COVID-19 may have halted Soroptimist International of Azusa Glendora (SIAG) annual outreach efforts to improve the future of women and girls, but it has not stopped them from continuing to support their communities.
“Last spring, when it became apparent that our in-person events designed to educate and inspire women, girls and others would not be possible due to COVID-19, our club made the decision to support organizations that were providing much needed resources to our communities,” said Shannon Lancaster, SIAG president. Those resources included food, shelter, clothing, personal necessities, counseling for victims of domestic violence and support for low income parents with young children.
SIAG holds several community outreach events each year, including Self-Esteem, a workshop for fifth grade girls; Personal Growth Luncheon for intermediate school girls who have overcome significant challenges; Dream-It-Be-It, a workshop for high school junior and senior girls focusing on careers; and Live Your Dream, which presents several $2,000 awards to women who are head-of-household and enrolled in an academic or vocational program that will lead to employment.
A new event, Cherish the Child had also been planned for 2020. The event would have been open to parents and children and provided information from leading experts on human trafficking and child abuse.
“We had already been providing annual support to outstanding community organizations,” Lancaster said. Those include YWCA/WINGS Shelter, House of Ruth, Azusa Food Bank/Pathfinder Ministries, Glendora Welfare, Our Neighborhood Homework House, Glendora Shepherd’s Pantry and Shoes that Fit. “Given the unprecedented need resulting from the pandemic, our club chose to donate additional funds to these organizations,” she added. Lancaster estimated this year’s donations would be more than $15,000.