Channeling the Power of 100

Tallahassee women establish giving circle and discover that together they can do more
100womenwhocaretlhcheckpresentation
Virginia Glass, at center in front row, and other members of 100+ Women Who Care of Tallahassee presented a check to Beth Tedio, director of development for Lee’s Place, which has helped thousands of children and adults experiencing grief, loss and trauma. Photo courtesy of Rebeccah Lutz.

Dina Moriarty couldn’t wait to tell her mother.

Moriarty, of Niceville, speaking through tears, described how women pooling $100 contributions had given $11,000 to an organization that works to combat homelessness in her area.

Immediately upon hearing her daughter’s excited report, Virginia Glass told herself, “We could do that in Tallahassee.”

So it was that Glass, a prominent Realtor, set about establishing 100+ Women Who Care of Tallahassee. In that, she was joined by four co-founders: Melanie Weaver Carr, Danielle McBeth, Anita R. Favors and Jaime Hoffman, who handles the group’s technology needs.

The group held its first meeting in November 2020. One year later, it has given more than $100,000 to nonprofits — and learned much about their work in the process.

That process is simple.

Members commit to contributing $400 per year ($100 per quarter.) Four times a year, the group meets to hear five-minute presentations from three finalist organizations. Members then vote via secret ballot to determine a winner who receives the group’s quarterly donation.

All members are free to nominate organizations. The co-founders conduct a random drawing to arrive at the finalists.

“It’s a simple approach that is easy for everyone to embrace,” Glass said. “Four hundred dollars, four meetings a year. It has blown my mind how women have responded to needs in our community and how we have been able to make a difference during this challenging time that we have all been enduring.”

Glass set a goal of growing 100+ Women Who Care of Tallahassee to 200 members by the end of 2021. At this writing, membership stands at 190 and another 10+ women have expressed interest in the group.

“I do believe I will reach that goal,” Glass said. “It is just amazing. Of course, we never intended to close out the membership at 100. The more, the merrier.”

To date, the group has written checks to five organizations. The first was the Good Samaritan Network, which works with homeless persons. The others were Bicycle House, which fixes up bicycles and gives them to deserving recipients; Lee’s Place, whose focus is people who are grieving; the Brehon Institute for Family Services, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children; and the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, which lends support to victims of sexual trafficking.

Glass recruited members the “old-fashioned way,” she said. “I just reached out to people I know and gave them my 30-second elevator speech. From there, it has spread to others who were excited to tell their friends about what we are doing.”

Glass said she has a neighbor who heard about the women’s group and asked why men couldn’t form a like group. Fact is, they can. A Tallahassee Men Who Care group held its first meeting in October.

An umbrella organization, the 100 Who Care Alliance, assists 100 Women Who Care, 100 Men Who Care, 100 People Who Care, 100 Businesses Who Care, and 100 Kids Who Care groups throughout the world. More than 700 such giving circles exist.

Glass encourages women interested in joining 100+ Women Who Care of Tallahassee to contact the group via email at 100wwctlh@gmail.com. Jamie Wylie serves as the contact person for the newly formed men’s group. He may be reached at fjameswylie@gmail.com or (850) 567-1705.

“Younger women especially want to give back, but they are so busy with their careers and being a mom that they can’t sit in meetings for hours on end,” Glass said. “We have succeeded with our simple approach along with the big heart that Tallahassee is known for.”

Categories: Community Causes, Relationships