Women's group donates $12,000 to Village Project

Village Project received a $12,200 donation from 100+ Women Who Care. Pictured left to right: Kassie Wyman, Barb Harrell, Ann Paras, Joey Frebes. Photo by Jim Erlandson

As Helen Keller famously said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen understood the value of teamwork and so does the group known as 100+ Women Who Care.

On the third Thursday of January, April, July and October of each year, more than 100 women from throughout the Cleveland metro area come together for precisely one hour at a hotel near the airport. Their mission is simple: to each contribute $100 to help make a meaningful difference for a deserving charity, non-profit or cause that serves the greater Cleveland area.

The selection process is straightforward. Members of the group propose local 501(c)(3) organizations as possible recipients, and these suggestions are put into a fish bowl. At each meeting, three of the suggestions are randomly pulled from the fish bowl, and the members who submitted each of the chosen non-profit organizations then present to the group an overview of the charity, explaining who they serve and why, and how such a significant donation can make an impact. A written ballot is then taken, the votes tabulated, and all members write their $100 checks directly to the winning organization before leaving the meeting.

This January, the 100+ Women Who Care selected Village Project, a local multi-generational organization that serves residents in several West Shore communities.

A donation of $12,200 has already been received by Village Project, with matching gifts still coming in. These funds will be put to use in fulfilling the Village Project’s mission to care for local cancer patients and their families by providing nourishing meals, as well as extended support such as yard clean-up, house cleaning, dog walking, errand running, holiday baskets, flower bouquets, and more. In just four years of VP’s existence, over 7,000 meals and extended services have been provided to over 65 families living in Bay Village, Westlake, Avon Lake and Rocky River. 

Village Project board member Ann Paras is the 100+ Women Who Care member who made the presentation to the group on Village Project’s behalf. Ann explains how she became involved with VP: “Barb [Harrell, Village Project Executive Director] and I have known each other since our kids were little. I had read about VP, then ran into Barb and asked her how I could get involved.”

Barb quickly put her to work, and soon after that, Ann moved to the organization’s board and is currently working on fundraising and increasing public awareness of Village Project and the services they provide.

“I am a registered nurse/nurse practitioner so I think being a nurturer is just in my blood," Ann said. "I love the energy of the multi-generational aspect of VP. I believe that most people want to serve and the benefits of serving are so far reaching.”

She has been involved with Cleveland’s 100+ Women Who Care since its founding in July 2010 by Joey Frebes and Kassy Wyman. “It was so cool to meet like-minded women who believe in non-profits, and I really wanted to learn more about local non-profits. With over 100 women coming together, you can significantly make an impact on charities in our community.”

Ann is currently at work on an upcoming Village Project fundraiser at Vosh nightclub on Friday, April 24. For a $75 donation to VP, participants will receive two drink tickets, hors d’oeuvres, and the opportunity to enjoy live music performed by Monica Robbins and the Whiskey Kings. Tickets are available at www.ourvillageproject.com. Further information on becoming a VP volunteer or client also can be found on the website or by calling 440-348-9401.

More information about 100+ Women Who Care can be found on their website www.100womenwhocarecleveland.com. The next meeting is April 16.

Diane Frye

I am a Bay Village resident and a volunteer for Village Project. 

Read More on Community Service
Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:49 AM, 03.17.2015