2016-04-14 / Letters

Altrusa Club to celebrate big anniversary in May

To the editor:

Does the word Altrusa mean anything to you? In a nutshell it means “doing good works for good causes.” On May 9, the Altrusa Club of Biddeford-Saco will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Most people have never heard of us, but we sure have done some good works for good causes in the greater Biddeford and Saco communities.

You may have heard that more than 400 free books were distributed to the people of our community last October at the Saco Spirit Fall Festival. We also paired up to give away almost the same number of free bike helmets that day through our cooperation with the Michael T. Goulet Traumatic Brain Injury and Epilepsy Foundation. We delivered free large print books to area assisted living communities. We read annually to students at Young School in Saco, providing a new book for each classroom. Since 2007, The club has given out more than $10,000 in scholarships to area graduates; 150 needy mothers have received gift bags from our Newborn Assistance Project at SMHC in Biddeford. Nine underprivileged children have been sent to the Royal Family Kids Camp in Ocean Park for a week. In 2008, we honored every Fallen Hero from the state of Maine with a large contribution to the Bob Woodruff Foundation for Traumatic Brain Injury and every soldier’s family received a commemorative Christmas ornament with their son or daughter’s name embroidered on it.

The list goes on and on and on. Twenty-four women have accomplished this and much, much, more through our membership in the Altrusa International Club of Biddeford- Saco. Yes, that is correct. Altrusa is an International Club founded in 1917 with districts around the globe. Small and large clubs in each district have undertaken great service projects, helping their own communities to thrive. Eleanor Roosevelt was among Altrusa International’s distinguished members and 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of this fine organization.

At a time in our history when everything considered “newsworthy” is either tragic, traumatic, sordid or life threatening, and our elected officials seem to have lost the ability to compromise for the good of the public, we must look within ourselves to make a difference in the world. Small, often little known groups of everyday, dedicated, resourceful people can and must continue to make our world a better place.

Nancy Phillips Saco

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