This week I joined an amazing organization that awards money to local non-profits, taking small donations and making them count.

What is 100 Neighbors Who Care?

The non-profit is called 100 Neighbors Who Care of Penobscot Valley, but it should be called 100 PLUS Neighbors, because the group has grown to more than 100. As a matter of fact, it's probably closer to 200, at this point. The mission behind the group is simple - a single donation of $100 doesn't seem like much, but when you put it together with 100 or more other $100 donations, it suddenly can make a big difference for a charity.

How Does It Work?

I first heard about the organization when Ann Sweeney of Hope for Homeless reached out to tell me her charity had won the 'competition' earlier this year. So I looked into 100 Neighbors and realized right away that I wanted to be a part of it. The way it works is simple:

  • Members meet 4 times a year
  • 3 charities give presentations about their organizations
  • Members vote for their favorites
  • Each member writes a check for $100 to the charity with the most votes

That's it! I mean, it's so efficient. Each candidate is given 10 minutes to explain who they are, what the charity's mission is, and how the donation (should they win) would be used. And these folks are good at what they do.

On my first night, the organizations in the running included The Maine Discovery Museum, the Bangor Historical Society, and the Maine State Troopers Foundation. Each presentation was interesting and informative and, honestly, I had a tough time making up my mind. But when it was all said and done, the Maine State Trooper's Foundation won the vote. The total donation won't be announced for a few weeks, but it should be in excess of $17,000. That's a lot of $100 donations.


Where Can I Learn More?

If you think this sounds like something you'd like to be a part of, check out the 100 Neighbors Who Care of Penobscot Valley website and Facebook page. And when you see me at the next meeting, stop by and say hello because I will definitely be there.

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