About Us

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Investing in Dreams

About Soroptimist International

The first Soroptimist club was formed in 1921 by a group of 80 women in Oakland, Alameda County, California. The name “Soroptimist” is a coined word that came from two Latin words that mean the “best for women.” Our first President was Violet Richardson Ward. Since then our organization has grown internationally with clubs worldwide.

Soroptimists today continue the work begun by the founding members. The main goal of Soroptimist clubs is to fulfill their Mission Statement which is; “A global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.”

Projects are carefully chosen in each community to address challenges unique to today’s women and girls. Sample club projects worldwide include: providing minority women with routine medical care; mentoring young women to give volunteer service to their schools and community; funding and volunteering at domestic violence shelters, sponsoring career development programs for teen mothers; tutoring women in literacy, and basic job skills.

Soroptimist clubs also participate in programs developed by Soroptimist International of the Americas. The major service project of Soroptimist International of the Americas is “Live Your Dream,” which provides cash grants for the head of household women seeking to improve their economic situation through additional education and training.

A sampling of other service programs includes the “Violet Richardson Award,” which honors teenaged girls who participate in volunteerism, and the “Making a Difference for Women Award,” which honors a woman who’s work makes a positive difference in the lives of women and girls in her community.

Soroptimist is a recognized authority on matters that women worldwide, value most. To meet this goal, Soroptimist uses it’s international voice as we advocate on behalf of women’s issues by using our official status with the United Nations.

Education Gender Equality graphic - Soroptimist International

About Soroptimist International of Los Banos

Chartered in 1962 by Soroptimist International of Merced, our members have worked through the years on projects that impact our town locally, plus towns and people globally. These projects have shown to be a great benefit to women and girls, both financially and personally.

Join Us

Won’t you join Soroptimist soon? Membership will provide you with an enriching atmosphere to develop lasting friendships, while we experience satisfaction as we improve our communities and the lives of women and girls.

Soroptimist International of Los Banos belongs to Soroptimist International of the Americas, one of the four Federations that make up Soroptimist International. We are a part of District III in California’s Sierra Pacific Region.  We welcome new members who would like to work as a group to make our community and world a better place for women and girls.

Our Local Projects

  • Our service projects include the sponsorship of an “S” Club at Los Banos High School where students are encouraged to embrace volunteerism, good citizenship, and women and girl-focused community service projects.
  • An annual “Dream It Be It Girl’s Self Esteem Conference,” for junior high school girls, is also sponsored by our local Soroptimist club. This event features speakers and topics that focus on building good self-esteem in girls. Other conference topics include healthy lifestyles, appropriate teen make-up, teen bullying, and teen human trafficking.
  • At least three Live Your Dream monetary awards are given to qualified head of household women who are in educational study programs to help empower them educationally and financially.


In order to support our service projects and awards, our local club holds several fundraising events. Recently, some fundraising events our club uses to support our local service projects are:  a See’s Candy Holiday Sale, a Treasure Chest of Giving raffle in the fall. Stay tuned for other fundraising events that are currently in the planning stages.

Soroptimist of Los Banos building Friendships