100 Women Who Care began in 2006 in Jackson, Michigan. While attending a meeting at the Center for Family Health, Karen Dunigan learned about a serious need for cribs, mattresses and blankets for newborns. Karen’s ears perked and she told the CEO that would be something she would like to know more about.
At a follow-up meeting details were shared on how new mothers were bringing their babies home and placing the sleeping infants in boxes, dresser drawers or on their own beds because they could not afford a proper crib. Some of these babies did not survive the night. Karen was presented with a list of how many cribs and supplies were needed. The list totaled a staggering $10,000.
As Karen began thinking about the Center for Family Health’s need, she knew there had to be a way to quickly and easily meet the financial request that was presented. With all of her involvement in the community, Karen knew she could call ten people and ask them to write $1,000 checks. But she also figured she knew 100 women who would each give $100. She began making phone calls and scheduled a meeting. At that first meeting, in one hour, a group of Karen’s friends heard the story and each wrote checks to the Center for Family Health, resulting in a $12,800 donation-more than requested. In under one hour, collectively they were able to supply new mothers with the most basic of needs: a crib for their baby.
Karen recognized that she was on to something special, and it too was in its own infancy. It just needed to be nurtured to grow. She founded the first 100+ Women Who Care and scheduled quarterly meetings. The rules were simple: any member could present a need in the community, the need had to be immediate and the money had to remain local. The idea was that a worthy cause benefits many within a community.
Karen’s legacy lives on through the expansion of 100+ Chapters throughout the world. There are now more than 700 active giving circles that include women, men, teens, and businesses all making a huge impact in local communities throughout the world.