100 Women who Care donate $3,446 to Family Strengths Network

At their quarterly meeting on Thursday, November 8th, the 100 Women Who Care donated $3,446 to Family Strengths Network

During the meetings, attendees each bring a donation of $100. Three non-profits give a brief presentation and everyone votes on who will receive the money. 

Family Strengths Network (FSN), Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Los Alamos Council on Cancer presented. 

"We care deeply about families in our community. We provide programs for families in our resource center which is in a comfortable living-room setting where parents and kids like to hang out," said Carrie Fanning, the Executive Director of FSN. "I moved here in 1991. I had two babies at home and had no idea how to meet people in Los Alamos.  FSN was where I first made friends. With all the young families that are coming to town, FSN makes a difference in whether people stay here or move away. We help people make friends, find a niche and get the support they need."

Claudia Hilko spoke on behalf of BBBS, the non-profit that matches children with adult mentors. She said, "Years ago I signed up to be with a little girl who had a father who had to travel a lot for work. Her mother had cancer. She was new to the community and very isolated and needed adult support. Being able to be there for her, go to lunches and take her places was very enriching for me and it has turned into a lifelong friendship."

Dr. Madhari Garamilla spoke about the Los Alamos Council on Cancer. "We try to unite people who fought cancer, and families who are currently suffering from cancer. LeAnne Parsons runs the Cancer Corner where they have wigs, makeup and library materials for people who have cancer. We organize seminars on cancer topics and provide free skin cancer screenings at the Health Fair. We also provide support for caregivers."

Shelby Redondo, with Mesa to Mesa, also spoke. Last month Mesa to Mesa recieved funding from 100 women who care, and they used the funds to help a woman keep her trailer warm in the winter. The trailer had leaky windows and she was using inefficient plug-in heaters to keep it warm. They put in new windows and it made an immediate difference. 

"Even if the money doesn't go to the organization that you voted for, you can feel good that it's going to a good cause," said United Way of Northern New Mexico's former Executive Director, Mary Beth Maassen. "Giving to the United Way is a way to give to many organizations at once. Last year we gave to 32 organizations in Los Alamos and Rio Arriba Counties."

Photo: Carrie Fanning, executive director of FSN