MAKE A DIFFERENCE: 100 Men Who Care reach giving milestone

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Over the years we’ve shared information about the two local giving circles that are making a huge difference in our community by regularly donating thousands of dollars to area non-profit organizations.

The innovative concept can be credited to Karen Dunigan of Jackson, Michigan who, in 2006, gathered together 100 women who wanted to find an easy way to give to worthy nonprofits in their town. At their first one-hour long meeting, 100+ Women Who Care raised $10,000 to buy 300 new baby cribs for an organization in their city.

Dayton followed suit and we now have similar organizations in the Miami Valley. The big news is that at its quarterly meeting on May 23, the 100+ Men Who Care Group of Dayton exceeded a half-million dollars in donations to deserving local Dayton-area charities! It’s hard to believe but in just four one-hour meetings per year - just 59 meetings/hours since its inception, over $500,000 was generated. That’s under one and a half standard 40-hour work weeks!

Bob Hewitt, the group’s founder, convened the first meeting in November 2008 with just a few dozen enthusiastic men. Bob’s inspiration was a quote by Margaret Mead that stated, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” His hope was that the group would make a significant impact by helping those in need in the Dayton area. “Reaching over $500,000 in current total donations,” Bob notes, “clearly indicates that that hope has become a reality.”

In 2012, Bob gradually turned over the reins to Joe Lehman, who has since remained the group’s volunteer administrator. Over time, the group has grown to the current total of 116 members. With each member donating $100.00 as is the voluntary quarterly commitment the group is currently awarding $11,600 to one deserving local charity each quarter.

Long-standing member and star recruiter Gary Hunt explains the organization primarily selects small charities that lack resources, including cash and personnel, to achieve their charitable missions. “A small sacrifice by the members of our group makes a big difference to a lot of people in need,” he says.

Kate McEwen, COO of The Foodbank is the most recent recipient. “We are grateful to 100+ Men Who Care, she says. “Their generous donation will positively impact our acquisition and distribution of food throughout the Miami Valley by supporting our retail rescue pick-ups, vehicle maintenance, and fuel costs.

She adds that in a most unexpected and wonderful demonstration of the 100+ Men Who Care mission, member George Malacos, chairman of the board at Miami Industrial Trucks, chose to donate a forklift to The Foodbank after learning that an additional forklift for the nonprofit’s warehouse was needed. “It is this above-and-beyond spirit that makes 100+ Men Who Care such an exceptional organization within our community!”

Interested in joining?

The 100+ Men Who Care group always welcomes new members. The group generally meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday in February, May, August, and November in the offices of McGohan Brabender at 3931 South Dixie Drive. Attendance at meetings is always optional, never required.

Every donated dollar goes directly to the charities thanks to The Dayton Foundation, which helps to collect and distribute all donated funds, and McGohan Brabender that does not charge for the meeting space. The group has no administrative or operating expenses.

If you are a man over the age of 18 and interested in joining the men’s group, contact Joe Lehman via email (preferred) or cell (joseph.r.lehman@gmail.com or 937-760-8095). Dayton women interested in joining a similar organization can find more information at: 100womendayton@gmail.com.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: meredith.moss@coxinc.com.

Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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