The Andrew Joseph Foundation receiving its check from 100 Women Who Care.

By Anjali Caligiuri

“Our group is for compassionate women who want to make a significant impact on our local community by committing to one hour four times a year and a total of $400 per year,” said Debbie Matice, founder of the Riverview/FishHawk 100 Women Who Care.

Each quarter, 100 women meet to donate $100 each to a charity of their choice. This June, the Riverview/FishHawk chapter of 100 Women Who Care has chosen the Andrew Joseph Foundation (AJF) to bestow its generous donation upon to further the foundation’s work on making safety provisions to communities.

100 Women Who Care originated from Jackson, Michigan, started by the late Karen Dunigan. After learning the terrible misfortune of local mothers resorting to dresser drawers and boxes due to their inability to afford cribs, she decided to take action.

“Rather than seek a few large donors to meet the $10,000 goal for the project, Karen thought that she easily knew 100 women who would be willing to donate $100. At their first meeting, the women raised over $12,000 for the project and 100 Women Who Care was born,” said Matice.

Matice noticed the need for a 100 Women Who Care in her community and began the journey to make a big difference by only requiring a small donation of time and money from each member.

The most recent charity chosen was the Andrew Joseph Foundation founded by Deanna and Andrew Joseph after the tragic death of their son, Andrew Joseph III. After spending the day at the Florida State Fair on February 7, 2014, 14-year-old Joseph was left on the highway by law enforcement officials but was struck by a motorist as he attempted to cross I-4 by himself.

However, the Josephs have taken this devastating tragedy and transformed it into a societal turning point.

“AJF serves as advocates of safe communities for children, youth and young adults.The organization will serve as a catalyst for system change and dialogue on priority safety first parameters,” according to the foundation’s website.

Resonating with many mothers who shared the pain of receiving the dreaded phone call of losing their child, the charity grew and captured the attention of local, caring women in 100 Women Who Care.

AJF intends to use the funds for its ‘Back to Learning’ event on Saturday, August 8 at Brandon Ravens Field, a place filled with the memories of young Andrew Joseph III practicing football.

“We will be giving back to the community of young children and families in memory of Andrew Joseph III. We have 100 families signed up to receive back to learning supplies, and the list is growing,” said the Josephs.

To learn more about 100 Women Who Care and the Andrew Joseph Foundation, visit facebook.com/100WWCRiverviewFishHawk or http://andrewjosephfoundation.com/.