Safe Families for Children was the nonprofit chosen to receive the $10,000 raised at a Nov. 9 event hosted by 100+ Who Care in Springfield.

Members of the 100+ Who Care in Springfield play a bit of a numbers game. The group's intent is to recruit at least 100 people who will donate $100 each with the goal of voting for and awarding $10,000 to a local nonprofit, all in under 100 minutes.

Jenny Vaughn, board president, summed up the event as "Donate. Nominate. Educate. Celebrate. Your donation is your event ticket – $100 per person or $150 per couple. With your donation you get to nominate your favorite local nonprofit. Three will be selected at random. If your charity is chosen, you or a selected representative gets the opportunity to share the charity's mission and the impact this donation could have for the organization. Everyone in attendance gets a chance to vote. After the votes are tallied, a winner is presented with a check." It is an evening of socializing, networking and coming together to make an impact in Springfield and surrounding communities.

Vaughn recalled her journey with the organization that began two years ago when Matt Price, a friend and fellow board member, extended an invitation. "What intrigued me from the start," she said, "was the unique concept – making a donation without knowing its destination. Throughout the course of the event, you get to learn about incredible local charities and foster connections with like-minded individuals dedicated to making a meaningful impact in our community."

What makes 100+ Who Care in Springfield stand out is its unique approach to philanthropy, Vaughn said. "We've turned giving into a dynamic and engaging experience. Instead of pre-determining where donations go, our donors contribute without knowing the destination. The element of surprise adds excitement to the process."

The 100+ Who Care in Springfield gathered in November for its sixth giving event that resulted in a $10,000 check presented by Chapter Director Kasey Miller to Safe Families for Children Springfield/Decatur. With the incredible community support the event received, 100+ also granted $500 to the runner-up organization, Titan Fuel, which benefits Ball-Chatham students in need.

In addition to attendees' contributions, Vaughn said sponsorships and community partnerships play a pivotal role in achieving goals. "They not only help cover overhead costs but also increase our potential to give $10,000 at each event."

Charity nominations are made by attendees present at the event. The more attendees from the charity's organization, the greater the chances of being selected and receiving the donation. The only requirement is that the nominated charity not have won in the past five years. Previous recipients include: The James Project (spring 2023); Pure Haven (2019); Kidzeum (2018); Compass for Kids (2017) and The James Project (2016).

"Through the generosity of 100+ Who Care in Springfield," said Olivia Hayse, executive director of The James Project, "we have been able to tangibly meet the needs of foster children who are without homes, clothes, care and other necessities."

"Children in our county are going without homes, beds and the basic necessities they need to survive," said Hayse. She explained that the funds from 100+ Who Care in Springfield have allowed The James Project to multiply its support of foster children placed in homes in Sangamon County. Specifically, it has provided more than 20 mattresses, bed frames and mattress protectors, along with sheet sets and pillows. Additionally, it provided comfort items and hygiene kits to more than 25 foster children.

Hayse reported that the 100+ support enabled them to purchase items and assemble comfort kits for teens who are staying in agencies and provide care kits for infants going directly into foster care. "The level of support offered to these children would not be possible without the generous support of 100+ Who Care in Springfield," she said.

"Our events are not just about giving," Vaughn added, "they're about learning and connecting. Attendees discover local charities on the spot, gaining insight into their impactful work. This, coupled with the opportunity to network with passionate individuals, creates a sense of community and shared purpose that extends beyond the act of donation. In essence, 100+ Who Care in Springfield transforms the act of giving into an interactive and community-building event, making it a distinctive and memorable experience for our attendees."

To learn more about 100+ Who Care in Springfield, visit or

Janet Seitz is a local communications professional, writer and artist. To share your story, contact her at [email protected].

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