When Tracy Bachly first heard about an idea called "100 Women Who Care," she immediately thought it was a cool concept. Although research taught her the origins of the idea, it would take a meeting with the Guelph chapter to become convinced they needed one in Centre Wellington.
"I actually sat through a meeting, and they were very inviting, and one of the ladies that spoke was Cyndy Forsyth, who is actually the face of the Integrated Youth Services Network at Groves," said Bachly, recalling the meeting. "She spoke about some issues her daughter had and they didn't have any supports at the time, and that's how they ended coming up with these hubs that they've creating for youth.
"I tell you, the entire audience was in tears, and I was like, 'Wow! Okay, this is what I want to do. I want to be able to help charities that way.'"
Bachly started 100 Women Who Care Centre Wellington (CW) two years ago. Since then, she and 108 other members have raised $64,000 for eight local charities and organizations.
"It has been absolutely mind-blowing and so heartfelt when you hear the impact statements from these charities about what our money has been able to do, and that is why I believe everyone still contributes that can," said Bachly.
Bachly explains the chapter held its first meeting in January 2020. Switching the meetings to emails and then to Zoom during the pandemic, the chapter now holds meetings at The GrandWay Events Centre. With short meetings, Bachly said the chapter requires no major time commitment.
"It's only an hour long," said Bachly about their meetings, which happen four times a year.
With the ongoing pandemic, Bachly said donations are a need for all charities as all charities are hurting at this point.
"A lot of people have not been able to contribute, and the fact that we're still able too," she said. "It's four times a year, $100 per quarter, $400 a year ... if you combine that, it's $40,000 a year if everyone's able to pay, which is such an impact."
As the founder, Bachly said one of her favourite parts about her role is the opportunity to meet community members at cheque presentations and learn about new causes.
"I get to hear about charities that I've never heard of if it hadn't been for another member nominating them," said Bachly. "When you hear the nominators story, it's because usually, it's something that has affected them."
In 2021, she mentions 100 Women Who Care CW raised $31,000. Some of that money was used for a $9,000 donation to Groves Memorial Community Hospital in Fergus for a new hysteroscope. Bachly said the member who nominated the hospital shared a story needing a test done last year and had to go to Grand River Hospital in Kitchener.
“On her way to Grand River, and her appointment was at two o'clock in the morning, complete fog, horrible weather, her daughter went with her, her husband ended up going, and they had to sit outside for two hours,” Bachly said recalling the story, “and her first thought was, 'Wow, if we had one of these in Fergus, I could've walked.'”
With their sights set on donating to four more charities next year, Bachly is looking forward to learning about new causes. New members are also welcomed to join them in 2022, or similar groups, including 100 Women Who Care Rural Wellington, and a men’s group called Centre Wellington Men Who Care.
“It's a great way to meet like-minded people."
To learn more about 100 Women Who Care Centre Wellington, or join the chapter, visit cw100women.com.