TOWNSHIP OF NORTHAMPTON >> Soroptimist International of Indian Rock Inc., (SIIR), an organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, presented its annual community service awards at its March dinner meeting at Spring Mill Country Club, recognizing local individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to the well-being of women and girls.
The annual Making a Difference for Women awards are determined by a group of past presidents of the organization, based on recommendations made by members of that local Soroptimist chapter. Seeking to recognize the work of those who improve the lives of women and girls, SIIR has been presenting these awards for nearly four decades.
The evening’s top prize was awarded to the Diakon Children’s, Family and Community Ministries for its family reunification/preservation program, which encompasses not only Bucks County, but also the counties of Delaware, Northampton and Lehigh.
As a recipient of the Organization for the Advancement of the Status of Women award, Diakon – represented by Fayrouz Azer – was recognized for his work in providing home-based services to keep young people in their original homes , which completes their mission of ensuring the permanence of all the young people who go through their various programs, whether it concerns keeping the young person at home, foster care or adoption.
Azer has served as the program’s executive director since 2021 after serving as a program supervisor in Bucks County until 2018, when she was promoted to director of tenure.
The second honor of the evening – the Women Helping Women Award – went to Kristin Chapin, Associate Director of the YWCA of Bucks County.
Chapin, and past recipients of this award, are hailed as those who use their positions, influence and authority to open up wider avenues of opportunity for women, working to eliminate economic, legal, social or political discrimination. Specifically, Chapin and YWCA staff were recognized for their dedication to the Haven House program, which provides refuge for women and children fleeing human trafficking.
While at Haven House, participants benefit from crisis advocacy, trauma-informed counseling and other support services. Chapin’s involvement, dedication and collaboration with other agencies played a huge role in the success of the project.
The final award of the evening was presented to Anna Katz, the new President and CEO of Pearl S. Buck International.
As a recipient of the Woman of Distinction Award, Katz was recognized for her current work as well as her long history of serving populations in need, especially women and children, both at home and abroad. Indeed, she has a long-standing reputation for her commitment to social justice. Katz also served as a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Like Buck, she is dedicated to advocating for the most vulnerable populations, such as children and those discriminated against because of the circumstances of their birth, and to being a voice and activist against inequalities between genders, races. and human rights.
Each recipient was rewarded with a framed citation, a bouquet of flowers and a standing ovation from the public, made up of members of the SIIR as well as guests of the winners.
For more information on Indian Rock, Inc.’s Soroptimist International and its programs as well as details on becoming a member, visit the SIIR website at investdreams.org or email them at [email protected]