100 Women Who Care donate to NOAH Free Community Meal Program

Some of those in attendance at the 100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills meeting Thursday night at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — 100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills — a local philanthropic organization — continued its giving this week by voting to donate $17,500 to the NOAH Free Community Meal Program.

Following three presentations, 100 Women members decided Thursday night at St. John’s Episcopal Church to give to the local meals program.

100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills is an organization of women that supports the innovative concept of “collective philanthropy.” Members share a common desire to give back to their local community in a thoughtful, streamlined way. The group is administered by a very small team of volunteers with a minimalistic strategy. Individually, each member commits to donate $100 per quarter [$400 annually] to support non-profit groups located in Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties.

The NOAH Free Community Meal Program is a volunteer group that serves free meals to the public every Sunday in Johnstown. The Regional Food Bank, St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Council of Churches of Fulton County, and other charitable organizations provide funding for food and supplies.

Holly Chamberlin gave a presentation on the program, which she said is staffed by 14 teams of volunteers which among other things serves 100 meals every Sunday. It was noted 100 Women’s donation will keep the program going.

“A lot of the meals are taken as carry out,” Chamberlin said.

She said the church is reimbursed for overhead, although the meal program is “very separate from the church operation.”

“It’s in the basement of this church as of now,” Chamberlin said. But she said the plan is to eventually move the program to the former Fulton County YMCA building next door.

The name “NOAH” derives from those who benefited from the program: “Needy Or Alone & Hungry.” The meals are prepared by volunteers and served to anyone needing companionship and a hot meal. The program still shuns any guidelines for participation, there are no questions asked.

The group 100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills held another one of its quarterly meetings to support giving in the community.

Runners-up for the donation Thursday night were Willing Helpers Home for Women in Johnstown, and the Parkhurst Field Foundation based in Gloversville.

Patricia Beck, a founding member of 100 Women, moderated the meeting. She noted the group has certain rules regarding selection of charities.

“The chosen one tonight cannot apply for another two years,” she said, although the runners-up can reapply immediately.

Beck said the organization will be celebrating its second anniversary in May, and has already given $107,800 so far to needy groups in the community. The organization had seven potential charities vying Thursday night.

The roughly 187 members of the organization have a “big heart,” Beck said, and can leave the quarterly meetings feeling good. She thanked those who attended Thursday night, even though they made it through inclement weather.

Those interested in joining 100 Women Who Care of the Adirondack Foothills can either contact the organization through it’s website, or attend one of its meetings at the church. The next meetings, which start at 5:30 p.m., are May 7 and Aug. 6.

Charitable non-profit organizations are nominated by members, and their names placed in a basket. Adirondack Foothills (Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties) organizations with 501(c)(3) tax deductible status are eligible. No political, religious or national organizations may be nominated. Those wishing to nominate a charitable organization can complete a form online.

At each meeting, three nominated organizations are then drawn from the total pool and the nominating member has five minutes to tell why her organization should be selected. This is followed by a five-minute question and answer session for each nominee. A vote is taken, ballots counted and plurality rules. The nomination and voting process is reserved for members only. At the end of the meeting, each member writes a check for $100 to the selected organization.

Checks are later presented directly to the director of the chosen organization.

The original 100 Women Who Care was started in Jackson, Mich., in 2006. More than 350 chapters have spread throughout communities in the United States and across the globe.

Founding members of the local 100 Women group include Amy Karas, Holly Chamberlin, Patricia Beck, Audrey Kline and Marj Kline. Women wishing to join as a new member may register online at the organization’s website at www.100womenadk.org.

The group’s email is: [email protected]

Information can also be obtained at the 100 Women Who Care ADK Facebook page.

By Kerry Minor

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