by Madelle Morgan
This month's RTG theme is a shout-out to charities. I decided to raise awareness of the good work of one of the oldest, if not the oldest, international women's service club — Zonta International. This isn't a romantic topic for a post, but I assure you there's a huge amount of love involved!
Founded in 1919, today there are 30,000 women members in 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 66 countries. The local clubs raise money to for student awards, and to contribute to local and international service projects. I'm a member of the Zonta Club of Ottawa.
Our club's annual Awards Ceremony and Reception is a special event to which the families and friends of the award winners are invited. Last month my club distributed $11,000 to talented and deserving bright young women:
- new immigrant and mature students (often single mothers) to help them complete their educations;
- outstanding young women pursuing business and theater arts degrees;
- a high school student demonstrating exemplary leadership qualities.
|Sandra Oh as Dr. Cristina Yang|
At the Reception following the awards, tea is served in china cups from silver tea pots. In 2014 the Zonta Club of Ottawa celebrated its 85th birthday, so the dessert was birthday cake.
|Photo Credit: Source and CC Licence|
Local Service Projects
My club's current service project is to help raise local awareness of Elder Abuse. My own grandmother was "ripped off" by her son and his wife to the tune of thousands of dollars, so this is a project close to my heart. My mother, the executor of my grandmother's will, only discovered the systematic withdrawals from the bank account after her death. Is it theft when an elderly person is coerced into signing checks or providing the pin number to the account? It's certainly financial abuse. Yes, financial, emotional and even physical abuse can happen in the "best" of families, especially when other family members live out of town. The elderly are often afraid to complain for various reasons, and rarely press charges.
Zonta contributes financially to several United Nations projects that make a significant difference to the health of women in developing countries. Since 1923, Zonta has provided more than $13 million US to projects benefiting women in 36 countries. Collectively the local clubs make a difference at home and abroad.
Support a Local Zonta Club
Members include all races and faiths. There are several ways to support a local club and its projects. Join as a member, attend some of the fundraising events, or check if a young woman you know may be eligible for an award. To locate the Zonta Club nearest you, use the search tool.
Women helping women - that's what Zonta's all about.