Supplemental Funding – 2nd, 5th, and 8th Grade School Camp
For more than two decades, Soroptimist International of St. Helena has helped send deserving students within the St. Helena Unified School District to school-sponsored overnight camps throughout Northern California. What began as a single scholarship for one 5th grade student now includes annual grant funding for a handful students attending not only 5th grade camp but also 2nd and 8th grade camps.
“I benefited from all three camps. I liked how each one took everything we learned in the classroom throughout the year and put it into a real-life perspective that made the curriculum more tangible.”
Summer Sports Camp Enrichment
Since 2008, Soroptimist International of St. Helena has sponsored students from 4th-12th grades in the St. Helena Unified School District who have applied for and been selected to attend athletic summer camps. These include soccer and basketball camps with the St. Helena Recreation Department, as well as other sports camps around the San Francisco Bay Area. Donating as much as $3000 annually, Soroptimist International of St. Helena sponsors approximately 12 students each year, giving them an enriching athletic opportunity they would not otherwise be able to afford.
Started in conjunction with the St. Helena Rotary Club in 2001, Soroptimist International of St. Helena has since adopted this project and oversees the annual distribution of approximately 150 dictionaries to each 3rd grader in the St. Helena area, including St. Helena Elementary, Pope Valley Elementary, St. Helena Montessori, and Howell Mountain Elementary.
“I like this dictionary because it’s one way not to use a computer or phone. I use it almost daily when doing my homework.”
Dream It Be It Career Support Program
An organization-wide initiative, Dream It Be It targets girls who face steep challenges like poverty and unstable home lives. It provides girls with tools to make educated choices and plans for their futures, and gives them hope and confidence. By reaching girls while they are still young, we can not only help them stay healthy and safe in the short term, but we can also reduce the number of women in crisis in the future. To date, Dream It, Be It has helped put more than 35,000 across the country on a positive path. In 2019, Soroptimist in St. Helena launched its version of the Dream It Be It program. Using a curriculum built around small group mentoring sessions and conference learning, the program offers local girls, grades 9-12, the information and resources they need for a successful future.
“As a female and minority student with a passion for math and science, I’ve always been curious about the engineering field and yearn to discover more about the different aspects and opportunities offered through workshops and keynote speakers at SHHS.”
Bi-Monthly Blood Bank
Since 1964, Soroptimist International of St. Helena has helped facilitate bi-monthly local blood drives, first with the Red Cross and, since 1999, with the Blood Centers of the Pacific. Since that time, Soroptimist International of St. Helena, together with Blood Centers of the Pacific, has collected over 2400 lifesaving units of blood.
“St. Helena Fire Department and St. Helena Soroptimist have impacted countless lives through blood donation. For many years, both organizations have partnered with Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP), to host blood drives for the community. BCP supports 50 hospitals, including all of the hospitals in Napa County. BCP relies 100% on volunteer donors. Together, we save lives!”
Kases for Kids
Dozens of Napa County children are removed from unhealthy homes every year, often without notice. Since 2006, the St. Helena Chapter of Soroptimist International has endeavored to support these children through its local involvement with the philanthropic movement known as Kases for Kids. Through its decade-long partnership with the Napa County Child Welfare Services, the club has provided care packages for foster children, ages 12-20.
“Often when we take a child into custody, he or she comes to us with nothing more than the clothes on their back. Soroptimist of St. Helena provides our foster children with the basic things they need to feel like other kids.”