PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The local branch of an international organization that works to improve the lives of women and girls recently raised $42,000 for local programs.
The Soroptimist Club boasts 160,000 members in 21 countries and the local Portland club has been around for 93 years.
Soroptomist means “best for women” and in that spirit, the organization consists of “women at their best, working to help women to be their best.”
Soroptimist International of Portland hosts an annual auction to raise money for a variety of programs.
“I want to give back to the community and help women and girls that have had many struggles in their life and desperately want to get back on their feet and make their lives better,” Soroptimist committee chair Jane Lathrop said.
The Live Your Dreams award, which will be awarded on March 14, 2019 at the Benson Hotel, gives 2-3 women and heads of households each year up to $8,000 to help continue their education.
The Root program provides money and mentorship to women starting college and the Save program donates household goods and clothing to shelters.
Dream It, Be It is a 7-module program for to help high school students find jobs based on their skills.
“For those students and women who we try to assist, maybe they don’t know where else to go and so we had the opportunity to touch their lives,” Lathrop said. “And then they get the opportunity to raise their children with a whole different value system, so it’s like a generation change.”
Soroptomist of Portland’s next auction is November 2, 2019 at the Benson Hotel.