December 2012 Newsletter

DATES TO REMEMBER:  December  Club Meetings – 12/4 See’s Candy Storefront  & 12/18  Lisa Bistro, Bullhead City, 12/1 See’s Candy Store front opens in Kmart Center Sq. next to Subway,   Merry Christmas 12/25 .

Membership –Remember that Soroptimist’s future depends on its recruitment of new members – inviting others to the party – to sustain clubs as well as lead them into the future.

SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL NEWSSoroptimist International

As reported in the November 2012 Soroptimist Summary several changes were made to the SI Constitution, during the August 2012 SI board meeting. These changes now place membership criteria in the domain of each federation.

A plan to develop our own club membership requirements was brought to the November 9-11, 2012, SIA Board meeting. The plan calls for member input in Spring 2013, club delegate approval at the July 2014 SIA Convention in Vancouver, and club approval in December 2014.

The plan also included a motion to combine all member types, except for life members, to be included in the 15-member requirement for a club to be in good standing. The SIA Board of Directors has approved this change and it will be in effect until new criteria are in place. All other membership requirements for SIA will remain as is until mid-2015.

Number 63 Bed & Breakfast

Welcome To Number 63 A Bed & Breakfast Hotel in London owned by Soroptimist, a wonderful place to stay if you are visiting England. Stay here and meet many Soroptimist from around the world.

Number 63, which is open to everyone, is situated on Bayswater Road in London and offers three star AA rated guest accommodation. The house, which was built in the 1870s, is a listed building overlooking Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. It is virtually in the heart of London and is an ideal venue to stay whether you are visiting London for business or pleasure.

All rooms are en-suite and the cost of your stay includes breakfast. There is a licensed bar which is open until 10.30 p.m. every night and we serve a varied menu until 9.00 p.m. Free wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) is available throughout the hotel.

This very popular Hotel is 2 minutes from Lancaster Gate underground station and also the nearest bus stops. You can walk along  Bayswater  Road to Marble Arch and Oxford Street or stroll across Kensington Gardens to the Albert Hall, Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum or Science Museum.  63 Bayswater Road, London W2 3PH   Tel: +44 (0)20 7723 857

SIA Disaster Fund

Super Storm Sandy

As you know, Superstorm Sandy battered the east coast of the United States. It brought great rains that have flooded many areas, causing millions

of people to be without power. The destruction to New York and New Jersey is extensive. Philadelphia was more fortunate. Thankfully, your staff and our headquarters building are safe and sound. We are regrouping and will be working hard to catch up on lost work due to the necessity of closing the office for two days.

We know many of our Soroptimist members and communities have been affected. Please send donations to SIA headquarters in Philadelphia earmarked SIA Disaster Fund. Thank you for your concern and support during this difficult time.1709 Spruce Street | Philadelphia, PA 19103 | 215‐893‐9000

Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards: Beyond a Cash Award to Build Collective Impact

Since 1972, the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award has been changing women’s lives. In many ways ahead of its time, this award program was designed to better women’s socio‐economic status locally and globally by increasing access to education. And it has done just that. Each year, the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award helps more than 1,000 women in SIA’s 19 countries and territories to live their dreams by increasing the standard of living for women and their families, heightening women’s self‐esteem and giving women the confidence to be positive role models for their children.

Soroptimist International of the Americas recognizes the power and potential of the Women’s Opportunity Award and continues to seek ways in which to strengthen its impact on women’s lives. In fact, SIA’s new strategic direction, referred to as “Shaping the Future,” sums up this concept as part of its single, overarching organizational goal: increasing collective impact. This goal seeks to increase SIA’s social change by strengthening the cohesion of its collective efforts and focusing on the quality of change in a woman’s life.

As a measure of success for this goal, SIA seeks to have 85 percent of Women’s Opportunity Award region award recipients report an increased standard of living within three years of receiving the award. This is an ambitious challenge, and one that SIA has not yet met. However, based on an outstanding history of creativity and commitment to this program by SIA clubs, we are confident that if more clubs begin implementing some of the below strategies, we can meet this challenge!

