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To advertise: 800-371-9938 www.discoverypubs.com
Discover Western Prince William December 2017
10
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jar 1217/0118
DiSCOVER FAUQUIER
DiSCOVER WESTERN PW
Chuck Mullins, Cindy Boyce
Jamilah Dalton, vice president
of
Soroptimist International of
Manassas, has served as a member
of this global nonprofit organization for
the past three years. Founded in 1956,
Soroptimist International of Manassas's
guiding mission is to improve the lives
of women and girls through social and
economic empowerment programs. In
addition to supporting the federation's
core programs, local chapters look for
the areas of need unique to their own
communities as well as volunteer their
time and provide financial support.
The Manassas club has caring hands
in many initiatives that affect local
women and girls, including raising
awareness around the prevalence of
human trafficking, helping victims of
domestic violence, and raising funds
to support grant programs like Live
Your Dream: Education and Training
Awards for Women. The latter awards
cash grants to women who are working
to better their lives through additional
schooling and skills training. The grants
offset the considerable costs associated
with higher education, and winners
become eligible to be selected for
regional and then federation grants
up to $10,000. The 20162017 winner
of the club's $3,500 grant was Mercy
Wanyoike, a single mother of two living
in transitional housing and studying to
become a nurse. Mercy went on to win
an additional $5,000 from the Soroptimist
International's South Atlantic Region.
Soroptimist and its volunteer and activist
network, LiveYourDream.org, recently
launched a new global program for
girls called "Dream It, Be It," which
empowers girls in secondary school to
overcome obstacles that threaten their
future success. Access to professional
role models, career education, and
other resources that the girls want and
need give them a chance to become
successful, independent, and fulfilled
adults. "I see these programs having a
direct impact where I live," says Jamilah.
"They make a difference in the outcomes
of the futures of women and girls in my
community."
Another of the club's major ongoing
initiatives is providing support to Action
and Community Through Service (ACTS)
Safe House, a shelter for victims of
domestic violence. In addition to helping
with the design of a recent kitchen
renovation and providing furniture and
decorations, Soroptimist members bring
four monthly meals--all homemade
save for the occasional
pizza night--to the women
and children staying there,
give gift bags to children
on all major holidays and
their birthdays, and make
sure that whomever enters
the shelter receives a
"Thinking of You" bag, which
contains toiletries and other s
mall comforts.
Jamilah was inspired to serve
her community after the birth
of her two daughters, whom
she says give her the energy
and desire to make the world a better
place in which to grow up. "If I didn't do
it, I couldn't expect others to do it," she
says. "For me, it's about leaving a legacy
for them--I want them to see me actively
doing things that are important to me,
things that directly help other people."
Recently, the club hosted an event to
recognize members who have dedicated
40 or more years to Soroptimist and its
many life-changing programs. When
asked why they chose to dedicate such
a large portion of their lives to this cause,
their answer was simple: The women
in this group had become their family.
"I look at the women who have left their
legacy of commitment to the community,
and I see that there are fewer and
fewer people to carry that on," says
Jamilah, the youngest club member. "I'm
passionate about taking up that mantle
to continue what has been an important
tradition to this community." To learn
more about Soroptimist International
of Manassas and how you can help,
visit
simanassas.org.
Community
Profile
Local Soroptimist Chapter Empowers
Brighter Futures for Women and Girls
Debbie Mackes, Vicki Latimer, Mercy Wanyoike (SI Manassas
2017 Live Your Dream Award Winner), Jamilah Dalton
~ Caitlin Scott