They’ve “given a damn” all the way to a significant milestone.
At its Jan. 21 meeting, the 100 Airdrie Men Who Give a Damn presented $10,000 to Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. (Protecting Our Women With Emergency Resources), a group working to bring the city’s first day shelter for women impacted by domestic violence.
At the meeting, the organization officially surpassed the $100,000 mark in total donations it has dished out to local charities. Since forming in October 2017, the group has distributed $103,600.
“[The excitement level] was really high,” said Jack Lumley, one of six original 100 Airdrie Men founders.
Every three months, the 100-plus members give at least $10,000 – $100 from each man – to a local charity or community group.
“[Handing out] $100 four times a year, when aggregated together across 100 people, that makes a real difference – while not costing you, as an individual, all that much,” Lumley said.
At each meeting, representatives from three charities outline how their group would benefit from the donation. Once the presentations are complete, members vote on which charity they feel should receive the money, and the group with the majority of votes receives the funds.
Lumley said the organizations considered for the donation are all from Airdrie, and are nominated by group members in the lead-up to each meeting. Charities selected to receive the money must wait a year before they can be nominated again.
“I think people do it because they see the need right around home,” he said. “We read the stories in the paper or see online about increased usage at the food bank or how Community Links needs to open up more programs, things like that.”
Charities that have received support from the group include the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie, North Rocky View Community Links and Airdrie Project Linus.
Lumley said the arguments made by the presenters are always compelling, and it is often difficult for members to decide how to cast their ballot.
“We have presenters who make grown men cry, because their story is so compelling,” he said. “Meals on Wheels comes out and talks about seniors. The Boys and Girls Club comes out and talks about mental health of teenagers. Community Links comes out and talks about the people they help. How does that not affect you as a human being?”
The next meeting is scheduled for April 14 at 7 p.m. at Woodside Golf Course, and Lumley encourages local men to attend. To register, visit theairdrie100.com
“It’s a great event and we’ve never given out less than $10,000,” he said, adding the group’s record turnout was 114 people at the October 2019 meeting.
“We actually have about 300 members on our Facebook page and we’d be thrilled if they all came out,” he said. “We’d be happy to change it to 300 Men Who Give a Damn – that’d be no problem at all.”
While the organization is independent, Lumley said there is a similar group for women – 100 Women Who Care Airdrie, which has distributed more than $80,000 – and the 100 Kids Who Care Airdrie, which was revived last year and has met twice.