A new organization called 100+ Women Who Care Greater Bluffton is on a serious mission to raise some serious cash.

“I believe we’re going to have a major impact on the local charities,” says Carolyn Day, one of the founding members. “We’re going to do phenomenal things in the Greater Bluffton area.”

It’s a powerful concept of pooling money for a bigger impact, said board member Pat Roth. “If one person gives a charity $100 that’s great, but if 100 women give, that’s a much bigger impact.”

100 Women Who Care started in 2006 when a Michigan woman gathered 100 friends to raise $10,000 to purchase 300 baby cribs. Since then, a few hundred groups in the U.S. and Canada have copied her concept.

Here are the basic rules:

  • Each member commits to donating $100 per meeting (four meetings per year)
  • Meetings are no longer than one hour
  • A member with a signed Membership Commitment Form can nominate a 501(c)(3) charity.
  • All nominations are put in for a random drawing and three are chosen.
  • The nominating member of the selected charities will speak for 5 minutes.
  • Each member votes for the charity of her choice among those three.
  • Every member agrees to write her check to the charity with the highest number of votes.

On a Tuesday night in April, at a conference room at Hampton Lake, Jennifer Hubner nominated THA Group’s Island Care Hospice. Her mother passed away in February, and that Hospice helped care for her mother during the last five months of her life. Her charity was one of the three chosen for consideration.

Hubner spoke about how hospice cares for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of clients and their family at a very difficult time: “One nurse showed up for my mom at 2 a.m., driving all the way from Savannah,” she said. “These people are angels.”

The other groups nominated were also worthy of the donation, but the voting was overwhelmingly in favor of THA Group’s Island Care Hospice. The room cheered and applauded, then the women wrote their checks.

With 42 voting members present, $4,200 was raised in one hour. Another five members joined within two days, and the amount rose to $4,700.

With tears in her eyes, Hubner expressed her gratitude. “This money will help them give comfort to so many in a difficult time, like they did for my mom.”

After the meeting, board member Darice Ahrnsbrak said, “Tonight exceeded our expectations, and we’re looking forward to the next event in July. I’m sure we’ll have at least 100 women and raise $10,000.”

To learn more about getting involved, visit www.100wwcbluffton.org or find the group on Facebook.

Suzanne Hobbs is a freelance writer living in Bluffton.