Kristi Hassett admits she is one of the biggest thieves in Denton County. But that’s okay — it’s for a good cause.
As the story goes, Hassett was looking to bring a group of women together who want to give back to their community but struggle to find enough time in their day to be a part of something bigger than themselves. She wanted it to be super easy for them, and also for her. No two-hour meetings several times a week. No board members or committees. No fundraising or financial reporting. Just a group of ladies, their checkbooks, and a servant’s heart.
Luckily, she didn’t have to look far for an idea that actually works — and she was welcome to steal it.
“I stole the idea from a friend who lives in San Antonio,” said Hassett, a Lewisville ISD board member who started 100 Women Who Care last October. “There are many other organizations like this around the state and country. They aren’t even affiliated with each other — it’s just a bunch of people stealing each other’s awesome idea.”
She added, “I’m a big thief if it’s for a good cause. I think this one is.”
100 Women Who Care is a group of women who meet three or four times a year for an hour or less to provide monetary donations to local charities. Most of these women are right here in Denton County, but a few travel from as far away as Plano. A different charity is chosen at random each time — Hassett draws a name from a hat — and a member then gives a short presentation about each cause. Once the top vote-getter is chosen, each member writes a $100 check. Those checks are then presented to the organization.
The group started with roughly 70 members and has since ballooned to 125. In four meetings, they’ve raised $35,500.
Winning the Fight, a Flower Mound based non-profit that provides drug education, support, and resources to youth and families that suffer from addiction, received $10,400 at last October’s meeting. In February, the group donated $11,200 to Love Thy Neighbor, which supports individuals and families who need food and clothing. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and limited financial resources, the group raised $4,000 for the North Texas Food Bank in April and $9,900 for Argyle-based Ranch Hands Rescue in July.
The group’s existing list of charities includes organizations that deal with various issues, including abuse and violence, counseling, drug education, food and clothing, education, home repair, teen homelessness, and the terminally ill. A few on that list are Journey to Dream, Communities in Schools of North Texas, Denton County Friends of the Family, and Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County.
Other local charities — and local branches of national charities — can be nominated to be added to the list.
100 Women Who Care clearly makes a real impact, without time-consuming fundraising events and planning. It’s fast, simple, and amazingly effective. Their next meeting is slated for October 13.
“It’s a very easy group. And because every charity is different, and some are bigger than others, we work really hard to keep all the charities on a level playing field,” Hassett said. “We read off a very basic script; there’s no PowerPoint or special presentations. It’s nothing elaborate, but it is enough to give us an idea of what they do for the community and what their struggles are. It’s very little work, but the result is a very big impact.”
Hassett has always had a big heart for her community, and it’s easy to see why. She grew up in Highland Village, and both she and her husband, Mike, graduated from Marcus High School. They have three boys, two of whom have already been through the Lewisville ISD school system. Their youngest just started his senior year at Flower Mound High School.
Over the years, the Hassett family has made it a point to give back — whether through service or monetary donations. Kristi currently serves on the LISD school board and regularly serves on other charitable boards or through volunteer work. They’ve also worked hard to instill that servant’s heart in their children. She said it’s important for groups like 100 Women Who Care to exist because the needs of our community never end.
“Our family is deeply rooted in this community, and I love being here,” she said. “People look at our area and think it is affluent, but there have always been significant needs here. We have hundreds of non-profits, all of them with significant needs. That’s why I wanted to start 100 Women. It’s just a matter of stepping up to help each other.”