EFFINGHAM — In its first year, 100+ Women who care of Effingham County donated over $37,000 to three area non-profit groups. The CEFS/Golden Circle Nutrition Program, Harmony Playground, and Strategic Training and Response (S.T.A.R.) all received gifts upwards of $11,000 from the group in 2016. Co-Chairwomen Karen Etter and Mellissa Willenborg say that 2017 will be even bigger.
That’s because every new member who joins the group grows their donation pool and endowment fund. A quarter of member’s annual $400 dues go towards growing the group’s endowment fund. The rest is split between the organizations the group chooses to support throughout the year. Members nominate, and vote on, which groups receive donations. Etter says that taking part in the process is rewarding.
“It’s incredible,” Etter said. “At the end of every night, the women that have participated are so excited and feel so good about that time that they’ve spent and really, quite honestly it only takes about 45 minutes to go through the process.”
The group currently has 130 and members, but plans to expand that number up to 200 this year. Willenborg emphasized that anyone can, and is encouraged, to join. “You don’t get invited, we want you in this,” Willenborg said.
Their first meeting for the year is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Thursday, April 6 at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham. At that meeting, members will nominate, and vote on, a group that will receive the first donation of the year.
Etter discusses the impact of giving.