Soroptimist International clubs serve their local communities through the following Programs of Service: Domestic Violence, Economic and Social Development, Education, Environment, Health, Human Rights/Status of Women, and UN/International Goodwill and Understanding (UN/IGU). SI Anacortes (SIA) has a committee for each program which is responsible for awarding budgeted funds to worthy recipients. Each committee is also responsible for scheduling one program meeting a year to educate membership.
Domestic Violence endeavors to end domestic violence by addressing the issues of violence at home and in the workplace; raises awareness of the issues faced by women and children who experience domestic violence; provides information to women about services available; and provides educational materials to individuals, businesses, and the community.
Economic and Social Development strives to improve the quality of life for individuals and groups through the full utilization of physical and human resources with a particular emphasis on helping people help themselves and others.
Education works to enhance and further the education of children and adults locally and internationally.
Environment strives to promote and support a clean and healthy environment by educating the public on awareness of environmental issues and actively supporting or funding projects that advance these goals.
Health sponsors ways to educate, advocate and promote women’s physical and mental wellness for the whole life cycle.
Human Rights/Status of Women addresses a variety of local and international issues, including the current emphasis on the elimination of sex trafficking (see text below).
UN/IGU helps build global awareness within the Club by participating in local and international projects that support Soroptimist International’s goal of “developing programs and partnerships to eradicate the extreme poverty and hunger of women and girls; improving societal and workplace conditions to enable women to achieve their potential, and increasing women’s involvement in management and decision making.”
Other SIA service projects include “Dress You For Success” where, using the resources of our Thrift Shop and members, women and men seeking employment or new on the job can receive several outfits free of charge to improve their appearance. Along with the wardrobe, tips for successful interviews and job success are provided. The “Thrift Shop Voucher Program” honors vouchers from The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, The Pregnancy Crisis Center, St. Vincent de Paul of St. Mary’s Church, and Skagit Domestic Violence Center to help individuals and families in need due to hardship.
SIA and SI Fidalgo Island join hands to assist the Island Prenatal Clinic with a “Community Baby Shower.” Baby supplies and donations are gathered and layettes prepared and delivered to mothers in need. Health care information, mentoring services, and counseling are also be provided.
A current focus of Soroptimist International of the Americas is raising awareness about the devastating and complex crime of sex trafficking, which largely affects women and girls. Soroptimist around the world are working to end the enslavement of women and girls. Sex slavery is caused by gender inequality that allows the demand for sex slaves to flourish—the belief that there is no harm to purchasing the bodies of women and girls. In order to end slavery, Soroptimist use a multi-dimensional approach that includes raising awareness, assisting victims, preventing slavery from happening in the first place, and advocating for better laws and enforcement. Learn more about what Soroptimist is doing and how you can help end this heinous crime.
ANACORTES MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS ATTEND EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS CONFERENCE
On Saturday, March 25th, seventeen girls from Anacortes Middle School attended the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference at Bellevue College. EYH conferences are half-day seminars held separately for middle school and high school girls, featuring a choice of three hands-on workshops presented by women who have careers in areas based on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The girls were able to choose from over 30 different workshops where they learned such things as how to design a web page, fill a tooth, make slime, use forensic clues to determine “cause of death”, and a multitude of other fascinating skills. The idea of attending this conference came from Renae Newall, the middle school counselor. With funding provided by Soroptimist International of Fidalgo Island and Soroptimist International of Anacortes, Ms. Newall was able to offer this annual conference to the Anacortes Middle School girls for the first time. The funding provided by the two Soroptimist clubs paid for a charter bus to the conference, food and prizes on the bus, and lunch on the way home. With the first year being such a success, Ms. Newall is hoping to continue partnering with the local Soroptimist clubs and make this an annual event!