What happens when 200 like-minded women with a penchant for helping others gather to learn about the needs of three service agencies? One of the presenters leaves the meeting with personal checks that add up to $20,000.
In Holland, those like-minded women are part of Women Who Care, an organization that was founded elsewhere but its message made its way to West Michigan. Founding members Anne Gamache, Jeanette Hoyer, Jane Patterson and Roz Nienhuis were intrigued enough to send a scouting party to a Women Who Care meeting in Grand Haven.
On the drive home, Gamache, Hoyer and Patterson asked themselves a lot of questions. Then, they made plans, big plans.
“When we started back seven years ago, if you googled Women Who Care, really nothing came up,” Gamache said, co-founder of Women Who Care Holland/Zeeland. “We are excited to continue to gather a group of now over 200 women in the greater Holland area for the purpose of helping those in need.”
Many nonprofits don’t have a fundraising arm and most need more than seed money. Gamache explained the way it works is really quite simple.
The group identifies and invites women to commit one year or more to the organization. That commitment involves attending four short meetings and pledging $100 per meeting. Meetings are held at Alpenrose Restaurant in Holland and are 60 minutes long.
At each meeting, an opportunity is provided for three members to present a five-minute explanation of a local organization or agency in need. Then, questions are taken and voting follows. Votes are counted, and the winner is announced. Each of the women present writes a check to the winning agency.