Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community-based and international projects that benefit women and girls.
The name, Soroptimist, means “best for women,” and that's what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.
The Walla Walla Valley Soroptimist Club
We are a small group of women who enjoy working together on local projects to help women and girls. In fact we call them FUNdraisers with capital F-U-N. We raise funds for, and awareness of, women's issues. Our Bunco event is held twice a year and brings in about $2,500 annually. Funds have recently gone to Mammograms for uninsured women, Girls Council Cottage Project, and Soroptimist Awards for women.
The main beneficiaries of our club's work at this point are the Helpline STEP Women's Shelter, Walla Walla YWCA, and Girls Council Cottage Project. Each member gives what time and talents they can to the club. There are no minimum requirements.
We bring in local speakers to educate us on our own community needs and sometimes on global issues. Guests are always welcome at these "mini-seminars" on the third Tuesday of the month (September through May). Some recent topics: Self Defense, Domestic Violence, Women's heart health, YWCA, Doctors in Haiti, Girls Council, Massage for Women's health, Women in China, and Human Trafficking, Recycling, and Mental Health. Let us know if you have a topic or speaker for one of our program meetings.
Twice a year we gather women's interview quality clothing. We get together over snacks and good company to put together these clothes for presentation to our YWCA and Helpline STEP Women's Shelter. Each spring we paint bowls to donate to Helpline's "Soupport" fundraiser in April and we thoroughly enjoy ourselves while creating our masterpieces.
We are pleased to be able to provide an $8,000 grant for Helpline's STEP Women's Shelter from the International Soroptimist grant program in 2010. The work from this grant is helping homeless women get their career and life back on track. Our members will help with things like career mentoring, resume preparation and interview coaching.
In January of 2010 we co-sponsored a Human Trafficking awareness and fundraising weekend which continues to raise funds. At last count the total was over $12,000.
Why do we do it? That is best answered from some of our award winners:
" Give people the ability to make choices for themselves, whether that be in sports, or work, relationships or health care options. All people too, have responsibility for their actions." Holly Howard
"The most important thing we can do for women and girls in our community is to create opportunities so they understand they can make anything they dream come into reality." Carol Peterson