rom left to right: Laura Lavelle, Angela Lowy, Luiza Cocito, Liz Salguero, Heather Stabinbsky, Gail Weinstein, Liz Stile. Photo: Jeffrey Salguero

The Fairfield County chapter of 100+ Women Who Care recently awarded about $4,000 to the Wilton-based childhood cancer charity Circle of Care.

100+ Women Who Care is an organization “for women who are interested in making a positive impact within their local community, but who also have limited time and resources to give,” according to the website.

The organization chooses four charities per year to support, with members donating $100 per quarterly meeting. At each meeting, three charities pitch their cause to all members in a five-minute presentation. After the presentations, members vote on which charity to donate all of the day’s funds to.

Beth Kisielius explained how supporting local nonprofits was her leading motivation when she established the Fairfield County chapter of 100+ Women Who Care in 2015.

“We live in a very wealthy town and there are people struggling in our town and in the town’s next to us. I really thought it was important to make a difference to the people close to me and to us,” said Kisielius.

Steering Committee member Angela Lowry explained how connected 100+ Women Who Care makes the members feel to the charities they donate to.

“Sometimes you write a check to a charity and you don’t really know how the money is being used. At the next meeting, we have the charity that was awarded the funds, come back and speak and tell us how the money was used. You really feel like there’s a kinship with the organization,” said Lowry.

100+ Women Who Care prioritizes efficiently making a positive impact. The group aims to bring 100 members to each meeting, bringing the total donation to $10,000.

“It’s one meeting, it’s one hour. If you can collect $10,000 in one hour and give it to a charity, to me that’s brilliant. It’s working smarter not harder,” praised Lowry.

Liz Salguero, the co-founder of Circle of Care, explained what the donation means to her organization.

The donation was allocated to the Financial Assistance Program at Circle of Care which keeps families from going into debt as a result of caring for their child with cancer.

“Cancer is the most expensive diagnosis anyone can receive and it’s very, very expensive for a young family,” Salguero explained.

“One parent usually has to stop working for the first year, and deductibles and co-insurance payments along with sibling care, travel costs, meals at the hospital, loss of work, it’s extraordinarily expensive.”

Salguero expects Circle of Care “to get slammed” with families who need help during the second half of this year, as stimulus money runs out and eviction moratoriums expire.

“We are very grateful for any and all support we can get so we can keep these families with a roof over their head, and food on their table, and gas in their car so they can get to treatment,” said Salguero.

Salguero is also an active member of 100+ Women Who Care.

“It’s a wonderful community organization partnership. That’s the way this is supposed to work. People on the ground helping their neighbors,” she said.

To reach its $10,000 goal, 100+ Women Who Care invites anyone with an interest in supporting local nonprofit charities to join at their next meeting on Tuesday, July 20 at Milestone restaurant in Georgetown, where Salguero will share more details on how the Circle of Care donation was used and a new charity will be chosen.

Guests who attend the next meeting are not required to make any donations or future commitments, Kisielius explained.

To attend the upcoming meeting or become a member, email 100+ Women Fairfield County CT.