Altrusa International of Columbus, Ohio

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Altrusa Columbus was chartered in 1918 to provide an opportunity for professional and executive women to perform community service while giving them the opportunity to build relationships with women of similar backgrounds who were working in a variety of industries and professions.


The Altrusa International of Columbus Club is a group of professional women that network and collaborate to explore and support needed community endeavors throughout Central Ohio.

Our mission is to have an active and involved membership club that will have fun together in a rewarding and accomplished environment.


Altrusa supports a variety of projects. Some of the projects that have been recently funded by the organization are shown below.

Columbus Literacy Council

Altrusa has a long history of funding projects of the Columbus Literacy Council (CLC).

The CLC began in 1970, when Church Women United organized and trained literacy volunteers to teach English to Asian and Greek immigrants. The council's mission is to increase the literacy skills of adults in central Ohio functioning below the eighth grade level by teaching English language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The work of this organization is important because central Ohio has realized a significant increase in its non-native born population. Columbus ranks number one for growth of immigrant and refugee populations in the last 10 years -- more than New York City, Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco.

This year, Altrusa is helping to fund curriculum materials in the classroom.

CLICK HERE to visit the website of the Columbus Literacy Council.

Homework Help Centers (Columbus Metropolitan Library System)

Since Altrusa's initial funding of the Homework Help Centers at the Columbus Metropolitan Library eight years ago, the program has grown from one center to 21 locations in 2011. This year, Altrusa will provide supplies for the Homework Help Centers such as calculators, analog clocks and world maps.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the library's homework help centers.

Medicine for Mali

Medicine for Mali (MFM) is a non-profit, non-government organization founded in 2000 by the late Dr. Stephen J. DeVore. MFM serves an eight-village region with a population of 8,000 people, of which just 23% of men and 12% of women are literate. The majority of MFM projects directly benefit women and children. The goal of MFM is to have 80% of students in the Girls in School Program pass on to the following grade each year.

CLICK HERE to visit Medicine for Mali's website.

Partners in Conservation

Partners in Conservation (sponsored by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium) provides operating expenses for the Ubumwe Community Center (UCC) in Gisenyi, Rwanda. Through the UCC, physically-challenged adults learn skills to ensure their livelihoods, physically challenged and street children attend school, mentally-challenged children attend classes and deaf children learn sign language. The UCC also funds a hot lunch program for people who attend the center each day.

This year, Altrusa is helping the center educate 19 deaf children who are learning American Sign Language. Altrusa International of Columbus, Ohio, will help fund the salary of a teacher proficient in sign language. The effort will help the children not only participate in classes with other children, but also become independent adults.

CLICK HERE for more information on UCC and why it was founded by Rwandans Frederick Ndabaramiye and Zackary Dusingizimana in 2005.

CLICK HERE  for greeting cards (blank inside) that are being offered by the Partners in Conservation program in 2010. Your order helps to fund programs such as smart wool socks ($20), female goats ($35) and secondary school tuition ($50) for families in Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. Please direct orders to the Partners in Conservation program at the address on the bottom of the form.

The Women's Fund Network

The Women's Fund Network (WFN) provides bridges out of poverty to encourage self-sufficiency for women in poverty, raising self-esteem in teens, identifying best practices and engaging communities to break the cycle of poverty, and assisting immigrant women caught in abusive situations to escape and move to economic self-sufficiency.

Altrusa has the unique opportunity to partner with The WFN to support the childcare portion of three of the network's 2010 grant partners. Each of these grant partners has innovative solutions to systemic issues in their community. Altrusa has the opportunity to create literacy-rich activities for young children during childcare hours.

CLICK HERE to visit the organization's website.


The Altrusa International of Columbus, Ohio, Foundation was established in 2006 as a subsidiary of the International Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to improve the economic well-being and quality of life in our local and global communities through a commitment to community service, literacy and education.

This past year, the Foundation disbursed more than $9,600 to various service projects and educational grants.

The Foundation currently finances these projects and grants through two funds: the Dorothy Scrivner Memorial Fund, which was funded by a bequest, and the Altrusa Service Funds, which are funded annually by fundraising events conducted by the local club on behalf of the Foundation. A Memorial/Honoree Fund has been established for future donations and bequests.

The Dorothy Scrivner Memorial Fund is used for scholarships or community needs related to education. The Altrusa Service Fund is used for projects recommended by the local club.

Foundation Officers
President: Susan Christoff
Vice President: Bonnie Blankenship
Secretary: Linda Nusbaum
Treasurer: Lois Borin
Foundation Member: Colleen McMurray

The Foundation also gives a Literacy Leadership Award each year to a woman from the Columbus community who has demonstrated outstanding personal achievement in literacy. The award recipient is honored at the annual fundraising event.

Pat Snyder, Columbus, was awarded the 2011 Literacy Leadership Award. Ms.Snyder was selected for the award because of her leadership ability in the area of literacy.

Through her regular humor column, “Balancing Act,” the former lawyer and newspaper reporter uses humor and personal experience to coach others through the perils of an overbooked, overstressed life. She also writes a monthly electronic newsletter, “Balancing Tips,” which includes research-based information on living a fulfilling life, and contributes regular columns to the national website of The Transition Network, which serves professional women over 50. 

Contributing to the Foundation

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation. As such, gifts are tax-exempt and purchases made for community projects are tax-exempt.

Monthly meetings give Columbus Altrusans opportunity for fellowship and, in this case, chance to enjoy the beauty of Schiller Park in German Village and the Shakespeare play, "Dark of the Moon."
Columbus Altrusan Cari Wolfe works with children at the YWCA Family Center during Make a Difference Day activities in October 2010.
Columbus Altrusan Claudia Speakman works with children at the YWCA Family Center during Make a Difference Day activities in October 2010.
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