“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” – Kathy Calvin This quote has been on our minds lately. When we think of giving, often we think about opening our wallets and putting that $5 bill in the Salvation Army bucket. But giving can be so much more than that. It is not about the dollar amount you give, it’s about the impact that your giving has on the organization. Charities Aid Foundation found that “… donating to the causes you care about not only benefits the charities themselves, but it can also be deeply rewarding for you too. Millions of people give to charity on a regular basis to support causes they believe in, as well as for the positive effect it has on their own lives.” COVID has put a damper on most charity fundraising this year, locally and nationwide. Big events that are planned years in advance had to be canceled. Local charities, throughout St. Joseph County, turned to virtual fundraisers in the hopes of securing the dollars necessary to service those in need. However, a key component of face-to-face networking is now missing, and virtual fundraising only brought in a small percentage of what forecasted budgets required. Now more than ever, our local charities need help and our donations need to make a difference. Prairie Eco-Thriftier addressed why donating to charities is so important “… Throughout history, money has been donated to the needy, as well as food, clothing, tools, bedding, etcetera… These donations were often organized through the Church and it was considered the duty of the wealthier classes and merchants to give to the poor. These days, this generous attitude to giving to the needy is not so well defined. People don’t know how to help or how to make sure their donation goes towards the cause and not just charity operating expenses. How can YOU, one person, make a difference? Well, with 100 Women, WE do that by strength in numbers. The more members we have participating in our QUARTERLY meetings the more powerful YOUR donation becomes. No, that was not written wrong. The more our members, collectively, participate each quarter the more impactful YOUR donation becomes. Quarterly each member donates $100 to a charity chosen by the majority in attendance. It becomes simple math now. The more members donating to the charity of choice the bigger the donation and the larger the impact we make. 100 Women donating $100, per meeting, equals a $10,000 difference to our local not-for-profit organizations that desperately need our help. So, I ask again, how can YOU, singularly, make a difference here in the Michiana area of Indiana? Please invite as many of your friends to attend our next meeting on October 12th, 6 PM, at Papa Vino’s in Mishawaka. Follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn. Like and share our Facebook posts and participate in our apron giveaways. Help us grow. For those wanting to participate but wanting to maintain physical distancing, no worries. The meeting will also be streamed LIVE on Facebook and YOU will be able to vote and donate on Facebook Live as well. Here is my final thought … You can always tell who strong women are. They are the ones who build each other up. Together WE the strong women will impact our community like no one else is currently doing. WE are 100 Women Who Care Michiana.