Altrusa International of Gainesville Club Service Projects

Altrusa Clubs throughout the world are working to make their communities a better place in which to live and Gainesville is no exception. Our projects meet a wide variety of needs, both of our community and of our members and range from literacy to adult day health care.  Our Gainesville Altrusa Club places a priority on addressing the needs of the local community with a variety of fundraisers and activities.

Current Projects


Reading Pals

Starting in 2017, Altrusa of Gainesville has partnered with the Alachua County School Board and the United Way to provide support to Terwilliger Elementary. 

Pen Pal Project
The Pen Pal project works with the three 3rd grade classes at Williams Elementary School, an area schools that does not perform well on state tests of performance. Altrusans plus friends and family are pen pals for the students.

A goal of this literacy project is to give students practice at writing by giving the students a unique purpose to write; to build a relationship with a pen pal. Letters are exchanged approximately every six weeks throughout the year, culminating in a final in-person exchange at our Altrusa May luncheon.

Santa Fe Community College Scholarship
Established in 1976 the Gainesville Altrusa Club has an endowed scholarship program (4 scholarships) to assist women attending Santa Fe College. This was Santa Fe College’s first scholarship for women. The scholarships are for women over the age of 25 who seek to change direction, pursue new career opportunities or who need to enter or re-enter the job market after raising a family.

International Activities
Naturalization Ceremonies
Each month Altrusa members provide refreshments and a personal welcome to the United States at the Naturalization Ceremony held in Alachua County.

Russia Club

Our club is proud to have started the first Altrusa Club in Russia, Altrusa International, Inc of Novorossiisk, Russia. We continue contact and support with them.

International Dinner

The International Relations Committee hosts an dinner with an international theme.  Food and decorations specific to the theme help to set the mood for a evening of fun.  In addition to the dinner, there is a silent auction with wonderful treasures to be had.

Proceeds from the event support international scholarships and United Nations Association Adopt-a-future, an education program for refugee children.  Check the calendar page for date and ticket information.


Vocational Committee

The Vocational Committee holds a yard sale in the fall. Procceds from the sale support Her House of Hope, a home for women transitioning from incarceration or rehab, Fisher House at the VA hospital and other programs that mainly serve women and children.

Trading Closets

Altrusa International of Gainesville’s holds a single major fundraiser each year to support its service projects, raising approximately $20,000 annually. The proceeds from this event support Altrusa House and our club’s many valuable projects to benefit the citizens of Alachua County.

Christmas Wreaths

Each year around August or September Altrusa International of Gainesville begins collecting orders for Christmas wreaths.  This is a great gift to send family and friends who have everything or who lives out of town.  The wreaths are delivered in early to mid-December directly to the recipient.

 Fifty percent of all proceeds from the fundraisers go to support scholarships to Altrusa House and the remainder to all other community service projects of Altrusa International, Inc. of Gainesville.


Previous Projects

Camp Crystal Lake

Altrusa of Gainesville began its relationship with Camp Crystal Lake by forming a coalition many years ago that kept the camp from being closed. The club now awards Camp Crystal scholarships to ten worthy elementary and middle school students chosen by the school board based on need and good citizenship. The registration fees are provided by our annual club-wide fundraiser, Trading Closets.

Stuff the Bus

From 2005-2016, the Stuff the Bus event was held in the fall to collect school supplies and non-perishable food items that were provided to children in transition of Alachua County. Altrusans coordinated the collection of school supplies, school clothing, and food for the weekend backpack program from community members and Altrusans. In 2012 Altrusa partnered with United Way on this project.

Altrusa Read-in for Literacy
Starting in 1996, Hundreds of Altrusans and community members held a much anticipated Read-In for the Alachua County public schools every year. Every public school in the county had readers in grades K-2nd grade with Altrusa securing and scheduling the readers. Altrusa also donated books to the media centers at each school im conjunction with the read-in.

Altrusans Sara Freeborn and Donna Pitts model fashions at the Trading Closets Fundraiser which supports all our major service projects.
Altrusan Donna Johnson gives the Altrusa House sign a cleaning. Altrusa House is an adult day health care facility providing are for frail and elderly adults sponsored by Altrusa of Gainesville.
During the 2004-2005 club year Altrusa International, Inc. of Gainesville, Florida erected a sign at the Gainesville Regional Airport to make sure those returning from Iraq knew someone honored and thanked them for their service. Originally we budgeted funds to plant and refresh plantings at the base of the sign, but the airport agreed to take on this responsibility at the request of an Altrusan who worked there in marketing. The people in the photo are: On the left Donna Johnson, Immediate Past International President On the right Nancy Kirkland, District Three Membership Development Chair.
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