The strength of one organization combines professional achievement with charity. Step Up Women’s Network (stepupwomensnetwork.com) has a vision investing, inspiring, and involving. Founded in 1998 by Kaye Popofsky Kramer, its mission is to link women and girls together in career-oriented and charitable causes.
On Nov. 1st Alanis Morisette will perform at the Maritime Hotel in the DYKNY Jeans presentation of Vanity Fair In Concert benefiting Step Up. An eBay auction related to the non-profit runs through Oct. 20th on ebay.com/vanityfairmagazine. In New York Step Up has a “Step Up To Drama Program,” introducing kids to the art of make-believe. In Los Angeles, it’s “Step Up To Photography” enabling girls to tell their story with picture, among other events.
In the lower east side of New York there is the After School Film Program involving P.S. 188 Girls’ Club. In this area middle school girls learned to create films. Their 2004 project “RESPECT” got chosen to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. Their next film is “TWELVE.”
Recently Step Up put together gift bags for cancer patients newly admitted to the local hospital. They’ll do it again Nov. 2nd. The long-term goal of the organization is to inspire girls growing up to give back to their communities, passing on the tradition of philanthropy. A chapter in Chicago will be launching soon and you can nominate women who live in that city to participate.
The Step Up program involves three areas – women’s health, domestic violence prevention, and mentoring. Margie Moreno, Mentoring Program Chair, said it’s really gratifying to see mentoring in action.
“With the help of the Step Up L.A. Board, the mentor committee spends countless number of hours finding the perfect mentor for each applicant,” she said.The agency works with Break The Cycle to be pro-active in helping teens prevent violence in their relationships. To do this Step Up offers sessions to them on self-esteem, empowerment, and confidence. There is also a Goddess Day for girls age 12-22 where they get to indulge in beauty and skin care, belly dancing, rock climbing, photography and other activities.
Step Up New York also partners with Sanctuary For Families, a social services agency that helps people with abuse. An Arts and Beauty Day was held at another agency involving 30 volunteers and Step Up members. Over 25,000 hours have been donated by the agency’s community. Members can get a professional mentor depending on how many volunteer hours they commit to.
Step Up has monthly meetings, the Ladies Lounge networking for members, and joins various other businesses to improve the lives of young women everywhere. Annually the organization supports other social agencies who address women’s and social issues through various fundraising efforts.