Increasing the Impact of the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award in the Lives of Award Recipients
A 2012 survey of the 2008‐2009 Women’s Opportunity Awards region award recipients asked which resources or assistance, in addition to a cash award, would have been most helpful for these women as they completed their education. Their responses spanned a wide range of support options:

  • 75%: An opportunity for additional funding to support further education or training
  • 38%: An opportunity for funding to start a business
  • 33%: An online, private support group of women who have received a Women’s Opportunity Award
  • 29%: Mentoring by a local Soroptimist member
  • 29%: Tax or financial advice
  • 20%: Online mentoring

The below strategies were devised both in response to this feedback from former award recipients and also based on existing ideas from clubs already working in their communities to creatively increase the impact of the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award:

1. Mentoring: Seek to create a long‐lasting relationship with your award recipient in which you provide ongoing mentorship and support to help her reach her educational and professional goals.

  • Contact your award recipient throughout the year and ask how she is doing.
  • What frustrations is she experiencing?
  • Do you share similar obstacles?
  • How have you worked to overcome those obstacles in your own life?
  • Are there things you can do to support her while she seeks to overcome similar obstacles?
  • Offer to take your award recipient out to lunch every couple of months to check in and develop a deeper relationship.
  • Provide recipients with online mentorship through regular emails or chats.

2. Job Support: Many recipients note that one of the biggest changes in their lives stemmed from knowing that a strong community of successful business and professional women believed in them. As Soroptimists, you are respected female leaders and professionals in your local community.

  • Assist recipients with completing job or school applications, provide letters of recommendation or serve as a reference for a job application.
  • Ask your recipient if she would like you to review her resume or offer to conduct a mock interview. Provide advice about interview etiquette and attire or how to best structure a response to questions.
  • Offer to take her shopping and buy her an interview outfit.
  • Provide strategies to enhance networking capabilities and tips to facilitate a successful job search.
  • Do you have networking strategies that have worked well in your professional life?
  • Are there contacts that you have that might be helpful to the recipient?

3. Financial Support: Encourage club members to think about ways to provide ongoing financial assistance throughout the year to supplement your club’s generous cash award with other types of assistance to help meet the multi‐faceted needs of female heads of household.

  • Donate student or family support items, such as laptops, professional clothing, children’s clothing or household goods.
  • Provide gift certificates for day‐to‐day needs, such as gas, automotive care, public transportation, haircuts, self‐care items, prescriptions or groceries.
  • Clubs can also donate services that are of financial value, such as volunteering to prepare your recipient’s income taxes.
  • Purchase and wrap holiday gifts for recipients and their families.
  • Provide support to recipients’ family members seeking opportunities to augment the household income.

4. Working with Children: The majority of award recipients have noted that the positive impact of the award extended beyond the recipients themselves to their children as well. There are many ways that clubs can engage in enriching opportunities with or provide support to award recipients’ children.

  • Create programming, such as a “Mommy and Me” fun day for recipients and their children.
  • Sponsor a summer camp opportunity.
  • Help defray back‐to‐school costs by providing backpacks filled with school or art supplies.
  • Donate musical instruments to allow an award recipient’s children to participate in a school band or orchestra.
  • Arrange carpools to increase access to after‐school programming and activities for recipients’ children.
  • Assist with childcare as needed.
  • Offer to take your award recipient’s children out to dinner or a movie so that she can have an evening of free, uninterrupted study time.
  • Host birthday parties for her children or help purchase birthday gifts for them.

5. Program Support: Consider asking former recipients to engage with members in supporting the Women’s Opportunity Awards program; ask them to lend their talents and creativity to ensure the success of this program.

  • Find other applicants: Recipients can informally spread the word about opportunities available through the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award with classmates or friends that might be eligible to apply. Encourage recipients to get creative and generate ideas about new groups or agencies at which to provide application information.
  • Serve as judges: Asking a former award recipient to serve as a Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award judge further demonstrates your club’s respect and admiration for award recipients and deepens your working relationship with each other.
  • Marketing materials: Former award recipients can speak to what appealed to or inspired them to apply for the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award. They may have some additional insight on how to best promote it to others.
  • Newspaper articles: Interviewing recipients about how their life has been changed through the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award is another meaningful way in which recipients could contribute to supporting the program while simultaneously being celebrated as a role model within their local community.

