Girl Gives Back

Mary Kaiser
The Girl Gives Back

Briefly describe the organization you volunteer for and your role in the foundation.

Zonta Club of the Black Hills is a member of Zonta International, an organization of over 30,000 members in 64 countries working together to improve the status of women through international and local collaboration, networking, community service and advocacy. Our mission statement is: to improve the status of women through international and local collaboration, networking and community service. I have been a member since 2009, and have served in many positions, including president for the 2015/2016 club year.

Tell us something about the journey that led you to the organization.

I had been aware of the Zonta Club for many years because of the Annual Zonta Expo, and when a friend invited me to a meeting, and they read the Zonta Collect, it really resonated with me.

A Collect for Club Women

Keep us, O God, from pettiness; let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face-without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we be never hasty in judgment, and always generous.
Let us take time for all things; make us grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences;
that in the big things of life we are at one.
And may we strive to touch and to know the great common woman’s heart of us all,
and O Lord God, let us forget not to be kind!

What motivates you to stay involved?

I am so proud of the work we do internationally, and in our community, to help women. Our efforts bring much-needed funds to organizations that help local women, but also bring awareness to issues such as violence against women and sexual assault. Also, the friendships I have made in this club are so special. I have met, and learned from, so many amazing women.

Describe one of your favorite moments you’ve experienced while volunteering.

Definitely receiving the 2017 Zontian of the Year award from our club this year is a highlight. That was a great honor. I also love the annual Grant Awards meeting, where we give grants to the local organizations that are doing the hard work in the community. The Annual Zonta Expo is also a fun event, and I look forward to that every year.

Why do you believe it is important to volunteer?

I’ve seen the difference people make in our community with their volunteer efforts. Every little bit of time and effort we give can have a huge impact.

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