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Women who make a difference in their community

AMHERST – A group of Cumberland County women are coming together to make a difference in their community and there’s room for plenty more.

(From left) Jennifer Furlong, Ann Sharpe, Sarah MacMaster and Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin look over plans for a 100+ Women Who Care Cumberland chapter that is being set up locally. For more information on how to join go to or email at .

100+ Women Who Care is a group of women who care deeply about their community. The group will gather four times a year for a meeting with each member writing a $100 cheque to a charity that the group selects.

If 100 women write, $100 cheques it means $10,000 for the selected non-profit organization.

“We were talking back in December and Jennifer said ‘I see you like this organization, well I do too. We should really look at doing this.’” Sharpe said. “A couple of weeks later Elizabeth (Smith-McCrossin) sent out an email about how we could build our community as a group of women. It sort of fell into place.”

From that first meeting, a number of ideas were formed with one of them being establishing a 100+ Women Who Care chapter in Cumberland County.

Joining Sharpe, Furlong and Smith-McCrossin in planning the organization locally are Sarah MacMaster and Kathy Wells.

Once the organization is set up, women will be sign up for a one-year membership with the first meeting date tentatively set for June.

Members will then meet for one hour, four times a year with each member prepared to give $100. Another option is for a team of four women to commit to $25 each).

Every member can nominate a charity and non-profit organization (the charity has to be a registered charity).

The three chosen charities are drawn randomly and invited to present at the next meeting. Representatives from each of those organizations are asked to make a five-minute presentation with the members voting on the winner.

The top vote-getting charity receives all the cheques, made out to them. No money is ever given to the 100+ Women Who Care organization.

“One of things we’re stressing is that if women are already donating to charity, we’re not asking them to stop,” Sharpe said. “We want them to continue, but this is a way for us to create some momentum in the community.

“It’s the power of collective donations that this facilitates and getting a group of women together to make a difference in the community.”

Sharpe said the group went to a meeting in Truro and saw cheques for $18,000 written for the We Care For Cancer organization that supports families caring for cancer patients.

The organization, which has chapters across North America, started in the United States in 2006 as a simple way to raise money efficiently and quickly for local charities. The first fundraiser saw $10,000 raised to buy 300 new cribs for an organization in Jackson, Mich.

Collectively the chapters have donated more than $1 million to locally-based organizations.

A Halifax chapter was created in late 2012 and held its first meeting in March 2013. Cumberland County chapter member Ann Sharpe and Jennifer Furlong learned about the organization in Halifax and liked their Facebook page.

To register for the organization, go to or email at .

Twitter: @ADNdarrell



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