100 Women Who Care continue charitable efforts despite pandemic
JOHNSTOWN — A philanthropic group that has already donated nearly $90,000 to community charities — used to meeting in large groups at St. John’s Episcopal Church — isn’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic stop its spirit of giving.
100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills couldn’t hold its May meeting in-person because of the pandemic, but this month is finding a virtual way to get things done.
The group has developed an innovative way to hold its quarterly meeting during the COVID pandemic. The next charitable recipient is due to be announced Aug. 18.
Instead of gathering in a large group of 100 members to choose a local charity to support, the group has adopted a completely online process, according to a news release. Since its formation in 2018, members of 100 Women Who Care have held quarterly meetings to consider three local charities. After discussion, members decide on one recipient by a secret majority vote.
That successful non-profit then receives a gift of $100 from each participating member. This month, because of the pandemic, the group’s process has been reinvented to use online resources. During a Zoom meeting, organizers drew three charities randomly from those submitted by members. The entire group will receive a short, informal video about each of the charities made by the individual sponsor. These videos are emailed to all members, who then vote by email.
Once the vote is tallied, each member has agreed to donate $100 to the chosen non-profit.
100 Women Who Care is a group made up of women from Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties. It supports the concept of “collective philanthropy,” a form of charitable giving that is becoming popular across the country. The group’s inaugural meeting was held in May 2018, and it quickly exceeded its initial goal of 100 members.
“We currently have more than 100 members who are generous, motivated women from the local community,” said Amy Karas, one of the founding members of the group.
Members pledge to meet four times per year to choose a local charity from a pool of non-profit groups nominated by one or more members. Each member then contributes $100 to the awardee.
The group’s meetings are designed to be simple and efficient, lasting no longer than 60 minutes.
In the past, significant donations have been given to the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter, NOAH Free Community Meal, CAPTAIN Community Human Services and others.
“It is challenging to keep our group together during the COVID pandemic, but our first concern is to keep our friends safe,” Karas said. “We are experimenting with a way to move our process online. I encourage any women who are interested to join us. After this month, our next meeting is currently scheduled for Nov. 5, 2020.”
Other founding members include Patricia Beck, Audrey Kline, Holly Chamberlin and Marj Kline. Women wishing to join as a new member may register online at the organization’s website at www.100womenadk.org. Information can also be obtained at the 100 Women Who Care ADK Facebook page; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.