After our first meeting in January 2015, we were featured on The Chronicle.
Article by: Christian Coulombe
Who cares? The women in Whitby and Ajax do.
Pamela Deveaux launched a 100 Women Who Care non-profit organizations Whitby/Ajax chapter earlier this month. She has been raising money and awareness for non-profit groups for the past eight years and grew up in a family dedicated to fundraising and donating to charity, she says.
Starting the organization was on her bucket list, and after more than a year of preparation, she launched 100 Women Who Care Whitby/Ajax.
The opening event was in the Abilities Centre in Whitby. About 40 people attended the opening, including mayor of Whitby, Don Mitchell, councillors from Whitby and Ajax, and members of the community.
100 Women Who Care started in the U.S. in 2006 by Karen Dunigan, raising money for cribs, according to Deveaux.
According to Deveaux, there was originally a plus sign in front of the 100 to signify that the group is not limited to 100 members. There are now 106 chapters across North America, with organizations throughout Ontario from London to Kingston. Every four months, the women of the group get together and nominate three charities they wish to donate to. Each member donates $100 at each meeting totalling $400 at the end of the year. Women are able to sign up as a team so they can split the $100 donation and cash or cheques are accepted. Each donation receives a tax receipt, says Deveaux.
There is no membership fee, according to Deveaux, and you sign up on a voluntary basis. The nominations are put into a cup and three are randomly pulled by different members. Whoever submits the charity that is pulled goes on stage to describe what it is. After the nominations they vote to see who gets the money.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a member of the organization, says she got involved because it is a great idea and “there is no excuse to not show up.” Ajax regional councillor Colleen Jordan presented a plaque and certificate signed by the mayor of Ajax and all the councillors to Deveaux showing their appreciation for what she’s doing for the community. “Your success will benefit all our communities,” says Counc. Jordan.
Some women in attendance love the idea of getting together and doing what they can for the region. “The idea of coming together four times a year is a perfect way to invest some time to make a significant difference,” says Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann, executive director of Grandview Children’s Centre.
Other members think this will do well.
“I think it will be successful, you always have to start somewhere,” says Elizabeth Roy, Whitby town councillor.
Caesar-Chavannes submitted Feed the Need Durham and was one of the three nominated, along with Durham Outlook for the Needy by Kathy Beattie and Kids Against Hunger submitted by Donna Bright. Ironically, every organization picked was hunger-based, so everyone was pleased with whoever won.
The winning nomination this month is, drum roll please, Durham Outlook for the Needy. It will receive $3200 from 100 Women Who Care Ajax & Whitby.
The next meeting will be held April 15 at 6:45 p.m. at the Abilities Centre in Whitby. All members are welcome to bring friends, but pre-registration is encouraged.