Knowing their collective philanthropy four times a year makes such a positive impact, the Women Who Care of Oceana County (WWC) met June 2 via a Zoom conference call because local restaurants continued to be closed.

The women learned about three excellent causes serving the community. One compelling point made was that the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books — and being read to at home — prior to enrolling in school.

So the women decided that each of its 150 members will make a $100 contribution to boost the portion of the United Way of the Lakeshore’s support of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library that serves Oceana County children.

This is a national program that is being facilitated in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties by United Way of the Lakeshore. Generous donors provide the needed funds. A free book is mailed each month to families with young children through age five. The child is read to daily by a parent or caregiver. This action creates positive attitudes about reading among the caregivers and children. The child is more literate when they enter formal schooling, providing a solid foundation for further learning.

The WWC members’ collective generosity will net the Dolly Parton Imagination Library serving Oceana some $15,000. Since it costs $2 for each book and postage, the collective gifts by WWC members will buy 7,500 books for young Oceana children. More information about this program is found at

On the first Tuesday of March, June, September and December, Women Who Care meets for an hour somewhere in Oceana to learn about three worthy nonprofit causes serving county residents. They choose one that everyone agrees to support with $100 personal checks. Socializing follows for those who have the time to stay. Membership is open to any woman who wants to be involved in this unique, joint effort to support Oceana causes.

The next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 8 (second Tuesday, this time only), either via Zoom or at a location to be determined. For more information, contact Amy LaBarge at 313-268-2086, or check on-line at