Women with a cause – For eight passionate individuals, there’s no time like the present for making a meaningful impact in the community

The women you are about to meet have accomplished a kind of magic: They have found the secret to stretching time and fitting more into every day.

They find the hours to go beyond the basics—emails and laundry and soccer practice—and give selflessly to charitable causes without expectation of compensation. For this, inRegister honors these eight unassuming philanthropists as this year’s “Women with a Cause.”

Many of these women say having loved ones who encourage their efforts makes all the difference. “I am blessed to have a supportive family,” says Kristy Andries, who works to vanquish type 1 diabetes with the ferocity of a warrior. “It takes a lot of planning, multitasking and, most of all, prayer to keep me on track.”

Andries advises that those interested in getting involved with a charitable project choose one as carefully as they would a business investment. “If you make a decision to become involved, decide on a charity that you believe in,” she says. “Research the organization to determine its efficiency and that it has a clear and concise mission.”

Amanda Vincent, who cares for four-legged friends through the Companion Animal Alliance, urges women to shed the guilt associated with taking a few hours away from family to volunteer. “Your children may not always obey you, but they will always watch you,” she says. “They will learn to become good citizens from your example.”

Lifelong volunteers reveal that once you find a cause that you’re passionate about, any contribution of time is worthwhile and welcome.

“Just say yes,” says Kathleen Howell, who cheers elderly Baton Rougeans with song as a River Road Rambler. “These nonprofits not only need money, they need volunteers—even if you only have an hour or two to give.”

The truth? There is no magic trick involved. These women simply do what they must to make room in their schedules for the things that matter most. “I really don’t know how I find the time,” admits Kim Bowman, co-founder of the Bella Bowman Foundation. “I really wish we had longer days. I could do so much more!”