Friday, November 20, 2015

October 2015 - SIM events



SI Manhattan members at the Fall District 1 Meeting, Hunter College, NYC, October 24, 2015:  l-r,   Dee Carroll , Eileen Jackson, Toni Aiello (District 1 Secretary); Leonia Sagasta, Fran Gilstein (SIM President);  Fred Gilstein (first time attendee and first SIM “Soroptimister” ); and Linda Dianto. 


Attachment 2:  New SI Manhattan member Veronica Thompson is inducted by District 1 Secretary Toni Aiello, with the assistance of SI Manhattan President Fran Gilstein, at the SIM Fall Fundraiser, October 5, 2015
Attachment 3:  Holding the Lifetime Membership Award presented to Charter member and President Roberta (Bobbi) Wailes are, l-r:  Toni Aiello, Fran Gilstein, Eileen Jackson, Leonia Sagasta, and Dee Carroll.   


Click here to view additional photos of the above events.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

SAVE THE DATE! July 20-24, 2016 SIA Convention

Click here to download a PDF version of this announcement.


Monday, October 5, 2015 - SIM's Annual Raffle Night Fundraiser. Don't miss out! SAVE THE DATE!

This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we hope everyone can participate in some capacity.  It will be held at:


Gilda's Club NYC
95 W Houston Street
New York, NY 10014
6-8 PM

Please be on the lookout for your invitation and raffle tickets in the postal mail.  It will be arriving shortly. Please do your best to purchase your own raffle tickets and sell to your friends and family.


Our prizes are gift cards for various places i.e., Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Macy's, movies etc.  Donations have been increasingly more difficult to secure over the last several years.  Dee, Leonia and Jane (not this year) do most of the soliciting for the prizes.  To help with this process, please consider getting a card or two donated or purchase and donate them.  If you can do either, please call Dee Carroll directly at 718-273-3697.


Dee has chaired this committee for many years and works tirelessly to run an enjoyable and successful event. 

The more funds we raise at this event, enables us to better serve our initiatives.  We need everyone's help!


Special Note:  





SI NAR Governor Butsy will be attending on October 5th and installing new SIM members.

Friday, June 26, 2015

SIM's 2015 "Live Your Dream" Recipient is Installed as a Member.


On May 31, 2015, SIM held their annual “Hats Off To You” Sunday Brunch and Annual Awards & Installation of Officers event at Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Hilton Garden Inn, Staten Island.

On this day, we had the privilege of installing Mrs. Valerie Coleman as a SIM member. Valerie was our very own "Live Your Dream" recipient this year and we delighted that she has chosen to make SIM a part of her bright future. 

The following is Valerie's acceptance speech:

"Hello Soroptimist Women:

   My name is Valerie Coleman. I am very honored and proud to become a sister of the Soroptimist Women’s Club; and to be instated in Staten Island where I spent my childhood growing up. Moving from a house on Arnold’s Street to the Mariners harbor projects was probable the start of my hardships.  

I thank and appreciate this organization for choosing to award me for my effort to continue my education.  Many life’s disturbances has caused me to be a late bloomer; achieving a degree at age 50, and I am still seeking higher education.  You have also inspired me to apply for other scholarships. 

I also thank you for welcoming me to become one of you, Soroptimist Women.  Whatever role I can play to repay the club for the way you have inspired me and lifted my spirit please inform me. " 

Introducing SIM's First "Soroptimister"



On May 31, 2015, SIM held their annual “Hats Off To You” Sunday Brunch and Annual Awards & Installation of Officers event at Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Hilton Garden Inn, Staten Island.  

In this day, we had the honor of officially installing Mr. Fred Gilstein as SIM's very first "Soroptimister". Fred has been a long time supporter and participant of SIM's events in many ways but he is best known by all for his speciality "Lottery" hats which are always AIM's most popular raffle item. Name an event an Fred has come up with a unique hat with all sorts of lottery opportunities to make that dream come true.

Our hats off to you Soroptimister Fred!  

