For about 5 years I have organized a group of women who meet once a month to network and promote their businesses. Women In Networking (WIN), though it has no formal membership process, has over 200 women who take part in events from time to time.
In the spring of 2012 I was approached by one of our regular members, Mandy to have lunch with her and Sarah Reaume from Habitat for Humanity. I was very curious to find out what they wanted to talk to me about. Sarah is the Executive Director of Habit Sarnia and she had learned of a group of women who had a challenge to raise the money to build a home for a local family through Habitat. She asked me if I would like to try to do this same kind of project with the WIN group. I was convinced right away that it would be a great group project for the ladies of WIN. Now came the hard part, convincing the members to take part.
I planned a fun wine and cheese type event with a motivational speaker and invited all the WIN ladies to come and find out about a special project that they could get involved with, BUT I did not tell them anything about the project or charity involved. We had almost 70 ladies come out for a fun evening in September. Sarah talked to us about Habitat for Humanity and a little bit about what the project involved and she also arranged for a Habitat client to speak to us about her experiences having a home built for her. Before the presentation was even done there was a line up of ladies waiting to sign up to be a part of this project and 40 Women 40 Days $40,000 was born.
Each of the 40 ladies was challenged to raise $1000 in ONLY 40 days, a daunting task I thought. Every one of the participants came up with a different idea of how they would raise their money. Some sold chocolate bars, some held events, some gave a portion of their product sales and some simply asked their friends and family for their support.
I am proud to say that I personally raised $1885.00. I was surprised and overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family, and even perfect strangers. I had a lot of fun wearing my pink hard hat with the 40 Women 40 Days $40,000 logo to events around Sarnia and found it to be a great conversation starter. Once I explained the project people were excited to support us. Thank you to everyone!
We will have a celebration lunch with the 40 participating ladies and all of the WIN members on December 5th where we will announce the total amount raised. I really hope that we reached our goal, but even if we didn't we are still doing a great thing for a family in Sarnia Lambton that needs a helping hand. I can't wait to see their faces on the day when we hand over the keys to their new home next spring.
I look forward forward to helping with the build in the spring. The members of WIN will be learning how to side a house and will also be putting some final touches on the interior of the house all while wearing our special pink hard hats.
Stay tuned for news of how much money we raised and I hope to share my experiences from the build site too!