What was your earliest experience in philanthropy?

Philanthropy was always a priority in my family. As business owners, it is especially important to give back to the community that supports us.

I was recently at a Women’s Giving Circle at the Children’s Health Foundation where we were exploring what motivates women’s giving choices. A question posed to the group was “What was your earliest experience with philanthropy?” Answers given included elementary school read-a-thons, charity running races, and Girl Guide cookie sales.

During the break, a woman named Miriam Byrne at my table was telling me about her experience creating a local chapter of 100 Women Who Care. In short, the women meet four times a year to give $100 to a charity that has been nominated by members and voted on. If you want to learn more about that great initiative of which I am now a member, check out www.100womenvictoria.com.

The conversation led to me telling Miriam about my 10-year-old daughter having recently given half of her earnings at her “Lily’s Lemonade” stand to her school. Talking about the importance of exposing kids to philanthropy and how inspiring it is when kids take initiative, we both seemed to simultaneously think out loud, “I wonder if there could be a 100 Kids Who Care group?”

Later that day, I threw the idea out at Lily about creating a 100 Kids Who Care group. As she wrapped her head around the idea I could see her eyes light up and her excitement building. But the more she thought about it, the more strongly she felt that if it was modeled after 100 Women, it should be 100 Girls.

It is gratifying to see that my daughter is continuing the family tradition of philanthropy and entrepreneurship!

So, if you have a daughter between the ages of 8 and 13 who would like to become a member, check out www.facebook.com/100girlsvictoria. All it costs is between $1 and $10 three times a year and what does she get? An opportunity to give back and be a leader among her peers. Maybe even feel a little grown-up.