100+ WOMEN WHO CARE ST LUCIA CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY
One year ago 52 women were present for the inaugural meeting of 100 Women Who Care St Lucia. Fast forward a year and membership has swelled to almost 140 members and the organization has donated over $40,000 to local charities
Valerie Jenkinson, Chair of 100 Women Who Care St Lucia, attributes the groundswell of support to the fact that the idea is so simple: attend a one-hour meeting every three months and donate $100 to a local charity selected by the membership from a choice of three.
“With exceeding our goal of 100 members, the donation at our last meeting was $12,000 which will make a real impact to the charities selected. Moreover, all this is done within one hour; with no further effort or commitment required from our members. Our mission, and hope, is for those of us more fortunate to provide for those in greatest need in Saint Lucia. $100 on its own does not do much but when 100 committed women join forces the combined result is substantial and significant," Ms. Jenkinson states.
The next goal is to grow membership to over 200 members. At the last meeting members agreed any money over $10,000 would be split between the two other nominee charities. This quarter's winning charity, Stepping Stones, was presented with a cheque for $10,000 by Patroness Senator Berthia Parle. As the organisation's membership was over 100 members and a total of $12,000 was donated, the Saint Lucia Animal Protection Society (SLAPS) and the Upton Girls' Centre were also presented with cheques for $1,000 each.
Stepping Stones (After school care and support) is a non-profit organisation set up in May 2015. It focuses on helping at-risk and under-privileged children aged 8-16 from Castries and nearby districts. Joan Sylvester, who founded the organisation, has over 20 years of experience in social work. Carole Clemesha, a qualified tutor with 26 years' experience in the UK and Caribbean, is helping with Common Entrance students. Two arts teachers also volunteer their time.
The school operates on all school days from 3p.m. to 5.30p.m. and the 28 students registered to date are fed a tea-time snack. New referrals can be made via the students' schools.
Funding was desperately needed to help pay the utilities and rent, not to mention the students' bus fares home from Vigie.
100 Women Who Care St Lucia joins 340 other 100 Women Who Care organizations. One hundred percent of the funds raised goes to local charities with no administration costs. Patroness Senator Berthia Parle says, “When I was first approached with the idea of setting up a Saint Lucia chapter I was immediately struck by the simplicity of the idea. I know so many busy women, like myself, who want to give back to the community and those in need but who have so little time and often not much knowledge of the local charities. Other chapters have had tremendous results and the success in our first year has been amazing. It is a testament to how this venture has struck a chord with women in our community.”
For more information, or to join, visit www.100womenwhocarestlucia.com, visit the Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
L-R: Joan Sylvester, Patroness Berthia Parle and Carole Clemesha.