Zonta International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Zonta International
Motto Advancing the Status of Women Worldwide
Formation 1919
Type Service club
Headquarters Oak Brook, Illinois
  • Global
Membership 30,000
Key people Amelia Earhart (member)
Website www.zonta.org/

Zonta International is an international service organization with the mission of advancing the status of women.[1]


The first Zonta Club was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1919 by a group of businesswomen and was organized along the lines of the Rotary Club, with one woman from each business classification admitted to the local club and all members required to give 60% of their time to the “work under which they are classified”. By 1923 clubs had been established in New York City, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Cleveland, and Toledo, Ohio. The National President was Miss Harriet A. Ackroyd of Utica, New York.[2]

The Confederation of Zonta Clubs was formed in 1930. Originally conceived as a female equivalent of the Lions Clubs, Zonta sponsors program to help women in the field of public affairs and policy making. It has consultative status with the Council of Europe, the UN, ILO, and several UN agencies.[3]

Currently, Zonta International is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois. The organization has more than 31,000 members in 65 countries.

Educational Programs & Awards

Women have made great strides in the pursuit of education, careers and leadership roles they were once denied, but there is still a long way to go before women have the same educational and professional opportunities as their male counterparts. Zonta International seeks to provide these opportunities through a number of educational programs and awards

Amelia Earhart Fellowship

Established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship is awarded annually to women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or aerospace-related engineering. The Fellowship of US$10,000, awarded to 35 Fellows around the globe each year, may be used at any university or college offering accredited post-graduate courses and degrees in these fields.

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Women have made great strides in the pursuit of education, careers and leadership roles they were once denied; however, today, women are still more likely to be pouring the coffee in global boardrooms than sitting on the boards. In 2011, women held only 16.1% of the board seats at Fortune 500 companies according to the 2011 Catalyst Census. The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship program helps women pursue undergraduate and master’s degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom. Since the program’s inception, Zonta has awarded 357 scholarships to women from 47 countries.

Young Women in Public Affairs Award Program

Established in 1990 by Past International President Leneen Forde, the Young Women in Public Affairs Award honors young women of age 16 to 19, who demonstrate a commitment to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/region and international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation. District recipients receive US$1,000, and ten international recipients are selected from the district/region recipients to receive awards of US$4,000 each.

Z and Golden Z Clubs

Established in 1948, the Z Club and Golden Z Club program is one of Zonta International’s longest-running programs. Z clubs and Golden Z clubs help high school, college and university students develop leadership skills, promote career exploration and encourage members to participate in community, school and international service projects.

Woodmen of the World

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Woodmen of the World is a fraternal benefit society based in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, that operates a large privately held insurance company for its members.[1]

The history of this organization includes the erection of numerous distinctive tombstones depicting tree stumps across the country before 1930, a program to donate American flags, and broadcast interests that were to own the first television station where Johnny Carson worked.


The organization was founded in 1890 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Joseph Cullen Root. Root, who was a member of several fraternal organizations including the Freemasons, had founded Modern Woodmen of America in Lyons, Iowa, in 1883, after hearing a sermon about “pioneer woodsmen clearing away the forest to provide for their families”. Taking his own surname to heart, he wanted to start a Society that “would clear away problems of financial security for its members”.[2]

After internal dissension within the MWA, Root was ejected from the organization that he had founded. When moving to Omaha, Root decided to start again with a new group he originally called the Modern Woodmen of the World. He soon dropped the “Modern”, and the organization became simply, “Woodmen of the World”.[3]


Over the years a number of smaller fraternal organizations have been absorbed into the Woodmen, including the United Order of the Golden Cross in 1962, the Order of Railroad Telegraphers in 1962, and the New England Order of Protection in 1969.[4]


The organization formerly owned a 19-story tower at 14th and Farnam Streets which was the tallest building between Chicago and the West coast at the time of its dedication in 1912.[5] WOW built its current 30-story Woodmen Tower in 1969. It was Omaha’s tallest building until the completion of the 45-story First National Bank Tower in 2002.

The original WOW building was demolished in 1977.[6] Also there are many buildings in which Woodmen of the World chapters meet, and some of these are notable buildings.

