By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Canadian County’s first Power of 100 recipient has been selected – and it’s a non-profit ministry very familiar to people in Yukon.
Power of 100 Canadian County is a group of more than 130 women who will pool their resources four times a year to donate at least $10,000 to a selected charitable cause.
The philanthropic effort officially launched on Oct. 12 when Compassionate Hands of Yukon was chosen to receive the first large quarterly gift.
“We started collecting memberships on September 1 and now have 137 members,” co-founder Tammy McKee said. “This has surpassed all of our expectations and we’re already larger than the Oklahoma City chapter.
“We’ll be collecting money for the next two weeks and hopefully we’ll have more than $12,000 we’ll be able to present to Compassionate Hands.”
About 75 members of Power of 100 Canadian County attended the foundation’s inaugural event at the Palace Event Center, 2310 N Banner Road in El Reno.
“It was an incredible evening,” McKee said. “Everything about it was fabulous.”
Because of sponsor support, the local Power of 100 chapter will be able to give 100% of funds donated at the kickoff to its selected charity.
Nine Canadian County nonprofits were nominated for the Power of 100 Canadian County’s first “Hope Award.”
Compassionate Hands serves Yukon-area residents during temporary crisis by helping with rent, utilities and personal items.
The ministry, which started in 1994, operates two accessible vans that provide transportation for seniors and residents with disabilities to medical appointments and personal errands.
Compassionate Hands was nominated for the first Power of 100 Canadian County donation by two of its dedicated volunteers, Jaquita Icenhower and Alycia Barry.
Barry made a presentation about Yukon helping agency at the Oct. 12th meeting.
“In response to Christ’s mission to help others, Compassionate Hands serves people in temporary crisis by addressing immediate needs, foster hope and encouraging positive life change,” said Barry, sharing the mission statement.
“So many who would not have independence have benefited from the Compassionate Hands’ Care-A-Van.”
A ministry of the Yukon Ministerial Alliance, Compassionate Hands is a Canadian County United Way partner agency.
“Today, many families in the area are struggling to pay rent, utilities and such because of lost income due to COVID-19,” Barry shared with Power of 100 members. “We have seen such an increase in need.
“Compassionate Hands can not only provide financial relief but also offers referrals to other resources for further assistance, including food and possible employment.”
The support provided by the Power of 100 Canadian County will help Compassionate Hands better serve its clients, according to Director Joanne Riley.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of all the women who are part of this amazing movement in our county!” Riley said. “I believe that all the glory goes to God that we have been gifted this addition to our funding to help our community at such a time of uncertainty for so many families.”
This generous gift couldn’t come at a better time, the director added.
“This year because of COVID-19, Compassionate Hands has had to cancel five major fundraisers that were about $17,000 of our budget,” Riley said.
“Right now, all donations we receive are greatly appreciated and essential so we can continue our work serving Yukon. This donation will make such a difference in so many lives in our community.”
A HUGE IMPACT
Power of 100 Canadian County will present the Hope Award each quarter to different non-profit service groups.
“We decided to call it the ‘Hope Award’ because we are hoping that they can take this money and so something big within their charities,” co-founder Anita Bishop said at the Oct. 12 kick-off meeting.
Members of Power of 100 Canadian County nominate their favorite
Canadian County non-profits, and the names of three charities will be drawn from those nominated each quarter.
At the Power of 100’s quarterly meeting, members will hear five-minute presentations about those three groups and then vote on which will receive that quarter’s large donation.
Each member donates $100 to the charity selected.
By pooling together their $100 donations each quarter, Power of 100 Canadian County members make a larger impact than they would otherwise.
Even during a pandemic, these women started a foundation to give back to their community.
“Imagine the power of 100,” Bishop said. “One hundred women gathered together, for one hour four times a year, with a willingness to share $100 each with a deserving charity.
“It’s simple, it’s meaningful and it’s powerful. So together, we will be able to give charities over $10,000 that we’ve raised in just one hour.”
At the first meeting, Bishop thanked the group’s “amazing” members for wanting to make a significant impact.
“Imagine the difference we’re going to make in Canadian County,” she said.
The foundation’s founding directors at first wondered if this year was the right time to start their effort.
“But charities need this more than ever,” McKee noted.
“I feel we’re building a legacy. This is so powerful because of the incredible women who have joined.”
Power of 100 Canadian County will meet four times a year, also providing a “fun ladies night out” for members. The next meeting is Jan. 11, 2021.
“Membership is open to anyone, but our recipients must be a nonprofit 501c3 charity in Canadian County,” McKee said. “We’re looking for more Mustang, Piedmont and El Reno residents to join.”
To learn more about the foundation, visit Powerof100cc.org