A Club for Giving Back
North Carolina Sorosis seeks to make a change
If you ask local SANDY ALFORD what Wilmington’s best-kept secret is, she’ll tell you it’s the North Carolina Sorosis (NCS). However, her answer is slightly biased, given she is its president.
The NCS is a club comprised of women from Wilmington and its surrounding area. It’s a “community service club committed to promoting volunteerism, improving the community, and fostering new friendships.”
It got its start back in 1895 when three local women came together and identified a need for a women’s club in the area. After learning of a similar club in New York, titled Sorosis, NC Sorosis was born. It’s a somewhat unusual name, “Sorosis,” means sisterhood in Latin.
By 1896, NCS became the first woman’s club in the state to become affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC).
“I like the fact that we are a local Club, but we also are a part of something bigger,” Alford says. “We are united by the desire to make positive changes in New Hanover County.”
NCS categorizes its community involvement into five programs: arts and culture; civic engagement and outreach; education and libraries; environment; and health and wellness.
Some of its current volunteerism includes “Taco Tuesday,” which is hosted on the last Tuesday of each month at the Sergeant Eugene Ashley Center for Homeless Veterans. For Alford and other NCS members, interacting with the veterans feels “like we have also given them emotional and social support, in addition to a hot meal.”
Other NCS-sponsored events include providing hot meals for the Junior Firefighter Academy during the summer and donating to the Shop With A Cop program. Additionally, the club donated $9,325 in scholarships last year to University of North Carolina Wilmington students, as well as students at Cape Fear Community College.
In her role as president of NCS, which is from 2022-2024, Alford chose to focus on the Boys and Girls Home NC in Lake Waccamaw. So far, the group has donated Christmas cards and funded the group’s holiday dinner theatre outing. For Valentine’s Day, the group will be planning a party for the kids there.
“I am responsible for presiding at the Board of Directors Meeting and the General Meeting each month, working with the finance committee on areas of benevolence, and working with the officers to compile state and national reports,” she says.
As a public school teacher for thirty years, Alford was inspired to join NCS because of her charitable heart. When it came time for her to retire, she knew she wanted to get involved with some type of community service. A friend invited her to an NCS club meeting, and she immediately knew she’d found her niche.
“The interesting and informative programs, the feeling of sisterhood among the members, and the spirit of community service were just what I was looking for,” says Alford. “I have had many leadership roles over the years but being elected President of NCS has truly been a highlight in my life.”
To view more of photographer Logan Burke’s work, go to LoganBurkePhoto.com
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