100 Women Who Care Mississauga Helping Young Families in Need
This fall, 100 Women Who Care Mississauga is helping young families in need. On November 9th, 100 Women Who Care Mississauga held our 5th Giving Circle Meeting to choose the charity that would receive the group’s collective donation for the final quarter of 2022. The meeting was in a hybrid format, with 55 members and guests in attendance in person at the Irish Club of Mississauga, and another 25 members and guests online in a Zoom call. Especially exciting was the fact that membership reached, and then exceeded, the all-important goal number of 100 contributing members, meaning we would be making their first $10,000 donation!
The atmosphere in the room and online was positive, vibrant, and excited. There’s a definite feeling of sisterhood and unity when women come together with the goal of effective positive change in their community, and the in-person gatherings are the perfect place to build our community of women within the larger community of Mississauga. The meeting had light refreshments—sweet and savory snacks, tea, coffee, and soft drinks, as well as access to the Irish Club’s full cash bar—plus a pop-up photobooth, member swag bags, some of our sponsors’ information tables with handouts and promo items, and most importantly the opportunity to meet and mingle with the other members and their guests, and the representatives from the three charities.
Moving Presentations and A Close Vote
As always, there were three incredible charities pre-selected to present their need to the group. (You can review the nominations, vetting, and selection process for charities on our website at https://100womenwhocaremississauga.com/charities/) The presenting charities and their needs were:
- Vita Centre, which provides support, education and counselling to vulnerable families, including pregnant and parenting youth, with the goal of empowering them to move forward and thrive. Their specific need was to fill their care closet with essentials like diapers and wipes, formula and baby food, and gift cards for groceries.
- Lady Ballers Camp, a not-for-profit charitable organization that develops girl-centred programs which encourage non-competitive physical, emotional, and educational development. Their need was funding for transportation, healthy snacks for the after-school programs, and team uniforms.
- Start2Finish, which provides ongoing educational support to at-risk children throughout their school years, nurturing mind, body and social health so they are empowered to succeed and become role models for change. Their specific need was to provide running shoes and healthy after-school snacks for the children in their program.
After three exceptional and moving presentations the members in the room and online set about casting their votes. Although only one charity receives the collective donation from each Giving Circle, it’s important to remember that our chapter automatically rolls over the nominations for the other two charities to the next Giving Circle. This essentially means they haven’t received the donation YET, but it’s just a matter of time. While we would love to give to each charity each time, the #Powerof100 works because a significant donation of $10,000 can fulfill a need immediately and that’s how we can effect change in our community.
After the most evenly split vote we’ve ever had, the charity that received the most votes and the group’s collective donation was Vita Centre! This was the third nomination and second time presenting for Tanya Pereira, Executive Director of Vita Centre.
A Visit to Vita Centre and One Big Cheque
On Friday, December 2nd, members of the Steering Team and a few others attended Vita Centre for the presentation of the Big Cheque. After all the donations were tallied, including those from new members who joined the night of the Giving Circle, the total donation to Vita Centre was $11,000! This is the biggest single donation we have made to date, and it was so meaningful to finally have reached and exceeded our membership goals.
Tanya Pereira, Executive Director of Vita Centre, was able to give us a tour of their facility, and gave us more information about the services they provide to the families they serve. According to Tanya,
“At Vita Centre, our aim is to give parents the supplies they need to start their children off on the right foot. Our Care Closet is a resource for our client families to be able to provide formula, diapers and baby food for their children without worrying about the cost or the availability of the supplies they need. Many food banks and community resources have the resources these families need to feed older children and their parents, but they do not have the resources to support parents with young babies. That’s where we come in, with the help from the 100 Women Who Care Mississauga donations. We will be able to use this money to purchase diaper sizes that we’re missing, specific brands and types of formulas that our clients are feeding their children, and healthy baby cereal and snacks that will fill in a baby’s nutrition on their journey from formula/milk to solid foods. With no safe alternative to formula or breastmilk for parents, they need community resources to help them afford these necessities of life for their babies. Thank you for supporting us in our goal to help parents and their children thrive.”
Thank You to Our Members
We are so honoured and humbled as a group to be able to help such a worthy organization, especially during the holiday season which can be so incredibly stressful.
Once again, on behalf of all the 100 Women Who Care Mississauga, Congratulations to Vita Centre on receiving the donation from the Fall 2023 Giving Circle. And congratulations, also, to Lady Ballers Camp and Start2Finish for your outstanding presentations. We look forward to hearing from you again at a future Giving Circle.
If you would like to learn more about Vita Centre, Lady Ballers Camp, or Start2Finish, please check out their websites and follow them on social media.
Finally, a very big thank you to all our members for their dedication to supporting all of the wonderful charities which have been introduced to us since our first Giving Circle in June 2021. In less than two years, you have helped 100 Women Who Care Mississauga help our communities with donations totalling over $46,000, and that is something we should all be incredibly proud of! Congratulations, ladies! We did GOOD!