We're in This Together
Dear Soroptimist Members,
In this turbulent time of the COVID-19 global pandemic, my thoughts go out to all of you. First and foremost, I hope you and your family are safe and well.
The challenges our world is facing are unprecedented as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on life as we know it. Many of us are experiencing health concerns, isolation, challenges with food, medical help and supplies, and financial losses. We must listen to the advice of experts who tell us to take things one day at a time and focus on minimizing our stress.
We also know our organization is experiencing many fast-moving changes as well. Your Soroptimist club is not meeting. Your well-planned event to raise funds—canceled. Your region conference—canceled. Club and region leaders are working hard to minimize financial losses.
And, of course, we all worry about the women and girls who continue to need our help. In fact, they need us now more than ever. Because we serve a vulnerable population, we know this crisis will affect them disproportionately. We also know that domestic violence increases during times of crisis, which will put many women and girls at further risk. While we may not be able to physically support the women and girls, there are steps our clubs and members can take, which I will outline below.
Our organization is facing steep challenges as well. Your Board of Directors and headquarters staff are making strategic choices to minimize lost revenue and adjust our budget to ensure we can deliver our programs and services to you, and follow the new laws being ordered federally, state-wide and at the local level. To keep SIA operational, all staff have been set up to work remotely.
We strongly believe it is critical we take care of you—our members and clubs—so you can continue to directly support the women and girls who need your help.
Here is how we plan to help you:
- Our federation Board has rescinded its decision to increase dues $2.00 in Club Year 2020-2021.
- Our federation Board has expanded the definition of disaster funds to be used to:
- defray federation and SI dues for clubs and members
- defray fees such as general liability for clubs in Canada and the USA
- defray unbudgeted expenses incurred by SIA headquarters to stay in compliance with federal, state and local laws.
We are certain the need for help will far exceed what is available in our Disaster Fund. That is why we are asking you to make a contribution to the Disaster Fund if you are in a financial situation to do so. Your gift will go a long way toward providing support and continuing our mission during this time of crisis.
Here is how you can help:
- Please keep yourselves safe and healthy by practicing physical distancing and keeping your spirits high.
- Contribute to the SIA Disaster Fund right now if you are able. These emergency funds will help you—our clubs and members—support the women and girls who rely on you, and SIA headquarters.
- Reconnect with your club members and continue to help women and girls virtually. Consult this resource developed by headquarters’ program department for ideas.
Let’s use this time as we pause in our normal routines, to plan and prepare for the future. Together we can keep all of Soroptimist strong and serve the vulnerable population of women and girls well into our second century. I have no doubt … we will get through this. And we will get back to making dreams come true.
Thank you for being a Soroptimist. Thank you for being a good world citizen. And thank you for keeping the women and girls we serve in your hearts. Be well. Stay safe.
In Soroptimist Friendship,
Tina Wei-Kang Pan
2019-2020 SIA President
P.S. Your gift in any amount to the Disaster Fund will go a long way toward addressing our challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask that you please make your gift by April 30 so we can work towards addressing the needs of our clubs and members.
P.P.S. If you or your club need support we will be providing further information in the upcoming weeks—outlining how your club can apply for assistance through our Disaster Fund.