55 years Soroptimist Sees’ Candie Fundraiser

Shared Stories
on September 27, 2011


Soroptimist of Blythe

Golden West Region

PO Box 67

Blythe, CA 92226


Who We Are

Soroptimist is an international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Almost 95,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community–based and international projects that benefit women and girls.

The name, Soroptimist, means "best for women," and that's what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.

Soroptimist members belong to local clubs, which determine the focus of volunteer work to their communities. Club projects range from renovating domestic violence shelters and providing mammograms to low-income women, to sponsoring self-esteem workshops for teenage girls. In addition, Soroptimists participate in organization-wide programs including the Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Awards, Soroptimist Club Grants for Women and Girls, the Soroptimist Workplace Campaign to End Domestic Violence, the Soroptimist Ruby Award: For Women Helping Women, the Soroptimist Violet Richardson Awardand Soroptimists STOP Trafficking. Clubs also participate in the Live Your Dreamcampaign, which encourages all women to live their dreams while helping others to do the same.”

Our local Club

For 55 years Soroptimist International of Blythe California has planned and organized a Holiday See’s Candies Fundraiser to use the profits for funding projects to ensure access to education and training for women and girls throughout their lifespan.

With our profit we support Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity and Violet Richardson’s Awards, Scholarships, Girls Secrets, Soroptimist House of Hope, and other service projects. See’s Candies continues to be a profitable fundraiser for our club.  Blythe California is a remote area with limited shopping and businesses and individuals continue to support this sale as a means to have holiday gifts without having to go out of town to purchase.

Last year we were worried because our small town is economically depressed more than the previous year and because other organizations decided to sell See’s Candies at the same time.  We knew we were going to have to work harder.

Sales had been declining.  So we imagined!   We voted to order extra candies at risk and sell in store fronts, adding to our returning customer sales.  We voted to purchase a 3’x8’ banner advertising to sell.  It was bright black with white lettering and had a red poinsettia on the right side.  We borrowed a farmer’s older cotton trailer, and an empty corner lot from a merchant.  We hung the banner onto the cotton trailer, parked on the main street so everyone could see the sign that said “Soroptimist Best for Women See’s Candies Sale through November, [email protected].”   We met and filtered the phone books together to seek prospective supporters and picked a weekend to setup a festive table front inside a local restaurant to sell candies there too.  We believed!  We setup hot coco tables during the Christmas parade to get our club on radar. We place ads in the local newspapers telling our story.  We even set a table at a Fall Festival to show and tell of what we are all about and solicited the candies order.

We turned in our orders and 3 members assisted on the count.   Our top sales member sold 491 boxes.

A week later our See’s Candies order arrived in the morning at the home of SI Blythe, member chairman.    She has volunteered her home for many years.   Five members sorted out the 1742 boxes and were ready for distribution for members to pick up by 2: PM.   This project is so well organized, continuous, and historical for our club.   

We achieved!The retail value of the candy sold was $24,184.51. Our whole sale cost was $17,450.67 leaving us with a gross profit of $6733.85.  We had cost of $13.65 for express mail and $144 for the banner making our net profit $6576.19. We expected to profit $5000, and we over exceeded and sold $1576.19 more.  If we counted what we have sold and profited for 55 years can you imagine how much this fundraiser has benefited the recipients throughout the years?

At the end of our last season we awarded over $8,345 from The Sees’ Candy fundraiser and other successful fundraisers to various service organizations such as, Blythe Emergency Food Pantry, Blythe Harmony kitchen, Blythe Hornets Pop Warner, Inc., Blythe –PAL, Breakfast with Santa, Friends of the Palo Verde Cemetery District, Palo Verde College Traditional Class Nursing Students, Palo Verde Hopeful Start, and Sheltering Wings, Inc, Blythe Recreation Center and Soroptimist House of Hope.  We gave one Scholarship 4 year University $1,000, and $500.00 for College. We awarded the Violet Richardson Award recipient with $200 and $200 for her organization she represented; and $300.00 to the Women’s Opportunity Award.  This October we will celebrate and continue our 56thAnnual fundraiser.


We not only have fundraisers but we coordinate Soroptimist Annual Safety & Health Fair; Stop Human Trafficking Seminar; Host a young workshop called “Girls Secrets” to educate and bring awareness to current issues; personal Hygiene, bulling, cell use, and internet security. We celebrate Women’s International Day.  We collected 179 of the 8700 used bras from the community to participate in our regional campaign to send bras women overseas.

I am sharing this story because I want to recognize and highlight the wonderful women from our community; and to share there are several local Soroptimist clubs throughout the world. Volunteerism and be asked to join a Soroptimist is an honor!

Submitted by,          Rosalie Carlton, SI Blythe Past President 2010/2011


Found in: Shared Stories