Altrusa International Foundation of Mansfield has been serving the community since 1951, offering a wide selection of projects to help meet the needs of individuals that need assistance.
Co-President of Altrusa of Mansfield Linda Williams has been working with the foundation for 21 years, originally joining as a member to work with others that have the same love for volunteering as she does.
“We hope that we’re doing something that’s going to really give an individual joy or fulfillment, something they’re not able to do and have access to on their own,” Williams said.
Altrusa of Mansfield had a successful year in 2019 when members raised over $38,000 locally and, in addition to those funds, received monies from foundations and personal donations.
“The success of our community service and what monies we have available to use is based upon how well we did with fundraising the previous year,” she said.
Community members can support the organization’s causes by attending Altrusa’s 10th Annual Spring Bash on March 7 in Fairhaven Hall at Richland County Fairgrounds. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $25 per person or a table for eight at $175.
Tools for Schools, one of the organizations biggest projects, helps support teachers, learning and literacy by giving underprivileged students some of the “tools” they need to enhance the learning process. In the 2018-2019 school year, Altrusa provided 121,434 school supplies to teachers throughout Richland County.
Altrusa also partners with Mansfield City schools for the S.A.F.E. program (Student Achievement through Family Engagement) to provide Buddy Bags for homeless children. The group also incorporated their Clean and New Program in which Altrusa provides laundry and hygiene supplies to the families of children served by the S.A.F.E. program.
“Whatever we see as needs or things that are brought forth to us from the community, we do what we can to help to fund those projects,” Williams said.
Altrusa also works with “Women in Transition” at the Madison Adult Center with providing financial support and paying fees to help them finish their program.
Although they’ve already accomplished many things over the years, Williams wants to continue to do more. In 2020, she hopes to provide more resources for the veterans of Mansfield.
If you want to become a member with Altrusa, you must be asked by someone already serving on the club. Williams hopes that anyone looking to join will attend their meetings.
“There are so many needs and so many people that are hurting in this community in so many different ways,” Williams said, “and if we—in any way—can help them by putting a smile on their face and letting them understand that somebody is here and there’s somebody that really cares about them.”
For tickets to Altrusa's 10th Annual Spring Bash, contact 419-512-2073.