FAIRBANKS, Alaska Over the last 5-years the “Golden Heart” Women Who Care chapter have brought their passion and resources together to join forces raising funds for local charities in the community.
The first "Women Who Care" group was created in Jackson, Michigan in 2006 by Karen Dunigan.
Dunigan envisioned a brilliant yet simple way to raise money for local charities, nonprofit and other worthy causes.
Understanding that many professional women had the desire and resources to directly help local charities, Dunigan invited group members to meet only once a quarter for one hour and to donate $100 per meeting.
Each meeting would raise $10,000—an amount significant to most non-profit organizations. Dunigan’s vision and inspiration spread and numerous groups of 100+ Women Who Care have formed throughout the country.
The same framework of Dunigan’s mission is being implemented in Fairbanks.
Julie Benson works on the coordinating committee in Fairbanks. She believes the generosity of the golden heart city shines through in these meetings, and these women.
“Our meetings are so much fun. It’s an opportunity for women to come together. Tonight we have had more women than we have seen in the past, we are growing. We are so excited to be growing, and I think our membership really represents some energy that is happening in the community and a desire for women to give back to the non-profits that are so important to them," said Benson.
Members of the ‘100 Golden Heart Women’ donate $100 dollars each quarterly meeting to a qualified local non-profit, through a nomination process.
"We hear beautiful stories about life changing experiences in our community, things that happen here at home they are not happening far away. And then our members have the opportunity to vote to support any one of those three non-profits," Benson said.
Members nominate a non-profit and write it down on a piece of paper, and place the paper into a bowl.
Three non-profits are selected at random, giving everyone an equal opportunity to be chosen.
After three are selected, each nominee has a few minutes to tell the other members why their non-profit should be chosen to receive the quarterly donation.
The members vote, and a non-profit is awarded the combined donation.
"The money is from our Fairbanks North Star Borough, the golden heart city, it's immediately impactful in our community. It's from here, and it stays here, "said Benson.
Last quarter's non-profit awardee was the North Star Imagination Library, this quarter's awardee is the Interior Cancer Association.
“It’s an incredible honor to organize the group of women that come together every quarter to make this difference. It’s fantastic and we laugh together, we cry together, we hear amazing stories and we get to be a part of what makes this community great. We are such a generous community and so being able to be a part of that and make such an impactful difference on one non- profit a quarter, every quarter a nonprofit has an opportunity to receive an incredible gift. No strings attached. A generous gift from the women of this community. I think that that is incredible, and I am so thrilled to be a part of it with my other committee members,” said Benson
Since the group's inception they have raised over $184,000 dollars for local non-profits in the Interior.
For more information on the 100 Golden Heart Women visit