Local philanthropic group donates $94,000 to support women and girls in Calgary

March 31, 2015
Press Release

Calgary, AB — The Calgary chapter of an international volunteer service organization, Soroptimist International, today announced over $94,000 in donations to local and international organizations that deliver programs to women and girls in Calgary.

Members of Soroptimist International of Calgary concluded their deliveries of the donations at the Women’s Centre of Calgary with a $20,000 cheque to support four, five-day summer camps for girls aged 10 to 12. These Girl Power Camps provide opportunities for girls to connect with each other in a community environment and learn about empowerment, gender roles, self-esteem, healthy relationships and body image. The camps were developed by the Women’s Centre of Calgary in response to research showing that girls begin to lose self-confidence and become vulnerable to negative influences around the time they enter puberty.

Sarah Winstanley, Community Engagement Coordinator with the Women’s Centre, said, “Because of Soroptimist’s generous donation to our Girl Power program, the Women’s Centre will be able to support even more girls to become confident, critically-minded citizens. Girls have told us that attending the camps have helped them with their confidence, their ability to make friends, their awareness of social issues, and their belief in the strength of girls. We couldn’t do this with out you! Thank you!”

Soroptimist’s goal is to improve the lives of girls and women through programs that lead to social and economic empowerment. After several years of successful fundraising efforts, the club selected a number of local and international groups to receive its donations.

  Agency Program   Amount
  YWCA Calgary Parent Link Corridor, a spectrum of programs including early childhood development and care; parenting workshops and groups such as the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Ages and Stages children’s development check-ups, family wellness and community referrals.   $20,000
Highbanks Society Support for 11 single moms who attend school and their children. $20,000
Women’s Centre of Calgary Funding for four five-day Girl Power Summer Camps for girls $20,000
Centre for Affordable Water
and Sanitation Technology*
Community health promotion workshops in developing countries $10,000
Canadian Immigrant
Women’s Association
Literacy program for women and girls $10,000
Youville Recovery Residence
for Women
Eating disorder clinic for women with addictions $8,047
Pathfinders Full funding for one year of a Pathfinder program at the Calgary Young Offenders’ Centre $3,525
It’s About Time!
Cancer Awareness Project
Breast cancer awareness project in Guatemala $1,300
Soroptimist International
of the Americas
Support for international programs $1,500

*CAWST received its funds in December 2014, and the donation was tripled through a government matching program. All other donations were made in the past week.

“Soroptimists strongly believe that education is the key to ensuring women’s financial independence, self-esteem, health and equality,” said Katherine Reiffenstein, president of SI Calgary. “The funding recipients we selected help women and girls obtain the skills and knowledge necessary to overcome obstacles they are currently facing and ultimately to reach their full potential and live their dream.”

In addition to its support of local and international agencies, SI Calgary directly supports women through the Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards. These are monetary grants to women who are the sole financial support for their family and are enrolled in post-secondary education. This year’s grants will be presented at an awards dinner on Tuesday, April 7.

Soroptimist of Calgary has long been funding local and international groups that work to improve the lives of girls and women. Soroptimist of Calgary was established in Calgary in 1934 and is part of an international network of similar clubs, comprised of almost 80,000 women in over 120 countries and territories.

Contact: Soroptimist International of Calgary
Katherine Reiffenstein, President

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