Diana Schwan is looking for 100 women who care

May 14, 2024 | Featured, Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Ottawa County is about to gain a wealth of financial support through the newly-formed 100 Caring Hearts group. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

BY SHERI TRUSTY

Diana Schwan recently formed the 100 Caring Hearts of Ottawa County group which will provide financial support to local charities. (Submitted photo)

When Diana Schwan of Catawba first heard about the 100 Women Who Care Alliance, she was drawn to the idea. The concept is simple. A hundred local women meet quarterly to donate $100 each to a community charity or need. The group votes on the recipient organization, which receives $10,000 to support its mission.

The 100 Women Who Care Alliance began when Karen Dunigan formed a giving circle in Jackson, Michigan in 2006. That group was the impetus for the 100 Women Who Care concept. In 2014, the 100 Women Who Care Alliance was formed to serve as the umbrella organization over hundreds of giving circles around the world. According to information provided by Schwan, an estimated 4,000 giving circles exist globally, which donate more than $3 billion to nonprofits annually.

Schwan began looking for a local 100 Women Who Care group and soon realized there wasn’t one established in Ottawa County. Suddenly, she found herself at the helm of a newly-formed group, which they named 100 Caring Hearts of Ottawa County.

“I didn’t want to do this. I just wanted to join a group in Ottawa County, but people kept popping up to help,” she said.

When she emailed the Alliance’s cofounder, Traci Richards, she learned Richards had been planning to start a group in Ottawa County and was excited to find someone to help. Mary Caracci of Bistro 163, Shea McGrew of Ottawa County Community Foundation and Michele Mueller of Leadership Ottawa County offered to help.

Local women joined 100 Caring Hearts, and a committee soon formed that includes Schwan, Mueller, Richards, Peg Finnegan, Stephanie Barth and Lori Townsend.

“Word got out. People started popping up to help, and people started joining. This was just meant to be,” Schwan said.

At the quarterly meetings of 100 Caring Hearts, three members will make presentations on a local charity or community need they want the group to support. Then, the group will vote on a recipient, which will receive $100 from each member. If the group grows to 100 women, the recipient organization will receive $10,000. Because the group has no overhead costs, all the profits go directly to the charity.

“We’re looking for local, vetted, small nonprofits to support,” Schwan said. “We’ll support a different charity each quarter.”

100 Caring Hearts of Ottawa County is open to all women willing to donate $100 four times a year to a local charity selected by the group. The first meeting will be held on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at Lapointe United Methodist Church. For more information, email Diana Schwan at 100ch.ottawaco@gmail.com or visit the 100 Caring Hearts of Ottawa County Facebook page.

Schwan is excited about the impact the group will make on Ottawa County.

“I’m just so touched by the hearts of people in Ottawa County. I know they care,” she said.

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