Honoring Jean McKenzie

Jean McKenzie nomination form 2018

Jean McKenzie was a valued Soroptimist Life Member of SI La Grande. Established in 1993, the Jean McKenzie Award was combined with Woman of the Year Award in 2001. This club award is meant to honor an outstanding SILG club member–someone who cares about our area, helping others beyond the expectations of our group, while serving as an outstanding club member. Each year we award a deserving woman with the Jean McKenzie Woman of the Year Award. Please take time to complete the attached form to nominate one of your fellow club members, to have their contribution recognized. One deserving nominee will be presented with a traveling plaque which holds Jean’s Soroptimist pin and the names of prior women of distinction within our local club.  We will learn more about Jean and the award during the presentation at a June meeting, so stay tuned for the date.  In the meantime, check out the list of past recipients on our website!

Roberts Recognized

Distinguished Service Award

The Oregon Library Association recognized Eastern Oregon University librarian Shirley Roberts at its annual conference in Eugene last month.

Roberts’ 36-year career in the EOU library bridges generations of students and continuous shifts in technology. She earned the association’s Distinguished Service Award for her dedication to the library and its patrons, as well as libraries throughout Oregon.

“Shirley has made many contributions to serving libraries and readers during her career spanning from 1982 to today,” said OLA Honors and Awards Committee Chair Leah Griffith.

Roberts also served as chair of the Sage/Pioneer Library System and currently holds the position of association manager for the OLA.

After beginning her career at EOU, she earned her master’s degrees in library studies. Roberts worked through a variety of roles at EOU, eventually becoming an interim library director.

“Shirley is a strong advocate for resource sharing and rural libraries in Eastern Oregon,” Griffith said. “She’s worked tirelessly over the years to improve outreach to library patrons and support to library staff.”

She played a leadership role in expanding the Pioneer Library System from three libraries to over 70 through several grant projects, and she led the formation of a courier service connecting the libraries and supporting their growth.

She was a key part of the team that transitioned the Pioneer Library System into the Sage Library System, migrated new libraries, and implemented inter-agency agreements.

“Shirley served as a valuable member of the governing body of Pioneer/Sage,” Griffith said. “She helped effectively guide the consortium toward growth and stability.”

Roberts continues to support the EOU library in a part-time capacity as an instructional librarian.

“I’ve appreciated working with Shirley,” said EOU Library Director Karen Clay. “I’m so grateful for her well-informed advice.”

Roberts’ service grew on the statewide level when she became the first OLA Association Manager in 2007. Griffith said the new role allowed Roberts to help move the association forward in many ways, including developing a sound investment strategy that put OLA on the firmer financial ground.

“She took a variety of processes and tasks and brought them together working closely with the OLA presidents and treasurers over the years,” Griffith said. “Her talents, organization skills and most of all her easy-to-work-with personality has made for almost 10 years of smooth operations for OLA.”


May Meetings

May 10 – Business Meeting

May 17 – Evening Outing: 5:30pm Lucky’s Pub Social, 6:30pm Shopping at Maurices with Coupons from Sara! Support local business, try a new place, and get to know and support other Soroptimist members!

May 24 – Committee Catch-Ups & Planning

May 31 – Scholarships & Awards Luncheon

The Monetary Value of Volunteer Time

On April 20, 2017, Independent Sector announced that the latest value of a volunteer hour was $24.14 – up 2.5 percent from 2015. That figure, estimated from data collected in 2016, showed the incredible contributions volunteers made to our communities and our country. The state of Oregon showed a value of $24.15 in 2016, which was a 6.2% increase from 2015.  Findings for 2017 will be released later this month.

Currently, 63 million Americans volunteer about 8 billion hours of their time, talent, and effort to improve people’s lives and the natural world. With the new value of volunteer time, these Americans are contributing approximately $193 billion to our nation. According to data from the Corporation for National and Community Service, religious organizations were cited as the type of organization that volunteers worked in the most (34%), followed by educational or youth service (26%), and social or community service organizations (15%). (Yea, Soroptimists!)

“Volunteerism empowers people to support causes they care about. When changemakers work together to tackle tough problems, our world becomes a better place,” said Tracy Hoover, CEO of Points of Light. “By sharing concrete data that highlights the impact of volunteers, we can inspire and mobilize more individuals and organizations to realize their potential and power to become active participants in sparking change.”

An interactive map is available on the Independent Sector website.  Also included in the map is the complete data set for the value of volunteer time for all 50 states and DC from 2001-2016. To access state-by-state values of volunteer time and learn more about the national figure, visit independentsector.org/volunteer-time.

SILG Membership Profile

April Meeting Schedule

April 5 – Board Meeting, Denny’s

April 12 – Business Meeting, Island City Hall

April 19 – No Meeting, Conference

April 26 – Conference Recap by Attendees, Soroptimist Gear Sale

Committee sign-ups for 2018-2019 are ongoing. Contact President Elect Di if you have not been able to sign up for your fave committees as of yet!

Corrections to the current Club Directory should be emailed to President Elect Di. If you would like to have a new picture, submit it to President Tori directly.

Unexpected Benefits!

After volunteering, you may notice feeling good. Maybe you see a little boost in mood, or you feel like part of a team. Like you made a difference.

When we volunteer, we may see real changes as a result . We may even witness the effects that our efforts have on others in our community. When we volunteer, we know that we are helping others by giving our time and resources.

People volunteer for many reasons. It may be to support a cause they are passionate about or to engage in their community. We often volunteer to help groups or individuals who need it the most without expecting any reward.

Most of us want to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We do not volunteer, for the most part, because it benefits us. We volunteer because it makes a difference.

