At the inaugural meeting held at the Bay Garden’s Beach Resort on March 20th, over 50 leading women in the business and social community joined forces to launch the first Caribbean chapter of 100 Women Who Care.Valerie Jenkinson, chair of 100 Women Who Care St Lucia, describes the organization as a group of dedicated women who care deeply about the St Lucia community. The group gathers four times a year for a one-hour meeting, with each member donating $100EC to a charity that the group selects through a ballot. “Once there are 100 members,” Ms. Jenkinson states, “the combined donation of $10,000 each quarter will make a real impact, without time-consuming fundraising events and planning. Our mission and hope is for those of us more fortunate to provide for those in greatest need in St Lucia. $100 on its own does not do much but when 100 committed women join forces the combined result is really substantial and significant ”.
100 Women Who Care St Lucia joins 170 other Women Who Care organizations across North America and Mexico in raising money with 100% of the funds raised going to the local charity. Patroness Senator Berthia Parle describes why she became involved and why she is an enthusiastic supporter. “When I was first approached with the idea of setting up a St Lucia chapter of 100 Women Who Care, I was immediately struck by the simplicity of the idea. I know so many busy women, like myself, who want to give back to the community and those in need but who have so little time and often not much knowledge of the local charities. Other chapters have had amazing results and the success of our first meeting is a testament to how this venture has struck a cord with women in our community. We had hoped to have 25 members join at our first meeting but had double that. Everyone agreed it will not take us long to get 100 Women Who Care.”
At the meeting all members were eligible to nominate a local charity. Out of all the submissions three were picked at random. The nominators for the three picked, Pawasol, the Crisis Centre and Amy’s Foundation, each made a brief presentation and then members voted. Pawasol received the most votes and to date will receive the $5,100.00 donated by the new membership. Jane Du Boulay on behalf of Pawasol Pour Ti Mamai was overwhelmed as she described to the group that a number of children’s wheelchairs had been donated to Pawasol. They had expected one or two containers but 5 arrived which, though wonderful, meant a $4000 bill for shipping charges. The wheelchairs were at the dock in Castries but the group did not have the $4000 to release the cargo. The 100 Women Who Care St Lucia donation was described as, “manna from heaven.”