Broadcasting interests

The organization played an important role in broadcast history, until it was forced to divest itself of these holdings because of its nonprofit status. On November 27, 1922, the Society began broadcasting on the radio station “WOAW”, with a signal that reached ships in both the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean from its 500-watt (later 1,000 watt, and eventually 5,000 watt) transmitters.[dubious ] In 1926, the station became WOW after the ship SS Henry J. Bibble, which had held the call sign, was retired from service.[7]

The organization’s nonprofit status was to cause a legal battle over ownership of the station. In 1943, the station was leased to an independent organization, Radio Station WOW, Inc. The U.S. Supreme Court voided this lease, returning it to the Society, but keeping the license in the hands of the station. In 1949, the radio station began thetelevision station WOW-TV. Among its first performers was Johnny Carson, who had a daily show called The Squirrel’s Nest where he told jokes, conducted humorous interviews and staged various skits with wacky comic characters.[8]

Stock in the broadcasting company was bought out by Meredith Corporation in 1958, effectively ending the society’s relationship with the station, but the use of the “WOW” call sign continued. The television station became to WOWT in 1975 to obtain FCC approval of its sale to Chronicle Broadcasting.

In 1999, Journal Broadcast Group changed the unusual three-letter radio call sign to KOMJ, later KXSP, for the AM station. The FM station became KQCH.


At the top of the organizational structure of the Woodmen of the World is the “Sovereign Camp”, which meets quadrennially. When the Sovereign Camp is not in session the WOW is run by a board of directors. States are called either “Jurisdictions” or “Head Camps”. Local groups are called either “Camps”, “Courts”, or “Groves”. There were 4,000 locals in 1979[9]


Membership was originally restricted to white males between the ages of 15 and 52. By 1977 these restrictions had been relaxed, though 16 remained the minimum age. There were 802,000 members in 1979.[10]


The Woodmen took their ritual and secrecy seriously at least through the 1970s. Members were initiated, given an annual password, and the constitution provided for an “Escort, Watchmen and Sentry”.[11]


Today, Woodmen of the World provides financial services to approximately 800,000 members in the US. These include life insurance and annuities, cancer insurance, and access to mutual funds, 529 College Savings Plans and other financial services. Members are also eligible to receive a wide array of fraternal benefits. These include participation in a youth program, a camping experience for youth and senior members, disaster relief assistance, a prescription drug discount card, and monetary support for members’ orphaned children. Another aspect of the organization’s patriotic mission is the annual In Honor and Remembrance program, which pays tribute to the heroes and victims of the September 11th attacks.

In September 2006, the Woodmen Tower marked the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks by displaying large American flags draped from its upper floors

The program includes conducting public ceremonies each year on September 11, and donating flagpoles and American flags to schools, fire departments, parks and other public places. More than 2,400 In Honor and Remembrance ceremonies have been held since the program began in 2002. To mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Woodmen of the World hung two 50 by 100 foot American flags on the Woodmen Tower. Twin beams of light, with a combined 10 billioncandela, illuminated the Omaha skyline each evening during the week of 9/11 in tribute to the World Trade Center.

With the Woodmen of the World/American Red Cross disaster relief partnership, the organization’s 800,000 members are encouraged to support the disaster relief work of their local Red Cross chapters. In 2005, following the Gulf Coast hurricanes, Woodmen of the World members reported more than 206,000 hours of volunteer assistance. This included preparing more than 175,000 meals for storm victims, evacuees and rescue workers. Woodmen of the World camp facilities in several states were also used as mass shelter sites. Woodmen of the World is one of the leading providers of American flags to schools and nonprofit groups. There are approximately 2,000 community-based Woodmen of the World lodges throughout the nation. Lodges conduct volunteer, patriotic and charitable activities that benefit individuals and communities. Woodmen of the World lodges have presented more than 1.4 million U.S. flags over the past 60 years.


Cemetery stone with Woodmen logo.

One enduring physical legacy of the organization is distinctive headstones in the shape of a tree stump. This was an early benefit of Woodmen of the World membership, and they are found in cemeteries nationwide. This program was abandoned in the late 1920s as it was too costly.

Typically the headstones would include a depiction of the WOW relics and symbols of the organization. These include most notably a stump or felled tree (inscribed into a more generic monument in some cases, rather than the more noticeable instances of the entire monument being in the shape of the log or tree-stump); the maul and wedge; an axe; and often a Dove of Peace with an olive branch. As Woodmen “do not lie”, a common inscription was “Here rests a Woodman of the World”.


