A new grassroots movement is popping up in Saskatoon, bringing like-minded men together to inject funding into the community.
Joining 360 chapters across North America, Barry and Nathan Willick set up a local 100 Men Who Give a Damn chapter in the City of Bridges.
“It’s people getting together for an hour every three months and you give $100,” Barry Willick said. “Your donation gets combined with everyone else’s $100 and it becomes a significant contribution to an individual charity and you see your money go into action right away.”
Gearing up for the inaugural meeting on Feb. 22, Willick said once members sign up online for the group, they can nominate a local charity. Charities will be vetted and he’s encouraging members to stay away from national charities and focus more on things the Saskatoon community needs.
“Once vetted they are thrown into a draw-drum and one week before the meeting we draw three charities and they are invited to make a pitch to the membership and the membership votes on the charity and they get all the money at the meeting,” Willick said. “We prefer that is goes to a specific problem like we run a soup kitchen and we need a new oven or building a play structure or renovating a room in a hospital … we want that specificity because that’s the type of donor we’re attracting,” Willick said.
One hundred members each with a $100 cheque means a healthy injection of money to a local charity and the group stays keeps an eye on the money to make sure it’s being used as promised.
“We want to be able to track the money, from where we give it to where it’s going to be used and then have a presentation after to see where the money is spent.”
The 100 Men Who Give a Damn group started in the early 2000s with a 100 Women Who Give a Damn chapter. Since then men and women-exclusive chapters have been popping up across Canada and the United States.
A chapter in Kelowna recently came under fire after being accused of excluding women from the group. But Willick said the group he wants to start here isn’t about excluding women, rather it’s an effort to get men together for a good cause.
“We’re just trying to appeal to certain individuals. The 100 Women Who Care groups started this and were successful and we credit them for our organization,” Willick said.