SOROPTIMIST – The BEST for Women

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Mohandas Ghandi

So what is a “Soroptimist”? We get that a lot! Seems to me that we are one of the best kept secrets – and we really do need to change that! We are an international volunteer service organization of business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls in our local communities and throughout the world. We are nearly 100,000 strong, and have members representing more than 120 countries. We’ve been around since 1921 (and the first Canadian club was charted in Vancouver in 1926).

I joined Soroptimist International of Surrey/Delta as a charter member in 1995. I’ll never forget that first meeting. I actually attended to promote a women’s business directory that was being published in the Lower Mainland. I’d seen an ad in our local paper with the headline “Women Helping Women.” Some new women’s group looking for members to start a new club (I had no idea what a “Soroptimist” was). Sounded like a great opportunity to get some business, so I called and got an invitation to pitch my women’s directory at their next meeting. Well – talk about an AhHA moment!

I don’t remember at which stage of the meeting that I forgot my real purpose for being there. What I DO remember was the feeling I had that THIS was an organization that I wanted to be part of. As I listened to the history and purpose of Soroptimists, I was overwhelmed with the calibre of women involved and the amazing work they were doing on behalf of women everywhere.

Long story short – I got home that night and wrote a letter to the President (had to MAIL it – didn’t even have email back then). I told her how impressed I was, how interested I was, and what do I do next??? That was in October of 1994. In March, 1995, I was among the 18 other members who celebrated at our Charter Banquet as the newest club in the Western Canada Region. And I’ve never regretted it – becoming a Soroptimist has been the BEST gift I have ever given myself.

We are “the best for women.” As a Soroptimist, I experience “the best of women.” I have gained valuable leadership skills, networking opportunities, and treasured friendships. I have learned so much about our community needs, and how we can effectively address the many social issues and injustices that keep women and girls from “living their dream.” It has lead to incredible opportunities for me to get actively involved in making MY community a better place for women and girls to enjoy the freedom and opportunities so many of us take for granted (yes – women and girls locally are being exploited and treated unfairly).  I have also learned much about the global issues that affect women, and how Soroptimists around the world are leading the way for women and girls to overcome some horrific obstacles and injustices.

To learn more about who we are, what we do, and where to find us, visit www.wcsoroptimist.org – this is our Western Canada Region website. It will take you to other links that will, hopefully, intrigue you and inspire you.

Join me soon for more Soroptimist news – we have some exciting programs and events coming up…

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8 Responses to “SOROPTIMIST – The BEST for Women”

  1. Patricia Dye Says:

    That’s awesome Linda, I remember the same feeling when I attended my first meeting.

  2. Thank you, Patricia. Nice to hear from you. Hope to see you soon as we start a new Soroptimist year! Hope you are having a terrific summer…

  3. Dana Martin Says:

    Nicely said Linda. Hope to see you at leadership… it s been a while

    • Thank you, Dana. And a BIG CONGRATULATIONS on your election to Governor-Elect. Sorry I had to miss conference this year. I`ve sent you an email re: leadership retreat. Hope to see you soon!

  4. Joella Christenson Says:

    Linda
    What a great job, well done, interesting, informative & I do love the Soroptimist section. Best of Luck!
    Take care

  5. Marilyne Kelly Says:

    Linda,
    This is great! You have done a wonderful job. It has been a long time since we first started working together in Soroptimists but it has been a “super” experience. Hope to see you at Leadership. We have a few of us going. Come have some fun and learn some great information. We’ll have a glass of wine on Saturday night together to celebrate the last 15 years of friendship and associaton.

    • Thank you, Marilyne. Where on earth did 15 years go?? We were mere children!!!! Looking forward to that glass of wine (or perhaps that peachy drink from Chilliwack???)

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