People often ask me why I chose to work in a field that must be so depressing. It’s true that every day we’re exposed to some of the worst actions that humans can choose to do– harming those they profess to love. But it’s not depressing work, because every day my advocates see hope in people’s eyes, and see people’s courage in creating a new life without violence. For me, every day I see what a caring community we have and I’m exposed to so many inspirational leaders who dedicate themselves to making our community better.

And when I think of leadership, I think of Kathleen Fyfe as (in addition to her own phenomenal contributions to the community) she has guided and inspired so many people to be more impactful leaders through Leadership Saratoga. With her typical eloquence, Kathleen sums up the importance of the Purple Purse, “Financial literacy is important because no one should feel trapped and not able to leave an abusive relationship.”  Click here for more from Kathleen.

Kathleen’s words echo the sentiments that underlie Soroptimist International of Saratoga County’s signature service project, Project Hope and Power, an eight week financial literacy program designed to give women the skills, confidence and supports to be economically self sufficient. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through education and empowerment. Project Hope and Power, a 12-year  collaboration with Wellspring, began when the club members learned that many domestic violence victims remain in abusive relationships because of simple economics– they’re afraid they would be unable to afford rent, food, and health care for themselves and their children if they left.

Robin Solomon and Karen Totino are two local women who are not only Soroptimists, but also successful business owners. Robin  notes that domestic violence is, “an important issue for women and an important issue for the men who love them.” Click here to hear about the many women in her life who inspire this commitment. Karen’s  words embody the sisterhood of all women and Soroptimist’s commitment to upholding all women, “I don’t want any woman to feel alone in her struggle.”Click here for more from Karen about the challenges women face here and globally.