Woodmen Circles

The Woodmen of the World had a female auxiliary called the Woodmen Circles from the early 1890s. Its local units were called local “Groves” and they were governed by a “Supreme Forest”, subject to the Sovereign Camp of the Woodmen of the World.[12] The Circle eventually reached 130,000 members, but it was absorbed by the Woodmen in 1965.[13]

During the Woodmen Circle convention of 1897, delegates from nine western states declared their intention to leave the national organization. They formed a new organization called the Pacific Circle, Women of Woodcraft”. It changed its name to the Neighbors of Woodcraft in 1917, but it merged with the Woodmen of the World in July 2001.


The first Boys of Woodcraft unit was founded in Jacksonville, Florida in 1903, by J.M. Taylor.[16] In 1979 the Boys of Woodcraft Sportsmen’s Clubs and the Girls of Woodcraft merged into the Woodmen Rangers and Rangerettes. This youth affiliate had 115,471 members in 1979.

Soroptimist International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Soroptimist)

Founded in 1921, Soroptimist International (SI) is a world-wide volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Through their General (Category One) Consultative Status as a non-governmental organization at the United Nations,[1]the organization claims to seek equality, peace, and international goodwill for women. The Mission Statement of the organization is:

Through international partnerships and a global network of members, Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls by: Advocating for equity and equality; Creating safe and healthy environments; Increasing access to education; Developing leadership and practical skills for a sustainable future.

There are four Federations around the world; SI of the Americas, SI Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Ltd, SI of Europe and SI of South West Pacific. The headquarters office for Soroptimist International is in Cambridge, UK.

The organization comprises approximately 95,000 members in more than 125 countries and territories worldwide who contribute time and financial support to community-based and international projects.

Soroptimist members belong to local clubs, which determine the focus of service to their communities.

The name “Soroptimist” was coined by combining the Latin words soror “sister” and optimus “best”, and can be taken to mean “best for women” [2]

Project Sierra

In 2012, Soroptimist International raised over £1million to help disadvantaged women and children in Sierra Leone face their futures with confidence, in partnership with the international charity Hope and Homes for Children.

Sertoma International

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sertoma International
Formation April 11, 1912; 102 years ago
Type Non-governmental organization
Legal status Service club
Purpose Hearing assistance
Website http://www.sertoma.org

Sertoma Inc., formerly known as Sertoma International, is an organization of service clubs founded on April 11, 1912. The name is an acronym for Service to Mankind. Sertoma has clubs all over the United States and in Canada. Sertoma’s primary focus is on assisting the more than 50 million people with hearing health issues and educating the public on the issues surrounding hearing health. In order to achieve these goals, Sertoma has undertaken a multi-faceted approach by launching programs that address both the treatment and prevention aspects of hearing health.

Sertoma has approximately 500 clubs throughout the U.S. and Canada with over 13,000 members combined. Clubs also sponsor community projects to promote freedom and democracy, to assist youth, and to benefit a variety of other local community needs as identified by individual clubs. In 2010, Sertoma Clubs donated over $10 million to various community projects and sponsorships.


The Co-Operative Club

The first official luncheon meeting of the founding Club was held on April 11, 1912, at the Coates House Hotel, then the fashionable hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. The founders of the first Co-Operative Club were George W. Smith, M.D., Charles E. Allen, M.D. and William R. Rowe. These three men are now recognized as the Founding Fathers of The Co-Operator Club of Kansas City, Missouri, and of Sertoma International.

In December 1920, Edward G. Freed, then President of the Kansas City Club, invited representatives from other clubs to meet together to consider forming an organization. Representatives from the Wichita, Manhattan, and Topeka Clubs, and the Kansas City Club attended. The International organization was immediately formed, and Freed was elected the first International President. On June 21, 1921, the first convention was held in Kansas City. Attending were 32 delegates representing six Clubs: Kansas City, Topeka, Manhattan, St. Louis, Chicago and Omaha. James P. “Daddy” Summerville, Charter President of the Kansas City, Missouri Club, was elected the second International President.