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Remembering Rena Pincus

Mom was born in Mannheim, Germany and emigrated to Argentina at the age of 9 to escape the war. The day they left Germany, they left the family grocery store lights and fireplace on and only took their personal belongings with them, leaving the rest behind. After 30 days at sea they arrived in Argentina, with no knowledge of the language or friends to help them settle in.

At the early age of 21 and after mastering 4 languages Rena obtained a job at a Swiss multinational company (SGS Control Services) where she stayed for 52 uninterrupted years, retiring at the age of 73.

She married the love of her life (my father Walter) only to lose him to heart failure when she was only 36 years old and I was 10.

As you know, we were very close. She raised me in an exemplary manner, forfeiting many things for herself just to provide for me. One of her many wonderful qualities was the desire to help and support many causes, issues and people. She offered her time selflessly and made financial contributions to many worthy causes.

If there is one legacy she left our family as a lesson, was the way she respected her fellow human being. She had only kind words for everybody, was tolerant with any one even if they thought differently than her and had an immensely positive attitude towards life. Her laughter was contagious and constant, even while battling her final illness.

There were few commitment in her life she cherished more than being part of the Soropotimists. Her respect and love for this organization and the ladies she shared time with was a constant topic of conversation at home.

It has been 3 years (2012) since she has gone to rest permanently, but her memory is very much alive in the hearts and minds of our family and the many friends she made in her whole her life.

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.

Fondly, 
Peter (Pincus)
February 20, 2015

Sunday, February 15, 2015

St. Bakhita - From Slave to Saint


A movie, in Italian with English subtitles, on the life of St. Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of all trafficked children and adults.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

February 8 - International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking


(Vatican Radio) Perhaps we really didn’t notice, perhaps we chose to turn away, probably we just didn’t know what to do or to say… what’s almost certain given the sheer magnitude of the phenomenon, is that  every single one of us have interacted with or crossed paths with a trafficked person at one time or another in our lives.

So, because around 2.5 million people continue to be victims of trafficking and slavery every year (official figures estimate roughly 21 million trafficked and exploited people in the world today), and because so many of them suffer abuse and unspeakable violence, we are all called to join in prayer on Sunday, February 8, to mark the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking.

This particular date has been chosen as it is the Feast Day of Saint Josephine Bakhita who was sold into slavery as a young child and whose faith-filled struggle for liberation provides hope and inspiration for those who are trapped in the dark desperation of slavery.

Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni spoke to Martina Liebsch, Policy and Advocacy Director of Caritas Internationalis about the work of Caritas and the Catholic Church in its effort to raise awareness, prevent trafficking, denounce traffickers and exploiters and help and protect the victims.

First of all – she asked – what is the meaning of this International Day?

First of all, Liebsch points out, “we have too many victims of human trafficking around the world and too little traffickers convicted”.

Highlighting the fact that every person who is a victim counts, she says this is an occasion to join our efforts to fight that crime, and “in that sense, if we all join together in prayer - which is a huge force in itself - I think that means a lot, and hopefully we will then be able to join our hands more in action” she says.

Liebsch says that in the fight against traffickers enslaving human beings, we must all take responsibility “by being aware, by recognizing the signs, by looking at our neighbors, brothers, sisters, people we meet on the street and by asking ourselves under which condition does this person live?”

And it’s even easier to be aware of what we buy and consume. We must ask ourselves, she says, whether we know how the things we buy are produced, by whom they are produced and under which conditions…”
Conceding that some companies have examined their supply chains to avoid labor exploitation, Liebsch says there is still much to be done along these lines.

“It is also a call to employers to give people work conditions that are not exploitative” she says “to improve working conditions and fight against slavery”.

Liebsch speaks of the event last December 2 in the Vatican, during which faith leaders were called to put their signatures to a Declaration against slavery: “I think faith leaders can do a lot to transmit the message to their faithful, but also to those, among the faithful who have great responsibility, so I think we have to join these issues”.

And commenting on the fact that the horrible practice has much to do with what Pope Francis calls our “throwaway culture”, Liebsch says “I think it’s first and foremost about our own awareness and maybe looking to the other side when we see something that is not good”.

