Emerge awarded money by group of local women ‘making a difference’

100+ Women Making a Difference in Greene County provide Emerge with funding boost

XENIA — With the countdown to the launch of the men’s recovery housing program this summer, organizers at the Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative were honored recently to receive a funding boost from a group of women in Greene County who have helped countless organizations over the years to the tune of more than half a million dollars.

The group — 100+ Women Making a Difference in Greene County — recently voted to donate $13,100 to Emerge, after Elaine Bonner, director of philanthropy at Emerge and member of the group, gave a presentation that won the vote. The group votes on a local charitable cause each quarter after names are drawn to give three of their members a chance to present their cause. After voting, each member of the group donates $100 to the decided organization.

Since July 10 of 2010, 100+ Women has distributed more than $526,400 to local charities serving the needs of Greene County residents. Currently, they have 136 members. Their recent donation to Emerge was said to have been granted, in part, because of a funding match from a local foundation that will help bring this $1.8 million project closer to completion for the work being performed on the men’s recovery space.

With renovations to the men’s side in the final phase and the open house set for Friday, June 16, the timing of these funds was extremely helpful.

“I’m honored to be part of the 100+ Women Making a Difference in Greene County and support the efforts of so many great organizations,” Bonner said. “It’s a humbling experience to be chosen for funding and the timing could not have come a better time with the matching challenge and need to complete the furnishings in our men’s recovery housing space. Thank you to this group of women.”

Sandy McHugh of Yellow Springs and Rebecca Morgann of Beavercreek organized the Greene County group after attending a Dayton giving circle meeting. The women say there is no board or governing organization. However, the two of them maintain the roster, coordinate the meetings, handle the collections and deliver the funds.

“This is very rewarding,” Morgann said. “We’re just two of the hundred women. So we’re the same as all the other members. What’s most rewarding is seeing these organizations survive and grow. We just want to make a difference. Anyone in the group would tell you the same thing.”

Because the people giving the presentations are usually involved in the organization they present for in some way, Morgann said their membership speaks from the heart when presenting local causes. 

“What I like about Emerge is the aspect of giving people a set of skills,” Morgann said. “A lot of the organizations we help for addiction just help with the addiction itself. We hope that they launch people into productive lives. However, Emerge teaches people these skills and helps them find jobs or hires them. That is so far above and beyond what I’ve seen in my own experience. I don’t know of any other places who are doing what Emerge is doing.”

McHugh said they founded the group after she read an article in 2008 about the Dayton group with the same name. 

“I attended a meeting,” she said. “A friend and I went, and I thought ‘wow this is such an easy way to raise money.’ There’s very little cost involved for us. We meet at Greene Memorial Hospital, and they don’t charge us. One hundred percent of the money goes towards the group we are supporting, and our meetings are less than an hour.”

The group’s first meeting was in July of 2010.

“We had 43 people at that time and it just grew from there because of word of mouth,” she said. “We call them giving circles.”

Because the group isn’t registered as a 501(c)(3), the checks are made out directly to the winner each quarter.

“Several of our members have been out there to Emerge and they were impressed with what is going on,” McHugh said. “In the past, we have supported a couple of recovery houses, so we understand the need. The approach out there is unique as well. They will be training these people, so they have a job when they leave. That’s what they need. That’s what we need.”

McHugh said it is helpful when presenters are specific about where the money will be going.

“Elaine was able to get specific about where the money was going,” she said. “Emerge is so close and everyone is so excited about what’s happening out there. She was also able to specify how the money could be used. She has determined they might purchase some artwork from Greene County. She broke it down to a smaller amount towards a goal. We aren’t normally as interested in bigger projects because they usually need so much, but this was a no-brainer for us.”

To connect with the 100+ Women, you can email Sandy McHugh at smchug1405@gmail.com or Rebecca Morgann at rmorgann@woh.rr.com.

To follow the progress of Emerge, contact Elaine Bonner at 937.974.6120 or elaine.bonner@emergerecoverytrade.com