A stranger in need is a friend indeed, according to 100 Good Women, a Lawrence grassroots organization.
The group formed in 1994 with 100 women and a few men to serve as a collective helping hand to social service agencies and community members. Since then, the organization has more than tripled.
It provides all kinds of assistance through an active phone tree to help someone find an extra pair of baby shoes, collect money for a gasoline card to help a mother see her premature baby at Children's Mercy Hospital, learn about volunteer opportunities or collaborate on project ideas.
For the first time, 100 Good Women will have a potluck dinner Sunday to extend the group's networking. The event is free and open to everyone. Children's activities such as music and painting will also be provided.
"We really want to help create a strong community," said Victoria Cagan, 55, board member of the organization.
Knowing what resources are available or meeting others with similar interests helps accomplish that, she said. It's also about spending high-quality time together and sharing a meal.
"It's really a good old-fashioned get-together to spend time with other women," Cagan said. "It seems like we're so driven these days. When we get together, we have to have a purpose, have to have an outcome. This is just good for the soul."
The event is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Steve's Place, 1388 N. 1293 Road, southwest of 31st and Louisiana streets. It will feature more than 20 informational tables from nonprofit organizations, women's clubs or individuals with specific interests.
"I think that this is such a community full of wonderful resources. We just don't know about them," said Emili Stoll, 34.
Stoll, a part-time teacher at Sunset Hill School and a mother of two young sons, was recruited by her mother, Cagan, to join the board and create a stronger link between the older generation of 100 Good Women and younger women.
"I think women who are in my generation, working full time, don't have time to go and volunteer," she said.
That's why she appreciates the phone tree and e-mail listserve, because it's simpler to identify and satisfy a need, she said.
"I can sit down and pull my e-mail up and see someone needs a ride to the hospital," she said. "It's not just about managing your own life, but helping where you can in your community."
To reserve a table, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.