• 100 Women Who Care – Stouffville is a local charitable organization with over 70 members.
  • The group convenes quarterly to democratically select a cause or non-profit deserving of financial support. Members then pool funds to provide a large, lump-sum donation.
  • In January, 100 Women Who Care decided to support Stouffville’s Steer Friends, raising nearly $6,000 in contributions with more expected.
  • Steer Friends assists adults with physical and developmental disabilities by offering full-day programming at their facility on Innovator Avenue.
  • Bullet Point News interviewed Heather Rogers of 100 Women Who Care – Stouffville and Steer Friends’ Executive Director Jacqueline Hall-Fusco to discuss the important work of both organizations.


Since 2014, Stouffville’s 100 Women Who Care branch has held 36 meetings and raised over $250,000 for local causes. As part of their selection process, the top three candidate organizations present to members, explaining their work and funding needs. Hall-Fusco used this opportunity to detail Steer Friends’ efforts and the benefits they provide to members’ parents and families.

Hall-Fusco is a Stouffville native who helped launch Steer Friends in 2018, and she has twenty years of personal experience supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. “When my sister graduated high school, we found out very quickly that there were few opportunities for her to be engaged and stimulated in the community due to her complex care needs,” she recalled. “There are not many day programs that cater to the group that we do, so my family started the Steer Friends program.”

The organization now has 15 full-time members and a 20-person waitlist. “Our mission is to offer high-quality personal support and engaging activities,” Hall-Fusco explained, ranging from medical care to painting, music therapy, cooking, and baking. “We try to adapt everyday activities into experiences everyone in the building can do and enjoy,” she added. “We really focus on the abilities of our members and not the disabilities.”

Steer Friends clients are adults aged 23 to 40 whose parents have dedicated much of their adult lives to full-time care. “We’re giving those we support a safe and inclusive space, one that is fun and welcoming, but we’re also providing a form of needed respite for their families,” Hall-Fusco detailed.

This resonated with Rogers and 100 Women Who Care. “Many of the women who are part of our organization are parents, and they know how challenging it can be with neurotypical kids,” Rogers noted. “Some of those parents are now in their 70s or 80s and they’re still full-time parenting, so we were very happy to also help support them and provide that relief.”

While the Steer Friends team deliberates on how to use the donation, they are also gearing up for their annual Steering for Steer Friends car show, scheduled for June 22nd at the Markham Fairgrounds. According to Hall-Fusco, it’s their biggest fundraising event of the year: “It’s run by the charity for the charity, and it keeps our doors open.”

Aside from occasional grants, Steer Friends does not receive public funding, making community events and support from individuals like 100 Women Who Care members vital to their work. They are also grateful for community volunteers and seek additional assistance for the car show. Those interested can learn more about volunteering via the Steer Friends website or make a donation.

Rogers and her fellow 100 Women Who Care members are also looking into ways they can promote and facilitate volunteerism here in Stouffville. “We are all generally passionate about giving back, and we’re always looking to add more members and diversify our efforts,” Rogers stated. “Our 10th anniversary is coming up in April of this year, and we’re making a big push to do some new and exciting things.”

The next 100 Women Who Care meeting is scheduled for April 24. Anyone who wishes to get involved can find more information on the group’s website or by contacting them via email.