Tina Shaw would like to hear from women who want to make a positive impact in the community.
The South Surrey real estate agent is a founding member of the 100+ Women Who Care Fraser Valley, a group that focuses on raising money for local charities through short, quarterly meetings.
The concept is simple, says Shaw: 100 women meet for an hour four times a year to hear five-minute presentations from three non-profits. Then, attendees vote and each cuts a cheque for $100 to the winning charity. Ideally, each meeting will raise at least $10,000 for the chosen charity.
Shaw was inspired to form the Fraser Valley group – adding to the more than 800 such alliances worldwide – after seeing the benefits of the model firsthand while volunteering for BabyGoRound, a charity that received the proceeds from a meeting of the 100+ Women Who Care Vancouver group.
“I got a little glimmer in my eye,” she said.
Through research, Shaw discovered that a Fraser Valley group already existed, but wasn’t active. Its creator, however – coincidentally, another real estate agent – was eager to have someone take up the torch.
And so the group kicked into action, raising $2,800 for Langley Special Olympics at its first meeting, held in May at Elements Casino in Cloverdale.
This month, it will host its second official meeting, Sept. 24, again at Elements Casino.
Shaw said so far, the group has around 40 members, and she’d love to see it grow to at least 100. The number isn’t a limit, she noted.
Membership is free, however, women who do join are expected to follow through on the financial commitment – if they have to miss a meeting, the donation is done by proxy.
“It is important that they own that,” Shaw said.
And if a quarterly $100 feels daunting to those considering membership, Shaw said the funds can also be a team donation. The only difference with that is, each team gets just one vote when it comes time to pick the recipient charity.
Charities in the running do not have to be registered charities, but they must be nominated by a group member in order to present a pitch for the funds. Three are then chosen by blind draw to make their case.
Shaw said one of the key characteristics that appeals to those who join the group is that it’s “100 per cent volunteer,” including that venue space for the meetings must be donated.
As well, the group has no bank account – all donations at each meeting are given directly to the chosen charity.
Shaw said the aspect she found most difficult at the May meeting was having to pick just one charity to receive the funds.
“I never realized how hard that was going to be until we had our first meeting,” she said. “It was so sad.”
In addition to raising funds, Shaw said another goal she has for the group is to see the quarterly meetings also evolve into social affairs – “a place people want to come.”
For more information or to get involved, Shaw may be reached at 604-417-9899 or visit the group’s Facebook page, at facebook.com/100womenfv