Surf City Soroptimists of Huntington Beach Celebrate a Year of Service

Surf City Soroptimists of Huntington Beach believe in improving the lives of women and girls and live it by focusing on service. The following was compiled by our VP of Service, Leslie Miller, with a little help from her team leaders, Cathy Standiford (DIBI), Mary Chiappetta (Human Trafficking) & Terry Rose (Live Your Dream).

Dolly Wakeham Moms & Dream Beyond Moms

Dolly Wakeham, a former Soroptimist of Huntington Beach, left a trust fund when she passed on. Our club receives the interest from that fund every year which we augment with monies that we raise from our fundraisers. The Dolly Wakeham Memorial Grant is not a cash grant but more of a support grant.

At SIHB, we believe in “going beyond the cash Live Your Dream award” and have named our program of continued support, “Dream Beyond.”

We supported 3 Dolly Wakeham Moms with 5 combined kids, as well as 2 Dream Beyond moms with 4 combined kids!  Supporting a total of 14 children and 5 moms for the year. Here is what we did:

  • Provided supplies and basic home necessities throughout the year
  • Book & school supply reimbursements
  • School fees and graduate school application fees
  • Car repairs
  • Car registration tags
  • Cookware and kitchen basics
  • Towels, sheets, bedding
  • Air mattresses and a donated twin bed (from Rachel)
  • Graduation fees, announcements, cap & gown
  • Holiday party celebration -donated gifts from members, fun jump for the kids, food for all
  • Reimbursement for school programs including ice skating and Art Muses
  • Laptop and printer donation, printer supplies
  • Educational conference registration and travel
  • Birthday and holiday celebrations (Easter baskets, Valentine’s Day succulents, Mother’s Day, graduation)
  • Graduation gifts
  • Target gift cards
  • Homemade masks sent to the moms and their families
  • Additional support during COVID shutdown – childcare fees, additional supplies
  • Mentoring and lunch visits
  • Zoom “Happiness Hour” calls and support
  • “Just Because” electronic cards to let them know we are there for them
  • Childcare assistance

Live Your Dream Awards:

  • 19 applications and 12 Awardees, totaling $18,500.
  • “Just Because” electronic cards to let them know we are there for them
  • Empowering Women Program meeting attracted more than 100 attendees
  • Assistance with necessities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Graduation celebration for current and past Live Your Dream honorees (6 of them)
  • 2 corporate sponsors: AES & Walmart

Day of Empowerment

  • 19 women attended for pampering, a $100 shopping spree compliments of the Assistance League of Huntington Beach, a workshop, breakfast, lunch, a swag bag and sharing
  • Mayor Lyn Semeta and Mayor Pro Tem Jill Hardy attended as well as other Soroptimist club members & school counselors
  • Collaborative partnership with the Assistance League & the Cosmetology School at Golden West College
  • Lunch donated by Jersey Mike’s.
  • Grocery gift cards included in each SWAG bag
  • Off-site, licensed childcare provided

Scholarships/ donations:

  • Catou DeFriend scholarship of $500 to HBHS student, matched by her former business partner to make it a $1,000 donation (Catou was a past club president who lost her battle with brain cancer at a very young age, 36)
  • Orange Coast College, Golden West College and Coastline College Scholarships for single women, head of household – $750 at each college
  • $1,250 Project Self Sufficiency Scholarship awarded to Luisa Ortez
  • $750 Waymakers snowflake on the Huntington Beach Pier for Christmas, supporting the HB Youth Shelter
  • Robyne’s Nest – gathered feminine supplies and deodorant for teen students in housing crisis in the local HS districts and donated $250 to help with scholarship support for a female student during COVID-19 crisis.
  • Supported 3 elderly women, referred by the Huntington Beach Senior Center, with items that were badly needed, including pest control service, donated by one member
  • $1,300 to SIA for Club Giving.  This money represents 10% of last year’s net fundraising income and will be used by SIA for additional Live Your Dream awards.

Dream It, Be It  

  • Provided Dream It, Be It to six foster girls in July-August. Celebrated when one of the girls (who had participated in Dream It, Be It the summer before) went off to college (University of San Francisco). 
    • As a result of DIBI, 100% of participants reported they feel more confident about their future success, have new tools to overcome obstacles or setbacks, and had an opportunity to create achievable goals for their future. 75% reported they feel more prepared to pursue their career goals, and that they understand how their values can connect to possible careers.
    • Key comments included:
      • I learned that we can all accomplish something great.
      • I liked that we were challenged to think deeper about our goals and how we can get there
      • I loved how you helped us look more into what we want to do when we are older.
      • I learned how to challenge my negative thoughts into positive ones.
  • Provided Dream It, Be It to more than a dozen teen girls at Back Bay High School from September-November, in partnership with SI Newport Harbor Area. Evaluation results were similar as those for the summer Dream It, Be It program. 
  • Sponsored six foster youth on a visit to UCI in November, where they got to participate in a college level class and spend time with students who had been foster children–learning about the college resources available to them.
  • Total Volunteer Hours spent on Dream It, Be It (all activities, including Team meetings and preparation) = 152.5

Stop Human Trafficking Committee

  • Participated in the A21 walk and made a donation to A21
  • Collected quarters to Waymakers for survivors’ laundry
  • 5 members and their families attended the Strike Out Slavery baseball game at Angels Stadium
  • Attended Pure Hope (HT survivor organization) meeting
  • Assembled grounding/comfort kits at Waymakers
  • Walked through large hotels in downtown Huntington Beach to ensure posting of HT notices
  • Supported the Polaris Project by contacting our senator to take action for HT legislation
  • Several members attended the monthly OCHTTF meetings
  • Replenished the household goods at Thatiana’s Home, twice
  • Decorated the room for Waymakers Mentoring Night
  • Assembled holiday gift pouches for The Guest House
  • Installed garden beds at Thatiana’s Home
  • Donated holiday hams to Thatiana’s Home
  • Completed a service project for ISanctuary Purpose Jewelry
  • Dedicated our program meeting in January to Human Trafficking Awareness
  • Had a virtual baby shower at Waymakers for a survivor of human trafficking
  • Participated in the Ensure Justice Conference
  • Met with KHERUT to kick-off a relationship which involved food trucks, staffed by survivors
  • Made face masks for 36 Waymakers clients
  • We wrote, addressed and delivered cards to support Waymakers clients during quarantine
  • Wrote inspirational messages, which we put in mason jars, for caseworkers and survivors
  • Donated a breast pump for a new mom survivor
  • Donated $300 to Waymakers to provide financial support to Human Trafficking victims during the Covid-19 shut down
  • Several members reached various levels of Waymakers, through training, making them available to work closely with HT victims

Other Activities:

  • Attended PSS Christmas Party
  • Several members attended Project Self Sufficiency’s June Recognition Program where we formally presented Luisa Ortez with her scholarship
  • Met bi-weekly through Zoom with our Dolly Wakeham moms as well as our Live Your Dream honorees and other single moms going to school to give support and hear their accomplishments during the Covid-19 shutdown

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