Our Work and Impact
Our years of experience working with women and girls has taught us that education is the key to unlocking economic empowerment of the world’s women and girls. When women and girls are educated, they have opportunity, choice and power to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families. Soroptimist International of Gresham (SIG) accomplishes this by conducting Soroptimist International’s key programs, Live Your Dream Awards and Dream It, Be It for residents and scholars in our community. Over the past 10 years, our club has awarded over $80,000 in scholarships to more than 30 women who are the primary source of support for their families to further their education.
SIG’s other major project is the annual Gresham Teddy Bear Parade. Started by local merchants as a ‘friendraiser’ in 1983, SIG members supported by volunteering. SIG’s participation increased steadily until it assumed leadership of the event in 1993. The 2019 parade lasted 2 hours, included 2,000 marching participants and thousands of spectators. Sponsors and participant fees fund the majority of SIG’s programs. The event is also used to collect new and slightly used stuffed animals to donate to children in local shelters and hospitals.
The Teddy Bear Parade is SIG’s gift to the community and has been recognized as one of Gresham’s premier annual events.