In 2006, 100 Women from Jackson, Michigan were faced with the challenge of providing funds to purchase 300 baby cribs. Not wanting to take on a major fund-raising event, they gathered and came up with a simple concept: “What if we all just chipped in $100?”

This “little idea” has taken off and there are now over 350 chapters in the USA and Canada in the 100 Women Who Care Alliance.

            The Beaufort Chapter, the first in South Carolina, was started by Jeneane Ryan, who was involved with 100 Women Who Care in Naperville, Illinois. In the fall of 2014, using Facebook, The Island Packet and word of mouth, Jeneane invited women to attend the first meeting of the Beaufort Chapter of 100 Women Who Care and described in a nutshell, how it all works: “The women meet four times a year, choose a local 501c 3 non-profit to support, and each member cuts a check then and there to the charity selected, raising thousands of dollars on the spot.”

How It Works

*   Meetings are held quarterly the 2nd Tuesday of the month (January, April, July, October) at the First Presbyterian Church in Beaufort. Early check-in begins at 5:15 PM, and the meeting starts promptly at 5:45 PM. Next meeting: July 12, 2016

*   Members nominate a charity by putting the name in a basket. Three names are drawn and the members listen to a 5-minute pitch about the charity.

*   After a short Q & A session, members vote on scratch paper ballots and the winner is announced.

*   You are out the door at 6:30 PM with a little less in your pocketbook but a whole lot more in your heart!

Member Participation

           Do you have a favorite charity to nominate? Maybe it’s a worthy cause you read about in the newspaper recently. Simply go to their website, make sure they are a 501c3 and then print out some details and a story to share. Put your name in our basket.

            Much to the surprise of Jeneane, 105 women joined at the first meeting in January 2015. Since then the group has grown to over 147 members and $72,450 has been awarded to the following charities in Beaufort:

January 2015

            The ABLE Foundation was awarded $12,250 at the inaugural meeting. These funds will be used to support the summer program, Camp Treasure Chest for young people with developmental disabilities

April 2015

            CODA received a total of $14,100 toward their mission of supporting victims of domestic abuse in Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. Committed to the belief that safety from violence and freedom from fear are universal rights, CODA conducts community education programs to confront the societal norms that condone abusive behavior.

July 2015

            Under One Roof: received $15,100 toward its mission to provide home repairs, maintenance and modifications for homeowners who are not able to do so either physically or monetarily. The focus is to help homeowners remain in their homes in a safe and decent environment within the community.

October 2015

           Black ButterFly: The Christina Ryan Henegar Foundation received $16,300. It was founded by Angel Ryan in memory of her daughter Christina Ryan-Henegar who lost her life in November of last year following a fire. She had a devotion to her community and passion for the arts. The goal of the foundation is to achieve higher esteem in children through education, the arts, social and cultural instruction and experience.

January 2016

           First Books of Beaufort received $14,700 towards their mission of ensuring that every child in Title 1 Schools and Head Start Centers in Beaufort County has books in their home. 

So, What’s the Appeal?

            It’s obvious! No overhead, no fees, no red tape. 100% of the money goes to the cause. Donations stay local, and $10,000 + is a big boost to some of our small local charities managing on a shoestring budget. The members get to vote on where the quarterly donations go. It’s kind of a flash mob concept!

            The enthusiasm for 100 Women Who Care has spread and there are now chapters In Bluffton and Hilton Head Island. A friend visiting Beaufort met with Jeanene and a new chapter has formed in Albany, NY.

            The women aren’t the only ones making a difference. 100 Men Who Care is off and running. Kids are now getting involved in their own way. The movement is contagious. To help celebrate the first anniversary of 100 Women Who Care Beaufort why not help spread this “little idea” around the globe, and if you are not a member, consider joining at the next meeting on July 12, 2016.

For more information, visit ‘100 Women Who Care Beaufort’ on Facebook.