Karen Dunigan always found it interesting that one of her greatest ideas was born from something as simple and basic as baby cribs. It was during lunch one day that she heard of the Center for Family Health CEO mentioning a need for new mothers to get portable cribs.
During a follow-up discussion, details were shared on how new mothers were bringing their babies home and placing the sleeping infants in boxes, dresser drawers, or on their own beds because they could not afford a proper crib. Some of these babies didn’t survive the night. Karen was presented with a list of how many cribs were needed and the cost of mattresses, blankets, and beds. In all, a total of $10,000 was needed.
As Karen began thinking about the Center for Family Health’s need, she knew there had to be a way to quickly and easily meet the financial request that was presented. With all of her involvement in the community, Karen figured she knew 100 women who would each give $100. She began making phone calls and scheduled a meeting. At that first meeting, in one hour, a group of Karen’s friends heard the story and each wrote checks to the Center for Family Health, resulting in a $12,800 donation, more than requested, to supply new mothers with the simplest need: a crib.
Karen recognized that she was on to something special and that it too was in its own infancy and needed to be nurtured to grow. She founded the first 100+ Women Who Care and scheduled quarterly meetings. The rules were simple, any member could present an immediate need where the money remained local. The idea was that a worthy cause benefits many in the community.
On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at the age of 61, Karen Dunigan died following a two-month battle with cancer. Karen saw people for their strengths and realized that when 100 or more people come together in a room, each person becomes a powerful force for doing good while lifting up your community. Karen’s legacy lives on through the 500 100 Who Care chapters either fully operational or under development and they include women, men, people, kids, and teens chapters. 100 Who Care SLC is proud to be one of these chapters. We are each strong in our own right, but together we are stronger. Karen knew this, applauded it and was so very proud of 100+ Women Who Care.