When it comes to a group of women who have been helping other groups and causes for the past five years, they really continue to live up to the word ‘Care’ that appears in their group’s name.
Digby Care 25 has supported 17 groups and causes since their first quarterly meeting held five years ago. Their most recent donation was made to the Isaiah W. Wilson Library in Digby, which is part of the Western Counties Regional Library and has four branches in Digby County: Digby, Westport, Weymouth and Meteghan.
The $3,045 donation will support the library’s charitable association Literacy Legacy Fund. The Western Counties Regional Library is endeavouring to grow the fund to help the library maintain and enhance its collection and services every year. As the fund points out: “Every dollar donated lasts a lifetime.”
“The fund is going to keep the library going,” explains Joanne Head of the Western Counties Regional Library, who also serves as a co-ordinator for the library’s Digby branch. Every dollar the library can raise is important, she says. Especially since funding from other sources, such as government funding, varies.
“We have some funding. Some years it’s great, some years it’s not, some years it’s non-existent and we have to build it up. This fund ensures we always have library materials and programs and quality,” she says.
It’s things like this Debbie Haight and Michelle Winchester like to hear. The two women are very involved with the running of Digby Care 25. As meaningful as it is for groups to receive donations, it’s also meaningful for the women to know how the group’s efforts are helping others.
In 2018, the group raised and donated $12,340 to organizations. Heading into Year six, the group has spread out $46,540 within the community, including the latest donation made to the library.
Digby Care 25 gathers four times a year to hear pitches from charitable groups and organizations that have projects and initiatives on the go. Each member of the group makes a $25 donation and the funds are donated to the presenter that received the most votes.
“The votes are always very, very close,” says Haight.
One time there was even a three-way tie.
Winchester says the meetings are positive in another way. They help to educate members about the work and projects being undertaken by community groups.
“You find out information from the other groups that you just didn’t know before,” she says.
The groups themselves that get the opportunity to present are also very supportive of one another. Sometimes if a group that’s been selected to present doesn’t have a project underway at that time, they’ll give their spot to another group. They’ll then be invited later on to come back again.
There is also networking that goes on.
“One meeting we had the Pathfinders and two other groups. The Pathfinders didn’t get the donation but afterwards two ladies came up and said, ‘Hey, do you need barbecues for your camp?’ and so they ended up getting three barbecues donated,” Haight says.
During the past five years, 152 women have belonged to Digby Care 25, although the number in the last round was 97. New members are always welcome.
People interested in getting involved can email firstname.lastname@example.org or go through the Digby Care 25 Facebook group.
5 things to know about Digby Care 25
1. If your organization would like to be added to the master list for consideration, send an email to email@example.com. Include the organization's name, purpose, the contact name/phone/email and their registered charity number.
2. Meeting dates for 2019 are March 3, June 2, Sept. 8 and Nov. 17. The location is the Digby Curling Club. Meetings will start at 6:30 p.m.
3. You must be present at the meetings to vote. One local charity is selected at each meeting by a majority vote of attending members.
4. Organizations applying must be a registered charity and local.
5. Once a group/organization has received a donation from Digby Care 25 they cannot be reconsidered for two years.