Clubs that serve
Members of local civic clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Soroptimist and Association of American University Women devote tens of thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to community service projects.
Many of these clubs partner with American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Court-Appointed Special Advocates and UNICEF. They also contribute to medical facilities, playgrounds, campus closets, backpack programs and food pantries in their communities.
If you have a passion for philanthropy, education, patriotism, local municipal improvement projects or international goodwill, there’s a club for you. And,if you have a heart for children, youth and families, all these clubs are recruiting new volunteers.
Rotary International has 14 clubs across Jackson and Josephine counties. Rotary’s mission is to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies.
Causes include wiping out polio in Third World countries, building playgrounds and athletic fields at local schools, sponsoring international youth exchange, promoting literacy and leadership and providing scholarships to college-bound high school seniors.
Rotary also has service clubs just for youth, Interact, and for young professionals, Rotaract.
Kiwanis International is represented by seven clubs in the Rogue Valley.
In addition to adult service clubs, Kiwanis sponsors school-based leadership and service clubs, such as K-Kids for elementary school children, Builders Club for middle school students, Key Club for high school students, and Circle K on college and university campuses. Aktion Clubs are designed to engage adults living with disabilities in community service.
Projects include building playgrounds, fundraising for the Kiwanis Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Program, recognizing outstanding student achievement at all grade levels, promoting literacy, patriotism and leadership, and providing scholarships to college-bound high school seniors.
Lions Club International sponsors vision and hearing tests and provides eyeglasses and hearing aids to low-income families and seniors. In addition, Rogue Valley-area Lions and Lioness transport donor eye tissue to Oregon Vision Gift (formerly known as Oregon Eye Bank) and support the efforts of the Southern Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Center in Medford.
Soroptimist International is a women’s service club. The focus is on improving the lives of women and girls.
Club projects include providing mammograms to low-income women, back-to-school clothes for low-income girls, and clothes to women re-entering the job market; hosting baby showers for expectant mothers; sponsoring self-esteem programs for elementary girls; and supporting local food banks.
In the Rogue Valley, five clubs join together to raise money for Women’s Health with a Wine Walk in the fall. The clubs also award women working to improve their lives with the “Women’s Opportunity Award.”
To find out how to join Soroptimist and learn more about specific projects in your community, see www.soroptimistrv.org.
AAUW’s mission is to promote equity for women through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Membership is open to women and men who hold a two-year degree or higher from an accredited college or university.
In addition to involvement in local, state and national activism, members raise money for scholarships for college-bound high school seniors, sponsor events focused on empowering young women, and form special interest groups based on specific hobbies, professions and activities.
The Rogue Valley is home to three branches: Ashland, Medford and Grants Pass.
To find out how to join AAUW and learn more about specific projects in your community, see www.ashland-or.aauw.net, www.medford-or.aauw.net. or www.grantspass-or.aauw.net.
Note: Each of the organizations listed above require annual international, district and chapter or club dues.