March 31, 2010
Sendy Soto Member and Organizer
My passion for helping people started when I was 8 years old. This is the age I recall giving my first monetary contribution. It involved my parents giving me coins so I can gift them to the blind homeless musician playing in the subway. I remember how excited I used to be when the time came to drop the coins in his collection box. This simple act of kindness that my parents instilled in me sparked my desire to help the homeless community. Now, at the age of 29, I am proud to say I can execute tangible ways of combating poverty while also focusing on empowering women many thanks to the Venus Collective, an organization in which I serve as a vital member and organizer. Venus Collective is a Chicago-based women’s collective with currently 13 active participants. It began as an idea to celebrate International Women’s Day by hosting an event where women can feel safe while collecting donations for nonprofit organizations. This idea has continued to grow for the past 7 years. We now strive to make every day International Women’s Day. Our mission is to foster leadership, build community collaborations, and provide an inclusive space for women to reflect on their multiple identities. We envision a world in which women and girls are valued as fully human and can grow, work, love and live under conditions of justice and peace. The purpose of my participation in Venus Collective is to exercise my passion for social justice. I have been a true leader for the group and the communities we serve. Since my involvement, we’ve raised close to $7, 000, which have been donated to organizations like the Haitian Congress to Fortify Haiti located in Evanston, Illinois, USA and Twine, an organization focused on promoting artistic labor from artisans in non-industrialized nations. We make sure the monies raised go to organizations that focus on bettering the lives of financially disadvantaged individuals. Besides my passion for fighting against poverty, I possess a strong trait in social networking. My relationships with people are based on peace and productivity. I find myself constantly bringing people together. Through my efforts alone, Venus Collective has worked with over 15 local women artists, 10 small business owners, and multiple influential women. I have a true desire to find the human connection in each person I come across. I introduce people to Venus Collective if I feel they will happily benefit from it or if they demonstrate a true interest in the group's mission. I keep in mind the interests of everyone around me. Overall, I have a heightened sense of reality. The fight against poverty and women rights is my life-long mission, possibly the purpose of my existence. I hope to continue to be successful in Venus Collective and share our mission and vision in other geographical areas.
The World is calling me, and I am listening.