Guest Columnist

'100+ Who Care' makes an impact

Would you like to make a significant impact in your community? The idea of “100+ Who Care” is simple and its impact is immediate: more than 100 people gather quarterly with $100 and the goal of raising more than $10,000 dollars in 90 minutes for a local nonprofit. Anyone in attendance can nominate their favorite local charity to be considered for funding. Three people are randomly selected to present in front of the group. After the pitches everyone votes on which organization they believe most deserves the funds. The winning nonprofit then receives the donations from the 100+ Who Care members.

In 2011, three Cedar Rapids women created the local chapter of 100+ Women Who Care. Their leadership and guidance inspired the creation of the Cedar Rapids chapter of 100+ Men Who Care in 2013. In January 2017, both entities merged into a single group, 100+ Who Care — Cedar Rapids Metro, but the mission remains the same and the impact has changed lives. Since 2011, both groups, separately and combined as one chapter have raised a total of $500,000, impacting nearly 40 local nonprofits

100+ Who Care — Cedar Rapids Metro is an organization of people interested in supporting the local community in the Cedar Rapids Metro area. Our members come from all walks of life, occupations and different financial backgrounds. As individuals, we often feel it can be difficult to make a large impact, but as a group we believe we have the ability to contribute to the growth of our community in ways never before possible.

Here is an example of how 100+ Who Care’s use of “speed philanthropy” has made an immediate and lasting impact.

Clothe-A-Child is a nonprofit that depends entirely on volunteer efforts and local donations to provide new school and winter clothing to children in the greater Cedar Rapids area. Clothe-A-Child as an organization has no facility or salary expenses and 99 cents of every $1 donated goes directly to the children in need. The donation from 100+ Who Care provided over half of their annual operating budget to purchase clothing and shoes for between 100-110 children in 2018. As a grass roots organization, Clothe-A-Child depends on local donations to fund their annual budget of approximately $23,000. The donation from 100+ Who Care allowed them to start building an endowment to ensure the continuation of this 20-year-old local charitable work.

The goal of 100+ Who Care is to continue to inspire individuals from all walks of life and financial backgrounds to compound their $100 donations into more than $10,000 for a local nonprofit in 90 minutes. The ripple effect from this incredibly simple yet profoundly powerful concept is improving how our community can better serve many vulnerable and at-risk populations among us. You can help 100+ Who Care make significant, immediate and lasting change in our community by pledging your support.

Community members are welcome to join the next 100+ Who Care — Cedar Rapids Metro meeting on Thursday, May 2, 5:00 — 6:30 p.m. at Elmcrest Country Club. For more information about our upcoming events, how to join and meeting people who want to make an impact just like you, please go to the Facebook Page 100+ Who Care — Cedar Rapids Metro

• Erika Brighi of Marion is board chair for 100+ Who Care — Cedar Rapids Metro.

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