Soroptimist International of Temecula Valley seeks members

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Soroptimist International visitors to Empowerment Village near Temecula were treated to breakfast and a tour of the homes. Operated by the not-for-profit Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services, the new Temecula Valley Chapter of the club has made this their first service project. Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Soroptimist International of the Americas needs 12 members to formally recharter its Temecula Valley chapter. The nonprofit is dedicated to “improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.”

The global volunteer organization has 1,300 clubs in 21 countries and territories that empower women and girls through volunteer projects in local communities.

“We had a club in the Temecula area years ago, and it disbanded due to lack of new members,” Lori Reed, governor of Soroptimist Golden West Region in Phoenix, said. “Since then, the Temecula area has grown and matured, and we felt we could make an impact on the women and girls in the community.”

With several potential members already committed, the cause-related philanthropic club has wasted no time taking on its first community service project, Reed said.

The group collected more than $1,000 in gasoline gift cards for Empowerment Village in Temecula. The program for single mothers is part of Rancho Damacitas Children and Family Services, a nonprofit with multiple programs that has served the area since 1983.

Soroptimist International delegates presented $1,000 to be used for gasoline gift cards by the single mother residents of Empowerment Village, a program operated by Rancho Damacitas Children & Family Services near Temecula. The project will be an ongoing community service project for the newly formed Temecula Valley branch of the club that devotes its time to help women and girls be successful. Courtesy photo

A key component of the year-old village’s mission of helping young women become self-sufficient is to provide transportation to and from work, doctors’ appointments, child care providers and more. With two vehicles and drivers designated for this purpose, the village needs donations to help with gasoline, maintenance and other associated costs.

“We are happy this group recognized the need that transportation costs are so important for our moms to become and stay independent,” Cal Winslow, Rancho Damacitas’ executive director, said.

He said that even though some of the residents have their own vehicles, they struggle with gasoline costs due to other necessary expenses such as insurance, registration and upkeep.

Soroptimist International District 1 Director Debra Murphy is a 23-year member from Corona and said she was excited to start an ongoing service project with a program that blended so nicely with their mission.

“We hope Empowerment Village will become the new chapter’s signature service project,” Murphy said. “We know these young women have other needs, and we are eager to share our resources with them.”

About 20 Soroptimist International members enjoyed a home-cooked breakfast at the village, June 6. They were in the area for their annual meeting of the Region at Pala Casino Spa and Resort. Stopping by for a tour and check presentation for the gasoline gift cards fit nicely into their plans, Reed said.

“When you join Soroptimist, not only does your work strengthen the community and make a positive impact on the lives of women and girls but you also make lifelong friends, lead a happy healthier life and have a lot of fun,” Reed said. “We always welcome new members and invite any women to join us at a club meeting or for a hands-on project.”

For more Information, contact Lori Reed at lorir.gwr@gmail.com or www.goldenwestregion.org.

Submitted by Temecula Soroptimists.