Soroptimist International is a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. The Soroptimist Dream Programs ensure women and girls have access to the education and training they need to reach their full potential and live their dreams. Soroptimists are committed to investing in programs that promote sustainable, measurable change for women and girls.
The Live Your Dream Award is Soroptimist International of the Americas’ major program. Each year, more than $1.6 million in cash grants are awarded to head-of-household women who serve as the primary wage earner. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in or accepted to a skills training or undergraduate degree program. Live Your Dream Award recipients may use this cash to offset any costs associated with obtaining a higher education or technical training. This includes books, childcare, tuition, transportation or any other education-related expense.
Dream It, Be It targets girls in secondary school who face obstacles to their future success. It provides girls with access to professional role models, career education and resources to live their dreams. Soroptimist clubs work in partnership with girls in small groups or a conference setting to provide them with information and resources they want and need to be successful. The topics covered include career opportunities, setting and achieving goals, overcoming obstacles to success, and how to move forward following setbacks or failures.
Soroptimists are raising awareness about the devastating and complex crime of sex trafficking and are working worldwide to end the enslavement of women and girls. Sex trafficking is caused by gender inequality that allows the demand for sex slaves to flourish. This includes the belief that there is no harm to purchasing the bodies of women and girls. Soroptimists 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.
Established in 1994, The Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence is an ongoing effort to raise awareness about a seldom addressed domestic violence issue: domestic violence as a workplace concern. It includes a comprehensive campaign providing information, materials and support specifically designed for employees who are the targets of domestic abuse, their co-workers and employers.
This project empowers girls and women with more dignity, health and safety through access to quality menstrual health management and education. Days for Girls kits have reached more than 101 countries on 6 continents and growing. Volunteers craft washable feminine hygiene kits that last 2-4 years with proper care.
This program assists women residing in the 98277 zip code who cannot afford a mammogram. Women are referred to the Diagnostic Imaging Department at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center by their primary care provider. Women meeting an established criteria receive a screening and/or diagnostic test. The billing is sent to Friends of WhidbeyHealth and paid through funds donated by Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor.
The Soroptimist clubs in Oak Harbor, Coupeville and South Whidbey fund free Heartwise cholesterol and blood sugar screenings to women living on Whidbey Island and unable to pay for these services. To request your free Heart of a Woman screening, please call (360) 678-7656. No doctor referral is required.
New and “gently used” stuffed animals are collected, cleaned and repaired if needed. Each animal receives a fresh ribbon and tag that says, “Hugs from Soroptimist International of Oak Harbor.” They are distributed to various organizations and given to children facing a stressful situation.