Altrusa club members encourage reading, aid 45 children with their Mother's Day Gifts
Altrusa International of Downton Dallas Service Club completed their year of service for 2017-2018 on Thursday, May 10, when a dozen women from the club helped 45 children from low-income families choose gifts for their mothers for Mother’s Day.
The children attend DISD schools and are part of “Kids U,” an afterschool program promoting literacy among children from low-income families. The students were in kindergarten through 6th grade. Each child read a number of books throughout the school year to earn “Altrusa dollars” to shop with.
Handbags, jewelry, body lotions and scented candles were provided in quantity for the children to choose from. Each got to pick three items for their mothers. The gifts were then combined and wrapped in brightly colored tissue paper and put in pretty gift bags. A gift tag, colored by each child with their names on them, were attached to the gifts.
Altrusa is a club of professional women and men who choose to combine their efforts to volunteer together to promote literacy and help women and children in crisis. The Downtown Dallas Club is beginning it's 36th year on June 1st.
In addition to Kids U, the club members have worked with a dozen agencies this year, include Aberg Literacy; Bar None; Attitudes and Attire (helping women get back into the work force); Big Thought; Literacy Achieves; Meals on Wheels; Shared Housing; and Irma Rangel Leadership Academy, where a dozen seniors received scholarships to attend college—most of whom are the first in their families to go to college.
The international organization began in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1917 and is much like the Kiwanis Club. It was created when women weren’t allowed to join the all-male club. The Downtown Dallas Club began in 1982, a spin-off of the Dallas Club, which meets in the evening.
The Downtown chapter meets at noon for lunch on the first Tuesday of each month in the City Club on the 69th floor of the Bank of America Building on Main street. Additional evening meetings are held throughout the year, typically close to downtown. This past year the club met at Season’s 52 NorthPark and Highland Park Cafeteria in Casa Linda Plaza for the evening meetings. A speaker from a local non-profit or government agency updates the members on new programs the Altrusans might volunteer in. City Manager T C Broadnax spoke at a luncheon this year, and local celebrities like Sportscaster Dale Hanson or Investigative Reporter Brett Shipp have also shared their insights with the Altrusa Club members.
Members are asked to serve 20 hours of volunteering each year, but many do much more. Attorney, judges, CPAs, College Presidents, business owners and business entrepreneurs are a part of the club which currently has over 50 members. Prospective members are always welcome.
The Annual End of the Year Celebration is this Tuesday evening at Lakewood Country Club. Awards for the most hours served, the Altrusan of the Year and the Heart of Altrusa are awarded.
Attorney Nicole LeBoeuf will be stepping down as president and Public Relations business owner Judy Porter, MBA, will be installed as the new President for the 2018-19 year, along with her Board of Directors. Debbie Tull, CPA, will be installed as president-elect for 2019-2020.
Anyone interested in volunteering with other professionals to help women and children in crisis and promote literacy are invited to attend a future meeting. New transplants to Dallas are welcome and encouraged to meet the members of Altrusa to make new friends and begin or expand their professional network.
To find out more or to attend a lunch or evening meeting contact Tamika Jones Abendroth, Vice President of Membership for 2018-2019 at: firstname.lastname@example.org or text 972-880-5571.
Judy Porter is a local writer and has been a member of Altrusa since 1990. To contact her: email@example.com