By Kathy Mooney
As we begin 2022, we want to highlight and inform you that Soroptimist International is celebrating 100 years of service worldwide and Soroptimist International of Ashland just celebrated 75 years as a local club.
Soroptimist International consists of five Federations: Soroptimist International Africa Federation, Soroptimist International of the Americas, Soroptimist International of Europe, Soroptimist International of Great Britain & Ireland, and Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific.
A global volunteer service organization, we work together to transform the lives of women and girls. Our network of around 72,000 club members in 121 countries works at a local, national and international level to “Educate, Empower and Enable” opportunities for women and girls.
In 1984, Soroptimist International was granted Category 1 Consultive Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) within the United Nations, the highest status that a non-governmental organization (NGO) can receive.
Soroptimist International with its 22 volunteer United Nations reps focus their work on the sustainable development goals of education, gender equality and clean water and sanitation. These reps help bring these focuses to the Soroptimist clubs around the world.
Soroptimist International of Ashland, which was chartered in 1946 and is now 75 years strong, has always focused on service to this community and to provide scholarships and awards to women and girls in our area. Our signature award is part of the Soroptimist International of the Americas Federation Dream Program. The Live Your Dream Award is awarded to a female single head-of-household who has overcome hardships in life and is now furthering her education. Many of the women applying for this award have overcome obstacles such as poverty, domestic violence, sex trafficking and addiction.
The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and the Almeda Fire have increased the challenges many women head of households have to face. The Live Your Dream Program is also now celebrating 50 years of helping women attain their dreams and help their families and we plan to continue this legacy with several Live Your Dream Awards this spring of 2022.
Soroptimist International of Ashland also offers scholarships for both vocational and academic pursuits at Ashland High School, Phoenix High School and Southern Oregon University.
Soroptimist International of Ashland raises money annually for their scholarships and awards through community donations and from the Pillow and Blanket rental booth at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s outdoor theater. The temporary closure of the outdoor theater for the last two years has severely impacted our ability to fund our educational programs.
As we prepare to award our scholarships this spring, we are inviting our community to participate by making a contribution to Soroptimist International of Ashland. Join with us so we can all celebrate the future success of local women and girls.
You may make a secure tax-deductible donation through our website, siashland.org/ or by mailing a donation to P.O. Box 544, Ashland OR 97520.
Thank you in advance for helping Soroptimist International of Ashland make a considerable difference in the lives of women and girls in our community.
Kathy Mooney is president of Soroptimist International of Ashland. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.