As I write this, our world is in an unprecedented moment. We are living in unique times and navigating a lot of unknowns. These are the times when we rely on each other most. Our Soroptimist community can be a real asset for us. We communicate our fears, open our hearts with compassion and find resilience in the face of adversity. I recently read “It is our chosen response to this event that will determine our experience of it”. How true is that? I encourage us to learn from this time, learn how to let go, accept and walk on bravely into the unknown. What stories we will have to tell, right?
So much has changed in the last week, I wanted to give you an update on what we are working on:
Conference – Please see Governor Elect Sarah’s article below on the status of conference. Lots to know and lots still uncertain!
Elections – Here is the timeline for elections, which we will hold electronically:
1) As our governing documents outline, each club has 3 votes, the president and 2 delegates. Credential Coordinator Kay Dunham sent an eblast to all club presidents last week asking for email addresses for 2 delegates from each club. If your club has co-presidents, you will need to decide who is going to receive the ballot. Those email addresses should be sent to Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 25.
2) Please read the attached “Report of the Nominating Committee”. When elections are done at conference, there is always an opportunity for ‘nominations from the floor’. There will still be that opportunity in this election as well, only it will be done electronically. Please see the Nomination Form. If you wish to nominate anyone at this time for any region board position, please use this form and send it to Jenny Knisley, elections coordinator, at
email@example.com by March 29, 2020.
3) All current candidates have been asked to have their videos to Sharon Warner, Nominating Committee Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31. Any ‘nominations from the floor’ will need to comply with this date as well.
4) All videos should be up on our region website, SoroptimistSNR.org, along with resumes, by early April. This will give all delegates the opportunity to ‘meet’ the candidates to make their choice. Their videos will be a maximum of 2 minutes, as that’s how long they would have had to address the membership at conference.
5) Ballots should be sent to all delegates by April 6.
6) Voting will close on April 20.
7) Results will be verified by the elections committee and results will be posted by April 25, our original election day.
Club Meetings – All members should have received an email from Elizabeth Lucas form headquarters stating that club events should not be held until after May 11 (we were previously told April 15). I know this is a difficult time, as many clubs were planning major fundraisers. But it is important that we comply for the safety of our members and supporters. Your Region Board of directors will probably be holding its last board meeting virtually, rather than in person due to this mandate. As I stated last week, this is an opportunity to figure out how to hold virtual meetings via video, etc. I have also seen several very creative letters appealing to supporters of various non-profits that many of our clubs' support. You could consider some of these as fundraisers as well: A virtual ‘tea’ asking for a donation while they have a cup of tea at home (in isolation), or letters asking for donations for your fundraiser even if you can’t hold it. You could also just write letters asking for donations directly, whether you were having a fundraiser or not. Individuals could donate directly to those organizations that might have benefited from your fundraiser or that help women in this difficult time. Women in domestic violence situations could be much more at risk during this time of isolation! We must keep them in mind…. There might be creative things your club could do to help the women in your communities that are vulnerable. Inquire locally for what ‘hands on’ projects that might be possible!
Live Your Dream and other awardees - Many of your clubs were just having their awards events when things got ‘shut down’. Your clubs should make their own decisions on how you should honor these women, i.e. if you should wait to give them their monetary awards or not. Your region board and Live Your Dream coordinator will be deciding this soon, with regards to the region winners as well. I wish all of our awardees good health and congratulations on earning this award. We need to honor them at some point, as we have learned that our faith in them achieving their dreams is just as meaningful to them as the monetary assistance.
Stay safe and healthy! Let’s make the best of these times and we will come out the other end even stronger!