She speaks of our culture of going for the cheapest buy – even when it comes to something like tomatoes for example: “we choose not to think of the conditions in which the pickers live and work, deprived very often of their pay, their dignity” and perhaps of their freedom.

Not to mention the girls on the street and their clients who are probably respected members of our societies. She says this represents the very dark side of the phenomenon, and points out that the majority of trafficked people are women and girls, often exploited for sexual services. 

Liebsch speaks of the powerful witnesses provided by people who have in some way been exploited or trafficked themselves and have managed to escape the net, and says they are doing much to contribute to raising awareness “they can be the best ambassadors against the crime” also revealing the mechanisms with which so many young girls are lured into the ring.

She talks of  how trafficking is often closely linked with the phenomenon of migration and especially of migration from poor countries where so many are particularly vulnerable as they embrace a vision for a better life and become trapped in the mechanisms of traffickers and pimps who are conducting one of the most lucrative activities in the world. 

Official figures show it generates some 32 billion dollars a year making it the third most profitable “business” after drugs and arms trafficking.

“That’s why Caritas Internationalis has always advocated that we need a shift in migration policies, we need to make migration an option for people, an option where they don’t risk their lives, and where they must not – because they have no other possibility – become victims of smuggling and trafficking” she says.

Expressing her gratitude for the support of institutions like the American Embassy to the Holy See that funds and promotes Caritas Internationalis initiatives and projects against human trafficking, Liebsch says the voice of Pope Francis – who has repeatedly called for action against the phenomenon – has not only garnered support and fueled momentum in the difficult battle against the crime, “it has given much needed recognition to many people who work in this difficult field every day on the ground”.

Because –she explains - for a long time the issue was dealt with by Church organizations and by Church related organizations, but it was not always seen as a part of the work of the Church.

But Pope Francis – she says – “has really put it into the forefront, also reminding the faithful that we can do a lot, that we have our parishes where victims appear, and that we are really called to live as Christians”, and in this case – as he so often says – going out to the peripheries.

Liebsch says that what is still needed is to come closer together. And that’s the aim of this newly established Global Freedom Network that will work a lot with faith leaders and with business leaders: “we really need to reinforce that” she says.

And emphasizing the fact that  Caritas Internationalis would like to see the bringing together of all the networks, Liebsch says “that is why we have created one ecumenical network called COATNET  - Christian Organizations Against Trafficking – made up of 42 world-wide  organizations.

We are suggesting- she says - that this could be enlarged to a larger platform that would include those who work on the ground so as to have a more systematic exchange: “because if we don’t work together we will not be able to have an impact”.

(Linda Bordoni)


87th NAR Spring Conference - April 17th-19th, 2015

Click on image for details & registration information.

Monday, January 26, 2015

ACTION ALERT: Leave a message of support for survivors of domestic violence!

We’ve all seen the headlines – the NFL is no stranger to domestic violence. Within the past year, six NFL players have been arrested on domestic violence related charges. NFL players’ relative arrest rate for domestic violence is much higher than for other crimes. And the NFL has a history of leniency when it comes to domestic violence cases. But there is hope that the NFL is starting to turn things around: NFL owners recently unanimously adopted a new personal conduct policy, and some NFL players have appeared in a domestic violence and sexual assault PSA series aired during NFL broadcasts in partnership with No More.

Now, newly declared feminist, Katy Perry, will be headlining the Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show. Katy is a strong female figure, and her hit song “Roar” is without a doubt an anthem of strength and perseverance. LiveYourDream.org is calling on Katy Perry to dedicate her halftime performance of “Roar” to survivors of domestic violence. Join us as we stand in solidarity with women across the nation!

Step 1: Join this #RoarForSurvivors Thunderclap
What's a "Thunderclap" you ask? Thunderclap is a tool that lets a message be heard when you and your friends say it together. It essentially schedules all of our messages to hit the airwaves at once. Think of it as an "online flash mob." Join this #RoarForSurvivors Thunderclap, and you and others will share the same message at the same time, spreading an idea through Facebook and Twitter that cannot be ignored.

Step 2: Leave a Message of Support for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Click here!