SIGV is part of an international women's service organization dedicated to the improvement of the lives of women and children in our community.
The Soroptimist's annual Live Your Dream awards program is a unique education grant for women who provide the primary financial support for their families. Live Your Dream awards give women the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects. Every year, Soroptimists distribute more than $2.6 million in education grants to about 1,700 women all over the world. Over half of their Live Your Dream Awards recipients are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. Nearly all of the women and families they serve have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug or alcohol addiction. Live Your Dream Awards 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.
Mary Sivila, as Chair of the Live Your Dream Committee for Soroptimist International of Grass Valley, was proud to award funds to Kara Brewer and Samantha Alford. These two very worth women were presented with cash and a certificate at SIGV’s annual Live Your Dream awards dinner on February 20th. They both shared their stories of overcoming childhood adversities, parental neglect and recurring drug abuse thru their hard work in recovery programs and local education opportunities, all the while raising a family as single mothers. Kara has just finished her Bachelor courses at Sierra College and is applying at several nursing schools. Samantha is just starting out, with her sights also on a nursing career. SIGV felt very strongly that these two women epitomized what it means to be a “success story” and were thrilled to present these women with some much needed funding to continue their education. They both are now eligible for further grants, as they move onto the Regional and State level of this Soroptimist program.
Soroptimists of Grass Valley (SIGV) once again is creating simple dresses and shorts for the “Dress A Girl Around The World” (DAG) and “Dress A Dude” (DAD) projects. The DAG and DAD organizations feel that sex-traffickers are discouraged from kidnapping young children when they see the boys and girls dressed in a garment that someone has lovingly sewn for them. It signifies that someone watches over and cares for her.
Soroptimists International is the world’s largest women’s service organization, with clubs in almost every country across the globe. Over the past three years Soroptimists of Grass Valley has been the spearhead behind these projects here in Nevada County. They have gathered clothing, lovingly sewn by people predominantly in Nevada County, and presented them to several organizations to take on their mission trips to third world countries. To date, over 1400 dresses and 500 shorts/shirts have been taken to children in rural villages of Eastern Uganda, to orphanages In Kenya and Cambodia and to a medical clinic that serves as a half-way house for sex-trafficked women on the Thai/Burma border. It is very exciting to see the efforts of so many back here in Nevada County affecting so many around the world.
AND the club wants to keep going! Another 400 dress “kits” are ready for handing out. These have everything you need to complete one dress. BUT- SIGV needs more seamstresses! This project has blossomed into a beautiful flower- and will be kept alive only thru your generous donations of time and materials. Their “shorts/shirts” campaign will gear up in another month, after all dresses are handed out. All clothing is due back by the middle of December, slotted for a January distribution date.
Of course, if you have extra pieces of 100% cotton fabric (even scraps) SIGV will gladly take those, along with any trims, lace and elastic. If you would love to help sew, have donations or just would like more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Lynn Mehren-Costa at email@example.com. And look for us on Facebook!
Soroptimist International of Grass Valley meets the first Thursday of the month at 12:30 and the third Thursday of the Month at 5:30 at Grace Lutheran Church, 1979 Ridge Rd, Grass Valley. Please Contact Us for more information