Who we are
Soroptimist is an international organization for women who work to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls. The name, Soroptimist, means "best for women," and that's what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.
What we do
Soroptimist's mission is to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. In order to accomplish this goal, the organization administers several international programs. The organization's major project is the Soroptimist Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women (formally the Women’s Opportunity Award) which assists women by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and job prospects. As a volunteer organization of business and professional women we feel uniquely qualified to help women and girls live their dreams. It's true that both men and women live in poverty, face discrimination and must overcome obstacles.
Marin Soroptimist Awards
LIVE YOUR DREAM: EDUCATION & TRAINING AWARDS FOR WOMEN
The Live Your Dream: Education & Training Awards for Women (formally the Women's Opportunity Award) assists women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.
Each year, more than $1.5 million in education grants are awarded to more than 1,000 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence and/or drug and alcohol abuse. The Live Your Dream: Education & Training Award recipients may use the cash award to offset any costs associated with their efforts to attain higher education, such as books, childcare, tuition and transportation.
Soroptimist Ruby Award
The Soroptimist Ruby Award honors women who have worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and/or volunteer work.
Each year SIMC honors a woman with our Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women. This award, previously called the Women of Distinction Award, honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making a difference in the lives of other women or girls. Their work has had a significant impact, and also inspires and encourages other women.
Hazel Barbano Music Award
The Hazel Barbano Music Award is named after Soroptimist International of Marin County's long-time member who, for over 50 years has upheld the ideals of Soroptimism and has been a role model to all in this region of Soroptimist International of the Americas. This award program is designed to benefit talented girls and young women who seek an instrumental musical education.
Our fundraising programs
Our fundraising programs benefit everyone in the community, but especially women and children. Basically, we raise money and then give it away, as well as donating time and energy to the community.
Our Club has provided many outstanding services:
- Our Most Recent Project: Jeannette Prandi Children's Center (Marin's child-friendly forensic interview center for abused kids), the SOS Program of the First Responders Support Network, MissRepresentation.org, Project Grace and other Soroptimist causes. Click here to learn more.
- First Responders Support Network’s program for life partners of first responders. (FRSN) mission is to provide treatment programs that promote recovery from stress and critical incidents for first responders and their families. Click here to learn more.
- Raised $20,000 through our event "Lunch With Belva Davis" and other fund raisers. These funds benefited Homeward Bound, WCPR and other Soroptimist projects.
- Raised over $200,000 in funds for the Jeannette Prandi Children's Center. The Center is used to interview sexually abused children and to eliminate the trauma of multiple interviews.
- Donated $30,000 to the Pickleweed Park Community Center to establish the Homework Center.
- Donated to Marilyn's Fund and the Penny Jay Fund for breast cancer victims.
- Donated to the Sarah Varon Foundation for Rett Research.
- Donated to the West Coast Post-trauma Retreat Center.
- Donated to the Marin Fire and Life Safety Program.
- Furnished the meeting/recreation room and other donations to the Marin County Abused Women’s Services.
- Volunteer time and donations to the Marin Literacy program.
- Donation of a mobile hearing testing unit and bus to the schools.
- Assisted in the furnishing and redecoration of Whistlestop, a center for Marin County seniors, plus funds for its kitchen.
- Scholarships to teenagers who volunteer in the community and to re-entry women who are the sole support of their dependents.
Some of the international projects which we have been or are involved in are providing safe water for villages in Senegal, setting up a network of clinics for children in Bangladesh, providing vocational training for women in India, Western Samoa and Brazil, and helping victims maimed by landmines by supplying artificial limbs and training people to remove landmines in Laos and in Angola.