In just five minutes, a donation of over $10,000 saved a local charity from extinction.
“They took an organization that was basically defunct and made it not only reborn but also something that the community is much more versed on than it was before,” said Susan Hornby of 7th Step P.E.I., an organization that helps ex-criminal offenders change their behaviour and adjust back in society.
The donation was made by 100 Women Who Care Prince County, one of three not-for-profit groups of its kind in the province.
Collectively, the three groups have donated over $500,000 since 100 Women Who Care P.E.I. was founded in 2014.
“Donating half a million dollars is huge for our organizations,” said Valerie Docherty, one of the founders of the 100 Women Who Care P.E.I.
The third group is the Guys Who Give a $hit.
What would normally take hours, days or months of fundraising for many charitable organizations, takes just a motivating five-minute presentation to be considered for a $10,000 donation from a group.
There is one meeting every four months for each group, and members pay $100 each meeting.
At the end of a meeting, each attending member will place a ballot with a name of a registered charity.
Three ballots are picked at random and those charities are asked to come to the next meeting to make a five-minute pitch about why they should receive a donation. Members then vote on which presentation they believe should win the donation.
“They’ll never, ever get that much money in five months, let alone five minutes,” said Docherty.
Although there can only be one winner, the men give $1,000 to the non-winning charities.
Docherty said many members often reach into their own pockets to help the charities that didn’t get the donation.
“I have seen women write a cheque to a non-winning charity,” he said.
Some examples of charities that have been given donations over the years include Meals on Wheels, Open Door Ministries, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.
The first 100 Women Who Care group was founded in 2014 by Docherty, Kathy O’Rourke, Kathleen Casey and Aileen Matters.
After the success of the first 100 Women Who Care P.E.I., a second chapter opened in Prince County.
Katherine Kelly, who founded that chapter with Marie Salamoun-Dunne, said members leave its meetings feeling satisfied for helping others.
“It’s a real high after the meeting that you’ve really made a difference to that charity,” she said.
It wasn’t long before men stepped forward for a similar group of their own.
The Guys Who Give a $hit started in 2015 by Jason Mosher.
Len Currie, a member of the group’s organizing committee, has been on both the giving and receiving end of a donation.
His father died from ALS making the ALS Association of P.E.I. close to his heart.
“They came in and won and I’m trying to present a cheque and hold in tears at the same time,” said Currie.
Hornby said some of the $10,200 donation given to 7th Step P.E.I. will go towards a public forum down the road.
She said the donation is not only helpful in a monetary way, but it shows people care.
“It’s sort of like the most intimate, generous and balanced form of community and I think that’s what the really powerful thing was for us,” she said.
All of the groups are accepting new members. For more information, contact Docherty at firstname.lastname@example.org.