The Co-Operettes had its beginning in 1923 when the wives of the Members of the Co-Operative Club of Manhattan, Kansas, organized the first auxiliary, called the “Co-Op Lassies”. In 1928, the Co-Operettes became a national organization. Radio was used to promote the activities of the early Sertoma Club when Radio Station WHB in Kansas City – at that time one of the very few official government licensed broadcasting stations – offered the Club air time (the owner of Kansas City Station WHB, E.J. Sweeney, was a local member). “Make Life Worthwhile” was the slogan accepted by the organization in 1926.

On May 27, 1929, Andrew Ernest Foye of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was elected President of the Cooperative Clubs International. The well-known Sugar Bowl classic in New Orleans, Louisiana, had its beginning in Sertoma. In 1934, the New Orleans Club began this very successful project when former International Director Warren V. Miller introduced the resolution that the Club sponsor a football contest to be held in New Orleans during the Christmas holiday season.

In the early 1940s, confusion emerged between the Co-Operative Club name and consumer cooperatives. A contest was announced with a $500 cash prize offered for a name which might be selected. A total of 49 names were submitted. The Board of Directors narrowed the list down to seven to present to the 1948 Albuquerque Convention: Ambassadors, Century, Cooperators, Monarch, Operative, Sertoma and Sponsors. Noble W. Hiatt, then President of the North Indianapolis, Indiana Club, coined the name SERTOMA from the slogan, SERvice TO MAnkind, and his idea was selected. The official name change became effective on June 21, 1950.

International focus

In 1946, the first Sertoma Club to be chartered in Canada was founded in Windsor, Ontario. The need for an international sponsorship became apparent between 1949 and 1950, and the first sponsorship recommended to Clubs by the International Board of Directors was in 1949 by the Sertoma Club of Phoenix, Arizona, when the Club introduced the YES Program (Youth Employment Service). Sertoma International today holds the copyright to the name “YES”, even though local, state and national government involvement in “employment services” has limited the need for Sertoma Club YES Programs. The first Club chartered in Mexico was in Mexico City in 1956. The first International Convention outside the United States was the 1964 Convention, held in Mexico City, Mexico. The first Sertoma Club established in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was the San Juan Sertoma Club, chartered on August 14, 1965. Plutarco Guzman became the first Sertoman who was not a United States citizen to be elected President of Sertoma International. The attorney from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, was elected at the 1972 International Convention in Dallas, Texas.

The most significant milestone of the 1970s was the introduction of Serteen and Collegiate Sertoma Clubs. The first Serteen Club, recognized in 1971, was the Page Equine Serteen Club of Greensboro, North Carolina. The first Collegiate Sertoma Club was the Collegiate Sertoma Club of the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, Kansas.

Other establishments

Women were welcomed as members of Sertoma in 1985 and comprise a vital part of the current membership. The first all-female Sertoma Club was the First Progressive Sertoma Club in Tampa, Florida, chartered November 22, 1985. In 1987, the International Board of Directors approved STAND (Sertomans Together Advocate No Drugs), ananti-drug education program, as an International Sponsorship.

In 1992 and 1993, the Communicative Disorders and Hearing Impaired Scholarships were established. Further milestones included the 1997 introduction of the Sertoma Fantasy Baseball Camps and the surpassing of its $10 million goal by the Foundation for the Building A Legacy endowment campaign.

From 2000 to 2002, Sertoma introduced the first city-wide service project as a part of the International Convention in Tampa. The first female president, Diana Caine-Helwig, was elected in 2001. Additionally, the first issue of the Sertoman Digest was published in November 2002, providing readers with an organizational focus.

Sertoma joined the WISE EARS! Coalition, a health education campaign of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Headquarters introduced the Sertoma International/WISE EARS! Campaign to the clubs for implementation during May’s Better Hearing & Speech Month. This national service project was focused on noise-induced hearing loss.

SERTOMA SAFEEARS! … to hear the future was introduced in January 2005 in order to rebuild Sertoma’s brand as the speech and hearing service organization. SAFEEARS! became the first national service project that had support from non-Sertoma corporate and organizational partners.

Sertoma Foundation

On November 15, 1960, the Sertoma Foundation was formed to strengthen the partnership between international organization and clubs. In 1963, after a long search for an International sponsorship, Sertoma Clubs were encouraged to help the more than 24 million Americans who have speech and hearing disorders. The Foundation began to establish Sertoma Centers for Communication Disorders in 1973.

