Founded in 1922, Soroptimist International of LA is the third oldest club in Soroptimist International. For more than 90 years, Soroptimist International of Los Angeles has supported multiple service projects with over $1,000,000 worth of in-kind resources, donations, awards and fellowships. The club has served as a major backer of highly regarded residential programs for female scholars, homeless women, and life saving shelter services for women and children who are victims of violence in the home. Our club is also active in public education on human trafficking, violence against women and teen relationship to violence.
In response to the 1946 Soroptimist International American Federation Convention challenge to provide “a service with a definite character and continuity,” Soroptimist International of Los Angeles adopted two service goals: the purchase of an international house for women college students and a $1,500 annual Fellowship Award. In May of 1947, the club celebrated its 25th anniversary with the establishment of the Soroptimist International of Los Angeles Foundation.
A satisfactory property was found and, after some compromise, the final price was $23,500, (over $235,000 in today’s dollars). With only $1,000 in the treasury, the immediate problem was one of money. Creative ways were found to raise funds including an Easter bazar, a garden party, and the “Paris in the Spring” luncheon. In May,1955, during a regular meeting at the Biltmore Hotel, with the L.A. Fire Chief in attendance, the mortgage burning ceremony took place.
With one goal accomplished, a special committee, chaired by Muriel Morse, recommended that the board consider adding another residential building at the rear of the existing Soroptimist House property. Less than 4 months later, on a Sunday in September of 1958, Soroptimist International of LA saw their dream come alive when 10 more women students called Unit II of Soroptimist House their home.