100+ Harbor Women Who Care changes lives on Tuesday

100+ Harbor Women Who Care is a group of kind and giving women who pick three nonprofit organizations, listen, and then give. It’s that easy.

The group derives from a similar one in Jackson, Michigan which started it all.

Fortunately, Grays Harbor has many caring women, such as Jessica Hoover, a core member of the Harbor women. Like the other core members, Hoover can’t wait for 6 p.m., on Tuesday night, when the Harbor women will show up to the Hoquiam Elks Lodge, 1082 — 624 K St., to listen to the nonprofits, socialize with friends, enjoy refreshments and then help out a local nonprofit in need. It takes $100 for an individual, or group, to participate.

In March, nearly every table in the room was full of people with the desire to help. The group usually receives between 150 to 200 attendees.

“I love the energy in the room when you feel the collective impact of us all doing something together,” Hoover said. “$100 is a great donation to make to any organization, but $10,000-plus can be life changing for some of these deserving nonprofit organizations. I live by the philosophy that joy is contagious, and I think 100+ Harbor Women Who Care is just pure joy and we can all feel it during the events.”

So far, the group has raised a $56,685 for nonprofits in Grays Harbor County.

In March, the group raised $16,285 for North Beach Senior Center and Food Bank. In October 2022, the group raised $13,600 for The Walkthrough, a homeless youth shelter program in Aberdeen that provides a shelter for homeless youth ranging in age from 12- through 17 -years-old. In the group’s first year, it raised $16,800 for Cancer Alliance of Grays Harbor, which gives small grants to selected Harbor cancer patients. In addition to the money the group itself raises with cash and checks on the night of the event, they also have help from a foundation that has matched donations up to $5,000, which Hoover called “an amazing bonus.”

Here’s how the night works: After listening to the brief, timed presentations and a question-and-answer session, each woman, or group who pools their $100, submits a vote for the nonprofit they want to get their $100. The nonprofit who receives the most votes from inside the room gets the money. But, if someone wants to donate to an additional group, they can do that as well. People who can’t attend can still donate.

Hoover loves the inclusivity the group maintains.

“What I find so cool is women of all ages attend,” Hoover said. “There are moms with young kids, like me, who meet up with their friends for a Tuesday night of fun and philanthropy, and then there are some women who graduated from a local high school on the Harbor decades ago who make a point to come back annually to the event, even though they no longer live here.”

Hoover expressed how proud of her home she is.

“I am a self-proclaimed Harbor girl for life and I will always sing the praises of the people who care deeply about our home and community,” she said. “No matter what age you are or where you live, the Harbor is always home.”

The group is grateful to be able to host at such a centralized meeting place.

“The Hoquiam Elks is extremely generous to us for our event,” Hoover said. “They do not charge us for the space and help with putting together the seating arrangements and any other needs that come up. There is a nice bar there too if you would like to grab a drink before you sit down for the event.”

Hoover pointed out how the event doesn’t take long. She called the less than two-hour event “short and sweet.”

“I love Grays Harbor and I love all the people in it,” Hoover said. “I think this event is just a perfect example of how special this community is and and how deeply invested we are in creating a happy and thriving community to raise our kids in. I love that I can go anywhere in town and run into someone I know who is just excited about it as I am.”

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com.