Soroptimist International of Capitola-by-the-Sea is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.
Our club funds three “Live Your Dream” cash awards of $2,000 to needy local women with at least one child who enrolled in or have been accepted into a BA or technical training program and are the heads of their households in Santa Cruz County.
Most of our recipients are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. Nearly all have overcome enormous obstacles, including poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug or alcohol addiction. All of our winners pledge to give back to their communities and help women who have struggled as they have.
Due to the generosity of Santa Cruz Gives donors last year, we were able to go beyond the cash award in 2022 in support of one of our recipients who was a victim of domestic abuse and became homeless with two young children. The family maxed out their stay at the shelter and was living in a motel room. With your help, wed provided the security deposit on an apartment as well as bedding and other necessities.
Our club’s dream—and our Big Idea—is to raise enough to go “Beyond the Cash Award” and provide support for the special needs struggling families face such as housing, food assistance, and clothing.
I greatly appreciate the Live Your Dream award — for the financial stability and all of the unforeseen blessings that followed. You lifted me up and celebrated me for my courage and strength to start my life over as a newly single mother in recovery and as a student at Cabrillo. I transferred to UCSC and am majoring in Community Studies. My son and I are thriving. Any chance I get to pay things forward to the less fortunate, I take advantage of because I felt so special when I received your award.
Jamie S. Santa Cruz, 2019 Live Your Dream winner