Who Are Soroptimist Members

Founded in Alameda County in 1921, Soroptimist International is a worldwide service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world through diverse service projects.  Over 80,000 Soroptimists in more than 100 countries and territories volunteer time and contribute financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls.  Soroptimist International holds Non-Governmental Organizational consultative status in the United Nations.

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.

Soroptimist members belong to local clubs, which determine the focus of volunteer work in their communities. 

Who are the Members of Soroptimist International of El Cerrito?

Soroptimist International of El Cerrito was chartered on June 17, 1958.  Our members take pride in our past and in ongoing contributions to many local organizations.  We are a group of energetic individuals who care about our community and our world.  Through our involvement in community service and projects that improve the lives of women and girls, we find opportunities for personal growth, friendships and camaraderie. 

In What Projects do we Participate?

 Our identifying project, and one in which we take much pride, is sewing products for menstrual kits, using the patterns developed by Days for Girls.  In many parts of the developing world, girls lose up to one week per month of school, falling behind the boys, because they have no feminine hygiene products to use during their periods.  Our club members have lots of fun getting together on five or six occasions during the year to cut, iron, sew and assemble these sustainable products for kits to be delivered to such girls.  Between 2016 and 2018, we prepared for delivery to a school in Kisumu, Kenya, over 50 of such kits in pretty bags.

Locally, we provide service to the community in a variety of ways:

  • Our “Live Your Dream” 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 as they return to or continue in college after a hiatus caused by life hardships.
  • Through our region’s “Fellowship” Program, Soroptimists fund grants to women at local universities who are in the last year of doctoral studies in fields underrepresented by women or fields that will improve the lives of women or girls.
  • Local high school girls receive scholarships to be used in the freshman year at college, to attend the summertime “Girls State” Program, and are recognized for volunteer work through our “Violet Richardson Award”.
  • Our “Ruby Award” honors a woman who has made a difference in the lives of women and girls in her profession or as a volunteer.
  •  We have volunteered at local women’s shelters, made holiday bags for women using the services of “Meals on Wheels”, supported The Sundar Shadi Holiday Display, and presented programs aimed at increasing public awareness of the ongoing issue of Human Trafficking.