International Women's Day is celebrated around the world by many countries and many Rotary Clubs. This is the third year our Emmaus Rotary Club joined the celebration by honoring two women whose volunteer humanitarian work exemplifies the ideals of Rotary International of working together for a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves. Thank you to all who joined us in this celebration and to all Rotarians who wore something purple, the color of International Women's Day worldwide, to show your support of the celebration. 
Alicia Ruiz-Orbin and The International Women's Day Committee delivered a passionate and impactful awards celebration honoring the work of Bethlehem Rotarian Jill Long and Community Leader Corinne Goodwin.  Both Honorees shared their accomplishments and the challenges they have faced along the way in their efforts to make the Lehigh Valley and the World a better place for us all. 

Jill Long has had the "Service Above Self" attitude since Kindergarten when she would be the first to enthusiastically raise her hand and volunteer to help. (Often times meaning volunteering her parents) Since then, she has touched many lives through her service. One of Jill's biggest passions has been sharing her home and love through Foster Care. She has been a Foster Mother to eight, pregnant teen girls and a young boy through Valley Youth House.  Jill has also helped to start a local volunteer Ambulance Corps., created a program with women to teach women the skill of sewing,  and started a new independent living program with Valley Youth House JUST to name a few things outside of Rotary! Jill has been a Bethlehem Rotarian since 2014 where she serves as the Community Service Committee Chair in addition to her participation on 5 other committees as well as the Rotary Action Group against Human Trafficking, Phillies Strike-Out Hunger and Rotaplast.  Jill finds a lot of inspiration in Rotary but as she stated "It's not about what inspires you in Rotary it's who" which are great words to reflect on during Women's History Month. 
Corinne Goodwin was recognized for her outstanding work to improve the lives of transgender individuals and their families. Corrine leads the charge through her non-profit organization, Lehigh Valley Transgender Renaissance. Through LV Ren she has created volunteer run programs that provide peer-led support groups, education and outreach programs about issues such as medical care and safety, as well as education to the general public about issues affecting transgender people.  Corinne shared that 41% of transgender people attempt to commit suicide and that it is legal for a trans person to be discriminated against. She helped us to understand the difficulties transgender people face to find housing, employment and medical care and just how important it is to be recognized by the name you want to be called along with a legal ID to match.  Corinne is assisting transgender people navigate the expensive and difficult name change process through online form generators and financial grants.  Corinne is also serving the community by volunteering through the YWCA Bethlehem, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, and the GLVCC LGBT Business Council.  Corinne will certainly continue to be an unstoppable force for change and equality. 
March may be Women's History Month but every day is chance to appreciate the ladies who make our world a better place!