I wanted to start a weekly story about the wise women who inspire me. There are so many! I will include a link to a recipe I think would be a nice fit for the woman I choose.
This week I am happy to share the good news of the highly spirited group named “100 Plus Women Who Care”, and tell you a little bit about their Elmhurst meeting where I met this week’s Wise Woman: Charlotte Mushow. Charlotte is a founding member of the Elmhurst-Area group. Charlotte helped bring Elmhurst its own group after attending the first core group in Wheaton years ago. I thankful also to fellow-member Cheryl Kopecky for taking me to Monday’s meeting! If you would like to join or learn more, please
100 Plus Women Who Care gets together quarterly to learn about three registered
After learning their stories, the women quickly vote, and immediately write a $100 check to charity with the most votes. Members also enjoy listening to the story of the previous winner to hear how the money is being used. They raise thousands of dollars each quarter for some dynamic groups serving a wide variety of needs in our community. This group inspires me, and the groups who share their stories of how they are helping others amazes me. I could devote a whole cookbook as an homage to these amazing women! For now, let me tell you a little bit about the meetings.
Charities chosen to present their mission must be registered 501(c)(3) charities which serve the local area, which in our case is Elmhurst, IL. There are other towns which have their own group locations. The Elmhurst 100+ Women Who Care meeting is held at Angelo’s Restaurant, 247 N. York Road in Elmhurst, IL on the first Monday of February, May, August and November at 7pm. Meetings are punctual and lean. The whole process lasts an hour, and leadership is punctual to ensure the main focus is that the deep needs of the charity are met.
I met Charlotte Mushow at Monday’s meeting, and was inspired by her dedication to starting the Elmhurst group after attending the first Wheaton-based group years ago. Without people like Charlotte, we would not be able to express our care to groups who are doing such important work locally. We also would not be able to be affected by the humble stories of the charities and the citizens they serve.
What is really cool to me is how this group started with just a few thoughtful people who wanted to affect their local community, and how they kept this “no-nonsense” approach. The group has grown simple by word-of-mouth, helping local groups like last quarter’s winner, DuPage Literacy Foundation. I was able to learn first-hand about how long it takes to teach someone how to read, and how a learner could further develop her relationship with her child.
This quarter’s winner was District 205 Foundation York High School’s “Duke Depot” which helps students at York High School who have demonstrated a deep financial need for help with school and personal supplies. I was stunned to learn that over 20 students are our local high school are registered homeless individuals, and this money will be able to help them get their personal needs met.
Other groups I learned about this week have included Easter Seals and Citizens Advocacy Center. Although these groups did not win the vote, we were all able to learn more about the work these incredible local charities are doing. Easter Seals is located in Villa Park and they do such wonderful work with children and families living with disabilities. One parent was able, for the first time, to hear their child say “I love you” using an Apple iPad.
At the beginning of each meeting, groups who wish to be selected as one of the three presenters put their names in a basket. A member chooses three names, and those three charities take turns explaining their mission for five minutes. A timer is used so the meetings can wrap up in promptly one hour.
Each quarter, the “100+Women Who Care” group donates thousands of dollars to local charities. By organizing the Elmhurst branch of this group, Charlotte Mushow and her team have helped us learn more about the hearts and hands that are working in different ways in our area.
Thank you to Charlotte and the dedicated group that is growing each time a new women joins the “100+Women Who Care” mission to help a diverse group of local charities. Your work in our world shows us the enormous impact of learning more about the needs of the people so close to us that need our help.
I would also like to thank my fellow member, Cheryl Kopecky, for taking me to Monday’s meeting and introducing me to Charlotte. If you would like to join or learn more, or join this organization, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Four times a year, you will be able to benefit from the wisdom of a caring group of women helping local residents in and around our town.
Do you have a Wise Woman you would like us to know about? I would love to find a recipe for her! Who inspires YOU?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.Margaret Mead