The concept for 100 Women Who Care began with Karen Dunigan, the former mayor of Jackson Michigan. It was during lunch one day with executive leadership from the Center for Family Health, where other fundraising matters were being discussed, that the Center’s CEO mentioned a need she learned about at a staff meeting earlier that morning regarding new mothers and portable cribs. Karen’s ears perked and she told the CEO that would be something she would like to know more about and another lunch was scheduled to specifically discuss the need.
During the follow up lunch, details were shared on how new mothers were bringing their babies home and placing the sleeping infants in boxes, dresser drawers or on their own beds because they could not afford a proper crib. Some of these babies didn’t survive the night. Karen was presented with a list of how many cribs were needed, the cost of mattresses, blankets and beds. In all, a total of $10,000 was needed. As Karen began thinking about Center for Family Health’s need, she knew there had to be a way to quickly and easily meet the financial request that was presented. With all of her involvement in the community, Karen knew she could call ten people and ask them to write $1,000 checks, but she also figured she knew 100 women who would each give $100. She began making phone calls and scheduled a meeting. At that first meeting, in one hour, a group of Karen’s friends heard the story and each wrote checks to the Center for Family Health, resulting in a $12,800 donation, more than requested, to supply new mothers with the simplest need: a crib.