Soroptimist International of Raleigh (SI Raleigh) is thrilled to be celebrating our 35th anniversary this month! Since our founding in November 1987, we have collaborated with other women’s organizations, governmental agencies, educators, and international and regional coalitions to empower women and girls by supporting access to education and training.
SI Raleigh recognizes that economic success may be hindered by obstacles such as issues with health, safety, adequate housing, transportation, and financial insecurity. During the past 35 years SI Raleigh has offered a myriad of community service programs aimed at helping women address these and other obstacles. and raised awareness of human trafficking and ways to identify and prevent it. Starting in 2009, the club worked with other organizations in and around Wake County to raise awareness of Human Trafficking and establish Partners Against Trafficking of Humans (PATH) NC. Between 2002 and 2010, in conjunction with 18 local non-profits helping the unemployed prepare for and find employment, SI Raleigh established a professional clothing closet that served over 1000 clients and ultimately seeded the Raleigh branch of Dress for Success Triangle. SI Raleigh volunteers have conducted after school literacy programs, provided summer lunches for children and holiday meals to communities in need, worked on houses with Habitat for Humanity, aided in relief efforts for hurricane survivors, offered cash support for Rwandan refugees, taught heart-healthy cooking classes, and created programs to combat workplace and domestic violence. All efforts have been made possible through the club’s ongoing fundraising efforts and the support of the local community.
Since 1990, the club has distributed over $95,000 in grants and awards to local women. In March of 2023, five $2,000 cash awards will be given through Soroptimist’s Live Your Dream Education and Training Awards program to females supporting families while enrolled in post-secondary courses or training programs. A study conducted by The Fels Institute of Government, a research and consulting organization based at the University of Pennsylvania, confirmed the effectiveness and impact of the Live Your Dream Awards program. “It improves the recipients’ quality of life, builds confidence, and strengthens self-determination. Helping women in this way has the demonstrated effect of leading to stronger communities, nations, and the world.”
Linda Drummond, a charter member, has this to say about SI Raleigh: “I am proud to be a founding and still active member of Soroptimist International of Raleigh, and feel we have made a difference in our community over the last 35 years. I have loved helping to identify hard working motivated women heads-of-household who may be struggling to finish their schooling. With our grants and our ongoing mentoring we have helped make a difference in their lives and the lives of their children.”