated out of Michigan in 2006 as a way to raise money quickly and efficiently for local charities. Debra Bartlett and Shelley Mann brought the idea to the Saanich Peninsula in May 2015.
That first meeting raised $8,400, and in the meetings that followed the group has raised more than $85,000 for local charities, most recently $14,000 for the Sidney Lions Food Bank.
“It’s not millions of dollars, but the nice thing is the people we hear from at the meetings, they’ve either benefited from that charity or they donate their time to that charity,” said Pennie, adding that cash donations translate to twice the amount of non-perishable food items “because they have double the buying power with cash.”
She said a recipient from the charity receiving the funds returns at the following meeting to talk about what the money was used for.
“You don’t appreciate it until you see the final number and hear about all the good it has done,” said Pennie, a Cordova Bay resident.
She said the group is always looking for more members, and sponsors are also needed to help with the cost of rental fees and providing coffee and other supplies. You can find out more at the website 100womensaanichpeninsula.com. The group’s next meeting is set for March 1 at the Glen Meadows Golf Course, 1050 McTavish Rd., North Saanich.