A group of women have looked to make a difference in the community since 2017 by donating funds to nonprofit organizations of their choice.
The group, 100 Women Who Care Loudon County, since its formation has met four times and contributed $25,100, Amanda Tinker, group leadership board member, said.
Tinker joins Betsy Junot, Martha Guldan and Julie Hurst on the board.
“So we feel like that’s a pretty good impact,” Tinker said. “Of course, we’d always like to have more members and be able to have larger donations at each meeting, but yes, we’ve been pleased. We hope that we’re making a positive impact.”
Each time the group meets they vote on contributing to a nonprofit organization, which Tinker said is qualified by it serving Loudon County and being operational for at least three years.
The most recent contribution in September was to The Salvation Army. Others have included Child Advocacy Center of the Ninth Judicial District, Highland Park Parent Teacher Organization and Loudon County Young Life.
“For instance, when Highland Park PTO was the recipient of our donation they were raising funds for a playground,” Tinker said. “So based on their presentation then the members will vote and decide which organization they’re going to donate to that time.”
The Salvation Army’s gift totaled $5,600 to be used for meeting “human need without discrimination,” according to the 100 Women Who Care website.
The donation was “greatly” appreciated, Teresa Riley, local Salvation Army treasurer, said.
“What we use it for is we support the community,” Riley said. “We work with the school systems and we have a setup where we buy back-to-school clothing, we also buy shoes, but our main concern with that money was to help the community. We have people come in and it’s whatever need.
“We mostly focus on utilities, mostly utilities, but also we’ll help with rent, we’ll help with food,” she added. “If they have special needs that they come in and need, we’ll consider that and see if we can help them with that.”
Riley said a large portion of funding for The Salvation Army comes from the community.
“The grant that we received from (100 Women Who Care) was just a wonderful blessing for us,” she said. “We’ve also got support through Rotary clubs, but it’s mainly community is where we get our funding.”
CAC received $6,100 during the group’s April meeting.
Chris Evans-Longmire, CAC executive director, said center representatives were “extremely grateful” to be selected.
“The donation to the Child Advocacy Center supported services offered to children that have experienced trauma due to severe physical abuse or sexual abuse,” Evans-Longmire said. “100 Women Who Care Loudon County supported child abuse services that include therapy, forensic interviews, services to drug-endangered children, teen moms and helped meet other needs unique to the families we serve.”
The 100 Women Who Care group has about 100 people on its roster, but meetings typically average about 60, Tinker said, noting more are welcome to join. Meetings were also initially considered four times a year and have now been reduced to three.
Women will meet again at 7 p.m. March 4 at North Middle School, which will serve as a “no-strings attached” promotion, Tinker said. Anyone interested can show up and participate without making a commitment for future meetings.
“We’re just trying to kind of get more people involved and give more people a chance to see what we’re doing and see what it’s all about,” Tinker said. “We’d like to grow our membership roster, especially active members that are participating in the meetings, and we just felt like this was a way. Sometimes I feel like the idea of committing to something is intimidating, so this kind of gives people a chance to see what everything’s about without having to make a financial commitment in the long run.”
For more information, visit www.100women loudoncounty.com.
“The idea behind the group is that we have a lot of people in our county that want to help and make the county stronger but as individuals it’s hard to make a large impact,” Tinker said. “So when we come together and we’re able to give a larger donation at one time to a nonprofit organization, it allows them to advance their goals and their missions quicker.”