Daily Point of Light # 2401 Apr 18, 2003

The nonprofit organization Soroptimist International of Lakewood is no stranger to service. One of the club’s achievements is a survivors night dinner for Providence House, the local battered women’s shelter. One evening in October, the survivors put on a dinner and a program to help expand the minds of others. They work to show what it is like living with being battered. Soroptimist International of Lakewood pays for the dinner; but this is only one of the innovative needs the club has met for the community.

Domestic violence is a problem prevalent in many communities across the country. In those communities, most victims try to cover up the abuse and protect the batterer. The program at the dinner serves many purposes. First, it advocates awareness of the problem of domestic violence. It also shows the over 250 attendees it is real and it could be occurring right next door. In addition, the dinner gives suggestions and explains what can be done to prevent abuse.

Soroptimitst International promotes prevention of the problem of domestic abuse by teaching others what to look for. They go over the signs as well as normal reactions of an abuser and the person being abused. They also talk about the best ways to offer help. Attendees in the audience learn the best way to approach the situation of domestic violence. The dinner also provides a time for healing. The evening is a time in which persons who have been victims of this crime can rejoice that they are no longer in that situation.

Soroptimist International works numerous hours to raise money to pay for this and other service projects. In addition to the dinner, club members visit the shelter to stock and organize the food pantries and clothes closets. They also stock the freezers with food. In addition, service is provided to the shelter as well as other community needs they have on an ongoing monthly basis.

The club has an annual fashion show luncheon as a major fundraiser. They also act as bell ringers for the Salvation Army and they provide landscaping for Providence House. The volunteer efforts of the club affects many more people than can be calculated. In excess of 2,000 women and children come through the shelter each year.