Soroptimist: Our Next Big Goal…It’s Big Alright

By Governor-Elect Gail Dekreon

Untitled.pngI love the story of how Soroptimist was born in 1921 when 80 far-seeing women decided to charter the first women’s service club in the United States….and it all started in Oakland, California!

Do you know what Soroptimist’s first service project was? “Save the Redwoods!”, the great ancient trees which were being felled. They lobbied the legislature, took on powerful lumber companies, and won the support of the public. The result: a major portion of the forest was set aside as protected land andstill exists today.

In just five years, it will be 2021 and Soroptimist will celebrate its 100th birthday. Our focus has changed a lot in 95 years…from “trees” to “women and girls”. We need to make plans to ensure our work for women and girls continues for another 100 years.

That is what the “Big Goal Survey” or “Big Goal Exercise” is all about. Last Fall only 600 out of 1300 clubs sent in the Big Goal Survey. The most voted for goal was identified as “access to education”… we voted to improve the lives of one million women and girls in the next decade by helping them get access to education.

This Fall the survey is all about how we do that….one million is a lot of women and girls. Our 1300 clubs only helped 1,355 women with Live Your Dream grants in the 2014-15 club year. How can we help 998,645 more women and girls over the next 10 years??? Now THAT would be quite an impact! BUT consider this: your club does not have to do it alone; there are 1,299 other clubs in the world of Soroptimist Int. of the Americas to help reach this goal.

If all of the 1300 clubs in Soroptimist Int of the Americas increased their Live Your Dream Awards and their Dream It, Be Programs by 769 women and girls over the next 10 years….we could reach one million….collectively!….what an impact on the world!

I know, I know…all of our clubs are already doing so much for and in our communities. But if we shaved off some money from other non-Soroptimist programs to create several more Live Your Dream awards or Dream It, Be It mentoring workshops and conferences, we can get there with the same amount of work we are doing right now today.

Think of it this way, do the same amount of fundraising and give away the same amount of money, just re-distribute some of it so we give more to our Dream programs and a little less to other organizations. Hmmmmm…

Happy Founders Day!

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