“We just want to make a difference in Elkhart County,” said Jenny Welch. And that is exactly what she and Sheila Terlep are doing. In the summer of 2014, Jenny and Sheila, community philanthropists, organized the 100+ Women Who Care Elkhart chapter, a gathering of local women who care deeply about Elkhart County and give generously to help ensure that their communities thrive. There are more than 350 chapters that are making a huge impact in communities throughout the world.
100 Women Who Care Elkhart gather four times a year for an hour-long meeting. Each woman or team of women will write a check for $100 and write down the name of a local charity that is then put into a pool for consideration. Three names will be drawn and the attendees will vote on which one should receive that meeting’s funds.
This combined donation of $10,000 quarterly makes a real impact, without time-consuming fundraising events and planning. The hope is to provide for those in greatest need in Elkhart County by supporting the nonprofit organizations who are doing such good work.
Since July 2014, the 100+ Women Who Care giving circle has donated $80,000 to local nonprofit organizations serving Elkhart County residents: Church Community Services, Crossing Educational Center, Bashor Children’s Home, CAPS (toward CASA Program), Elkhart County Suicide Prevention Coalition, Ryan’s Place, Guidance Ministries, and Elkhart County Clubhouse.
The most recent $10,000 gift to Elkhart County Clubhouse went toward the organization’s recently started capital campaign for a kitchen/bathroom renovation. Elkhart County Clubhouse is a support community for adults with mental illnesses. One of eight Clubhouses in Indiana and 350 around the world, Clubhouse helps members find employment and housing.
Throughout the last two years more than 200 women have given to 100 Women Who Care to support local causes. This unique giving opportunity is available to women throughout the community. To join 100+ Women Who Care Elkhart, a membership form can be found online at 100WomenWhoCareElkhart.com or you can complete the form at the next meeting on Tuesday, July 12 at the Matterhorn Conference Center in Elkhart. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. for fellowship with the meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m.. All women must be at the meeting and be a member to put a charity into the drawing.
The 100 Women Who Care is a component fund of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, whichpartners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives. Since 1989, the foundation has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by providing scholarship opportunities to local students and making grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve Elkhart County. The Community Foundation seeds the local landscape, supporting plans, programs, and ideas that potentially stand the test of time. Community Foundation strives to be a local entity known for inspiring good and impacting success.