By Meg Moss, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director
This past Tuesday on March 8, many of us celebrated International Womens Day. Throughout the entire month of March, Americans will celebrate the many achievements of women throughout history in art, athletics, business, government, philanthropy, humanities, science, and education.
The Sanford Business and Professional Women’s organization celebrates the accomplishments of women everyday, and their mission is to help women grow professionally, personally, and politically. The International Business and Professional Women organization is the oldest of its kind in the world. It is devoted entirely and actively to the interests and needs of all employed women irrespective of their occupation and of their status. They are the only organization started by women and for women to improve women’s issues.
Sanford BPW promotes the professional and personal growth of their members by empowering them through networking, education and professional development. They hold monthly meetings, and members can be found in leadership roles throughout our community.
What are some ways that you can celebrate Women’s History Month? If you’re a woman-owned business, tell your story and the challenges you overcame to open your doors. If you’re a woman working in a non-traditional field for your gender, help someone who is thinking about doing what you do. Visit a retirement home and speak with women about their memories and the challenges they faced. Use what you’ve learned there to develop a newfound appreciation of the struggles faced by women.
Another way to celebrate Women’s History Month is to challenge yourself to buy from female business owners for a day (week, month, season.etc). In Sanford, that’s not hard to do! We have several women’s clothing boutiques and gift shops downtown that are owned by women, such as Purple Poodle, Added Accents, With Love Boutique or High Cotton Couture. Have your coffee at Kathy’s Java Express or the Eyelight. Order your company t-shirts from Flooded Screen Prints, purchase event signs from Lemon Springs Vinyl Queens. Plan your wedding at Sugarneck or Daniel’s Ridge, have family photos taken by Libby McGowen. Michelle Meyers can develop a logo or do other graphic design work for you. And last but not least, be sure to see Lynda Ward at Ward and Foust to do your taxes! See, it’s easy to support women owned businesses in our community!
Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed a law which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.
During Women’s History Month, the folks at the Sanford Area Growth Alliance recognize all of the women in our community that make a difference each and every day. From local business owners and essential workers, to elected officials and government employees, and everyone in between, we thank you for being vital to Sanford, Lee County and Broadway.