As the Westford community begins to heal from COVID-19 and gradually return to a state of normalcy, some members are looking to give back directly to their friends and neighbors.
One group of women have banded together to leave a positive impact on their communities, by forming the organization “100 Women Who Care, Greater Westford”. Founded by Andrea Imbriaco, Beth Matthews, Mary McCauly, Sue Hanly, and Jeannie Morrissey, the group aims to support local non-profit organizations by raising money through a shared donor pool. Fittingly, they held their first meeting on International Women’s Day at the Frolic and Detour restaurant.
Imbriaco, a newly retired teacher, was inspired to form a Westford chapter of “100 Women Who Care ” after learning of the impact other chapters had made on both a national and international scale. It was an idea Imbriaco had mulled on for a few years, and she saw the organization’s charity and volunteer methods as ones that were needed in Westford, especially coming out of the pandemic.
“I think this is a really exciting opportunity, for a number of reasons. With COVID, a lot of nonprofits have had a really difficult time with their fundraising. For myself and a lot of other people, it is an opportunity for us to learn about all of the amazing work that these nonprofits do and support them along the way. I think it is an exciting opportunity for all of us,” Imbriaco said.
For co-founder Jeannie Morrissey, “100 Women Who Care” was just the exciting opportunity for her to make a positive difference in the Westford community.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of [100 Women Who Care], I believe it will make a difference in people’s lives and help others. The concept is wonderful. I think that year to year we will continue to grow and grow. […] I genuinely believe that most people want to help and when I heard of this organization my heart sang with joy!” Morrissey said.
Four meetings will be held each year, with each member donating $100 to be given to a charity nominated through the donor pool. At each conference, three charities are pulled from the pool and invited to speak and educate others about their work. The three charities presenting this first meeting were Live for Liv, the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Paul Center for Learning and Recreation.
Members then voted on which charity would be awarded the donation money. The winner of the first meeting was Live for Liv, a foundation created by Jody Marchand to honor her daughter and aid victims of domestic violence. “100 Women” presented Marchand with a check of $7,808.
“There is so much good in the world […] [100 Women Who Care] acknowledging Live for Liv fills my heart. It reminds me that my daughter will always be remembered. [This money] will help other victims so they can become survivors,” Marchand said.
The remaining two charities will be re-entered into the donor pool as potential nominees for future meetings.
The group’s next meeting will take place on June 7. Women in the Greater Westford MA area are encouraged to join and use their voice to aid “100 Women Who Care, Greater Westford” in their work.