Helping Women & Girls Live Their Dreams
Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement advocating for human rights and gender equality, which is also represented in the UN to ensure that the voices of women and girls are heard worldwide.
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Soroptimists STOP Trafficking
According to a recent research study, sex trafficking (commercial sexual exploitation) is estimated to be an $810 billion underground economy in San Diego County, affecting approximately 10,000 victims each year.
The average age of entry into commercial sexual exploitation is 15 years old. Domestic trafficking accounts for the majority of these CSEC – commercial sexual exploitation of children – cases. This means that girls, and some boys, are being recruited right in the communities of San Diego and coerced, manipulated and tricked into “the life.”
Soroptimist International of La Mesa is actively involved in the fight to end human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking of minor girls in San Diego.
STAT! Soroptimists Against Trafficking
To that end, we participate in a collaborative group of members from several San Diego area Soroptimist clubs in STAT! Soroptimists Together Against Trafficking. From creating a “soft room” at the San Diego Police Department where victims can be interviewed in a relaxing, welcoming environment, to helping pass laws that punish perpetrators and protect victims, we have made a huge impact in the fight against this horrific crime.
Each December SILM members throw a holiday party for the young women (ages 13-22) receiving services through San Diego Youth Services’ STARS Program. We provide giant gift bags filled with all sorts of things that girls love, like lotions, fuzzy socks, scarves, holiday treats and stuffed toys. In November the program director, Laura McLean, lets us know what type of food the ladies would like – in 2014 it was Italian and in 2015 it was soul food. We decorate the room, serve the food and have a great time watching the ladies pull all their goodies from their gift bags.
Thanks for Giving Breakfast
For nearly 60 years The Soroptimist International of La Mesa Pre-Thanksgiving Breakfast has helped San Diego kick-off the holiday season. Honoring a different segment of society each year that we feel is making a impact in improving lives in San Diego, we have honored everyone from firefighters to nurses and food-banks to women veterans.
Our signature event, started as a simple way to honor community members who share our passion for helping people, has turned into a much-anticipated celebration that also raises a little money to help us continue our mission.