6. Connect Past Club Recipients as a Support Group: Clubs can help create networks of peer support for recipients by providing the contact information and resources necessary to form support groups of current and former award recipients from both their own club and other nearby clubs.

  • Offer to secure a space, such as a room at a community center, for recipients to come together and meet or help facilitate an online support network.
  • Invite former award recipients to attend club banquets or award ceremonies together to build community.

7. Connect with Other Community Resources, Including Opportunities for Additional Funding, Financial Advice, etc.: Clubs can serve as a bridge from the recipient to a wealth of other community resources.

  • Connect recipients to community center programs or other free instruction that might bolster practical skills, such as computer skills.
  • Keep a record of community resources so that clubs can connect recipients to appropriate services, such as free counseling for survivors of domestic abuse, free financial planning services or community agencies that provide assistance with utilities or heating costs.
  • Direct to resources or provide assistance to help a recipient launch her own small business.
  • Invite recipients to sign up as a LiveYourDream.org supporter.
  • Investigate opportunities for other grant awards or scholarships to complement the financial assistance provided by the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards.
  • Do other programs provide assistance with paying back student loans?
  • Are there opportunities to reduce insurance or other costs based on degree completion?

8. Include in Club Activities or Membership: Because of the life‐changing nature of this award and how proud many recipients are to receive it, recipients often express an interest in remaining in contact with the club.

  • Invite your recipient to join your club in participating in a rewarding service project.
  • Gift a former recipient her first year’s membership with Soroptimist as a graduation gift.
  • If a former recipient is now in the financial position to do so, invite her to join your club.

Conclusion

Through the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards, SIA reaches tens of thousands of women across its 19 countries and territories. But there is still more that can be done to further increase the quality of change in the lives of award recipients and improve the standard of living for these women and their families. Beyond a onetime cash award, Soroptimists can provide ongoing support and encouragement to women in ways that deepen this impact and go even further to fulfill our mission.

For more information or ideas on how to provide an award recipient with support in addition to a cash award, or to share your club’s ideas with SIAHQ, please contact program@soroptimist.org.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JANUARY MEMBERS

1/3 Betty McCain

COMMITTEES

  • WAYS & MEANS – Chair Sandy McGuire, Nancy Ryan, Jennifer Kienzle, Sandy Port, Diane Blythe & Carol Voydanoff
  • LAWS RESOLUTIONS & RULES – Parliamentarian Diane Blythe, Bev Keith & Gary Pitts
  • MEMBERSHIP – Chair Gary Pitts & Sandy McGuire
  • SOCIAL MEDIA – Web Site & Facebook Nancy Ryan, Newsletter Gary Pitts, Public Relations Arlene Miller, Nicole Rodarte, & Tamara Powers
  • BUDGET & FINANCE – Chair Nancy Ryan, Joy Souder & Lori Kavanagh  Annual Audit-Andrea Carpenter & Joy Souder
  • SERVICE – WOA Sherri Evans, VRA Laila Lewis,  RUBY Nancy  Hardt  & Andrea Carpenter
  • S-TEEN COMMITTEE – Chair Laila Lewis, Arlene Miller, Carol Voydanoff & Nicole Rodarte
  • SOCIAL COMMITTEE – Chair Sheri Evans, Co-Chair Laila Lewis, Sandy Port & Carol Voydanoff
  • OFFICER INSTALLATION – Chair Julie Hassett, Gary Pitts and ALL PAST PRESIDENTS
  • AWARDS BANQUET – Chair Julie Hassett, Co-Chair Nancy Hardt, Jennifer Kienzle & Joy Souder

SUB COMMITTEES

  • WOMENS COUNCIL LEADERSHIP – Julie Hassett & Gary Pitts 
  • BULLHEAD CITY HOLIDAY PARADE – Sandy Port & Nancy Hardt 
  • SALES TABLE/GWR RAFFLE ITEM/ETC. Sherri Evans, Sandy Port & Nancy Ryan 
  • SEES CANDY – Diane Blythe 
  • WOMENS SELF DEFENCE Maria Richardson 
  • WINE vs BEER TASTING – Sandy McGuire 
  • SHOP SIP SOCIAL – Social & Membership Committees
  • NEW MEMBER GIFT BAGS Joy Souder

Each chair is required to do their own program focus report after each event-submit to President Sandy.

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