Carol Daize recalls a gasp in the room when the vote was announced.
“It was just amazing – there were 70 people and the excitement went everywhere in the room.”
Daze is the leadership/co-ordinator of 100+ Women Who Care Comox Valley, one of 500 chapters across North America that brings women together to contribute and give back to their community.
The concept is simple: women within the community meet four times per year, and commit to making a $100 charitable donation to a local organization each time they meet.
At each meeting, individuals can nominate charities they want to support. All approved nominations are put in a charity basket, and three ballots are chosen at random.
The three charities will each give a five-minute presentation and answer questions, and members will vote on the charity of their choice.
The winning charity will then be announced, and members will write a cheque to the winning charity for $100.
At their first meeting, earlier this month, winning charity Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) received $7,300 (the group currently has 73 members).
“It is so empowering … I’m pretty proud so many people embraced this; there are so many people involved,” says Daize. “It was exciting … (MARS) was so humble and grateful.”
Daize moved to the Comox Valley about two-and-a-half years ago but was previously involved with the organization in Parksville while living in the Valley.
“I joined that one, but I was giving and voting on charities that were not in the community,” she said. “I am so passionate about it. It’s very powerful when women come together. You only have to go to a meeting four times a year – women are busy.”
Daize began the planning stages to bring the organization to the area last year and had a website online by September. She reached out to her network to spread the word about the group and received assistance from the Parksville chapter. Within 10 weeks, the group was “up and running with 73 members at the first meeting.”
There is no limit to how many members can join, but Daize says the one requirement is that members must commit to one year. The organization depends on 100 per cent on members, as there are no operating costs.
40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery donate the venue, and she adds members who are interested in joining can visit the chapter’s website to join (100womenwhocarecomoxvalley.com) or visit their Facebook page for more information.
The next meeting is set for April 17.