Speed Philanthropy in Tazewell

100+ People Who Care - Tazewell County is one of more than 900 chapters worldwide.

Members of 100+ People Who Care - Tazewell County present a check to the Pekin Community Center.
Members of 100+ People Who Care - Tazewell County present a check to the Pekin Community Center.

The idea is simple. Get 100 people together for one hour, four times a year. Each person brings a check for $50 and nominates a local 501(c)(3). Three nominations are drawn at random, and the nominators give a short presentation on why their charity should receive the funds. Everyone votes, and the nonprofit with the most votes receives the checks. 

“It’s fast, simple and amazingly effective,” says Talena Michels, founder of the Tazewell County chapter of 100 People Who Care, one of more than 900 worldwide. She got the idea from a neighbor who thought the concept of “speed philanthropy” would interest her. “I’m a working mom who is also involved in multiple civic duties and organizations,” she explains. “I don't have a lot of time or extra cash, but I want to contribute in our community if I can. This concept worked for both! I researched other chapters, and my husband Justin and I decided to give it a try.” 

With seven members on its steering committee, the new chapter held its first meeting in March. “We were able to donate $1,400 to a new endeavor, Pekin Community Center,” she notes. Due to the risk of COVID-19, however, the chapter voted not to hold a June meeting. "Instead, we are inviting members and others in the community to donate $50 to a Tazewell County charity of their choice."

Michels hopes to return to physical meetings later this year. “And we are hoping for more folks to join us,” she adds. “We are looking forward to making even bigger impacts as time goes on.” To learn more about 100+ People Who Care - Tazewell County, find them on Facebook @TazewellCares or email tazewellcares@gmail.comPM

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