100 Women Who Care: Better Living through Giving
By Lee Bellavance
It’s a cliché that giving is as rewarding as receiving. But anyone who has attended a quarterly meeting of San Miguel’s 100 Women Who Care at the Rosewood Hotel, has seen that cliché proven true as the group meets with the goal of raising ⎯ and then immediately giving to a local charity ⎯ up to 100,000 pesos. Although the organization is not yet fully funded, at its most recent meeting on January 12, about a dozen NGOs vied for over 70,000 pesos.
The 100 Women Who Care not only collect money, they collectively nominate local organizations to receive their largess. In a very democratic manner, all the names of the
nominated charities are put in a hat, and three finalists are selected by the luck of the draw to be voted upon. One NGO takes home the 1,000 pesos per person or per team pot.
This January, the SPA (Society to Protect Animals), The Rural Education Institute, and Mujeres de Sueños all ended up as finalists and made five-minute presentations pitching their groups.
The quarterly meeting is also the time when the previous winners report back on what they did with their pesos. At this meeting, the Centro Infantil reported that they had bought hands-on educational materials for the preschoolers they teach at their day care center in San Miguel ⎯ and that they still had some funds remaining. Then the 100 Women group, some in teams of two or four in order to make the 1,000 peso cost more affordable, cast their votes. This time, when the ballots were counted it was the Rural Education Institute (REI) that went home with the prize.
In her presentation, REI representative Sara Tylovsky explained that about 60 percent of youth from Mexico’s cities have completed at least nine years of school, but that the number drops to only 12 percent in Mexico’s rural areas. The REI was created to address the issue of rural access to education, and that has grown to creating computer labs, libraries, and classrooms in rural communities as well as providing high school scholarships to rural youth. Now the 100 Woman Who Care will be helping to fund this important mission.
The 100 Women Who Care will meet again at the Rosewood Hotel on April 20, starting at 3:30pm for a no-host social hour followed by registration and cash collection at 4:30pm and the Business Meeting at 5pm. By 6pm, the women should have very happily given away their cash and already adjourned. The group’s website is at www.100WomenWhoCareSMA.com for anyone wishing more information.