But, there are even more benefits to volunteering. We notice a subtle shift in ourselves when we volunteer. We feel more connected to others, and we become less absorbed in the normal stresses of daily life. We share our experiences with others and want to help more.

Sure, we know that volunteering makes us feel good. Yet, did you know that, when you volunteer, you are improving your life and maybe even your health?

The benefits of volunteering are countless. But there definitely are social, emotional, physical, and professional perks.

1. Builds Community

According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, you strengthen your community and your social network when you volunteer. You make connections with the people you are helping, and you cultivate friendships with other volunteers.

2. Ends Loneliness

The Campaign to End Loneliness says that close to 45 percent of people in the US and the UK admit to feeling lonely. On top of that, one in ten adults reports that they have no close friends. Loneliness and social isolation are two of the most serious epidemics in the world today. The simplest way to reverse this? Volunteer!

3. Increases Socializing

Socially, the benefits to volunteering show up quickly and have long-term effects. Social interaction improves mental and physical health, according to Psychology Today. The benefits of consistent socializing include better brain function and lower risk for depression and anxiety. You also improve your immune system.

4. Builds Bonds, Creates Friends

Volunteering creates stronger bonds between friends, family, and coworkers. People build closer relationships, better connections, and more powerful attachments to people when they work together.


5. Develops Emotional Stability

Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, low self-esteem, and even Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have all been helped by volunteering. When people with OCD, PTSD, or anger management issues volunteer, they feel more connected to others. They have an increased sense of purpose. Connection and meaning translate to decreased symptoms and improved social function.

6. Improves Self-Esteem

When teens or young adults volunteer, they develop self-esteem, confidence, and feelings of self-worth. Imagine the benefits to volunteering today, where both girls and boys struggle with self-esteem issues. Consider the advantages to volunteering for teens and young adults with eating disorders, social anxiety, and depression. Volunteering could be life-changing (and life-saving).

7. Helps Those Most Affected By Mental Illness

Programs help war veterans recover from PTSD when they volunteer at animal shelters. Dogs are man’s best friend, but helping those in need proves to be beneficial for both humans and canines.

On a more basic level, volunteering reduces stress and improves well-being. Volunteering gives people the tools they need to be happier, healthier, and well-rounded individuals. It also keeps us young.


8. Promotes Longevity

While everyone benefits from a little boost in physical health, long-term volunteers have longer lives, less disease, and better overall health. One report says that people who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the U.S.

9. Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease has become a frightening possibility for millions of individuals in the U.S. and globally. However, some research has shown that people who volunteer may be at lower risk of dementia from 65 years on.

Studies from the Journal of Gerontology indicate that social service improves elasticity in the brain. As volunteers age, they may be able to maintain the connections in their brains that often break down in Alzheimer’s patients. Any social interaction can help delay or prevent Alzheimer’s, and volunteering can be a wonderful way to do that.

10. Leads to Graceful Aging

Older volunteers benefit the most from getting out of the house, engaging with others, and moving physically. Purpose and collaboration result in mental health improvements and a better outlook on life.  Studies indicate that senior volunteers experience the most physical benefit from their service, possibly because being active and engaged leads to more happiness.

Older people who volunteer often feel younger and chronically ill people may have fewer symptoms and pain. Some research has even found that volunteers may have less heart disease.

11. Burns That Stubborn Belly Fat

With more people in traditional desk jobs, we live a more sedentary lifestyle than ever before. The risks associated with less daily movement include back pain, disease, obesity, and more stress and mental illness. When we volunteer, even if it is not a physically demanding project, we still get up and get moving.

Volunteers live longer and are more likely to take care of themselves in general, including getting vaccinations and keeping their weight under control. Volunteering at something that requires physical energy may be more motivating than just walking around the block.


12. Improves School and College Experience

For school-aged kids, volunteering builds social skills and develops awareness. High school students volunteer to boost their college applications, and college students volunteer to improve their job search post-graduation.

13. Provides Better Job Prospects

Many researchers have noticed that Millennials are some of the most civic-minded and socially-aware employees. They choose jobs that reflect their values and then continue to donate their money, time and skills. Seventy percent of Millennials share their skills with charitable causes, but their volunteer hours also make them competitive in the job market.

Other generations, too, are finding that civic-mindedness has become an asset in the workplace. Including related and non-related volunteer work on a résumé can often showcase your skills, as well as reveal an openness to teamwork and a talent for innovation. Employers overwhelmingly look favorably on job applicants who have volunteered.

14. Develops Corporate Communities

One of the biggest trends in the volunteer world today is corporate philanthropy. More big-name companies than ever support local and national programs financially. They create employee volunteer programs to support their philanthropic efforts and to retain employees. Companies encourage employees to commit a certain number of hours every year to service programs.

15. Volunteering Adds Fun to Your Years

Volunteering and freely giving your time, energy, and resources to people and causes around the world can create change on a global scale. It is amazing to think that one person’s efforts can change the life of someone else somewhere in the world. However, the best part, and often overlooked is that volunteering is just plain fun.


Excerpted from 15 Unexpected Benefits from Volunteering That Will Inspire You, J. Fritz

March Recipe

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat well.

Step 3

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in raspberries and walnuts.

Step 4

Place 24 foil cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter evenly into liners. Bake at 350° 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack. Yield: 2 dozen.

Endorsed by the Loman Kids!

SILG March Outlook

March 1 – SILG Board Meeting, 12noon at Dennys, All members welcome!

March 8 – SILG Business Meeting, Island City Hall

March 15 – Guest Speaker: NEON, Community Grants Recipient – Members encouraged to attend and bring a guest!

March 22 – Guest Speaker: Impact 100 – Members encouraged to attend and bring a guest!

March 29 – Spring Break, No Meeting