Four years later, the Foundation began to encourage affiliation with existing speech and hearing facilities and departments. The Affiliate program has been very successful, with over 300 facilities now affiliated with Sertoma Clubs and the Foundation. The Foundation provides the funding for scholarships and grants. It has created public education materials and an advisory council of speech and hearing professionals. It was a founding member of the Council for Better Hearing and Speech Month. In 1986, the Foundation coordinated Better Hearing and Speech Month for the entire country.

In 1992, the Building a Legacy campaign was launched to grow the endowment. Pledge payments and new gifts perpetuate the benefits for Sertoma programs.

Recently, the Legacy 2000 Wills campaign was launched with the philosophy “A will for every Sertoman, Sertoma in every will”. Today, the Foundation continues to place strong emphasis on financially supporting the programs of Sertoma International through annual, planned and endowment giving.


Approval of the “plan of merger” by the membership authorizes the Boards of Sertoma International and Sertoma Foundation to file, amend, and consolidate legal, governing, and operational documents and procedures necessary to implement the plan and meet the statutory requirements of the State of Missouri. The result being a new Sertoma corporation operating as a national 501(c)(3) public charity effective July 1, 2008.

Programs and mission activities

Hard-of-hearing and deaf scholarship

Sertoma’s Scholarship for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing is the leading funder of the scholarships for deaf and hard-of-hearing students since the program’s inception in 1994. Students with clinically significant bilateral hearing loss, graduating from high school, or undergraduate students pursuing four-year college degrees in any discipline are eligible for the scholarship.

Communicative disorders scholarship[edit]

Sertoma’s annual Communicative Disorders Scholarship Program, funded by the Sertoma Annual Fund, is for graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in audiology orspeech-language pathology from institutions in the U.S. These scholarships, worth $1,000 each, are awarded in the spring to help offset the cost of tuition, books and fees incurred during the following school year. Sertoma’s Communicative Disorders Scholarships Program provides more funds nationally for graduate level study in communicative disorders than any other single organization.


Sertoma Affiliates are non-profit hearing and speech facilities that have established a relationship with a Sertoma Club or have an independent relationship with Sertoma. This relationship results in greater service to people with communicative disorders by supporting the professional staff and programs of the affiliate.


SAFEEars! National Service Project was developed to provide a national identity in order to spread the club’s mission and attract new members. With minimal financial outlay and time commitments, SERTOMA SAFEEars! was developed. This project can help in fundraising and membership recruitment.

A Sound Investment

The goal is to make the sounds through public address and amplified systems in public facilities readily accessible to those that use hearing assistive devices. This goal can be achieved by promoting and assisting in installing looping technology of public buildings and facilities. This effort will not only provide access that should be available, but will promote the value and importance of hearing health services and technology.

Sertoma Community Support

Volunteer Development

Provides support of the Certified Trainer Program and the trainings for clubs; development of new training materials.

Serteen Clubs

Open to students 11 through 19, in the junior high, middle school, high school, or community that promotes growth of individuals, good government, leadership, mutual tolerance and understanding among all people, and friendship and fellowship as opportunities for Service to Mankind.

Collegiate clubs

Limited to college-enrolled students, this program promotes growth of the individuals, good government, leadership, mutual tolerance and understanding among all people, and friendship and fellowship as opportunities for Service to Mankind.


The Sertoma Hearing Aid Recycling Program helps needy people obtain hearing aids. Clubs collect used hearing aids, have them refurbished and distribute them to people in need.

Samaritans (charity)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The Samaritans” redirects here. For other uses, see Samaritan (disambiguation).
Sams logo.png

Samaritans logo
Formation 1953
Headquarters Ewell, Surrey
Region served England,[1] Scotland,[2]Wales[3] and Ireland [4]
Website samaritans.org

Samaritans (until 2002 known as The Samaritans) is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone inemotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline. The name comes from the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan, though the organisation is secular.[5] Its international network exists under the name Befrienders Worldwide, which is part of the Volunteer Emotional Support Helplines (VESH) withLifeline International and the International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services (IFOTES).


The Coventry branch of Samaritans

Samaritans was founded in 1953 by Chad Varah, a vicar in the Church of England Diocese of London. His inspiration came from an experience he had had some years earlier as a young curate in the Diocese of Lincoln. He had taken a funeral for a girl of fourteen who had killed herself because she feared she had contracted an STD. In reality, she was menstruating. [6] Varah placed an advertisement in a newspaper encouraging people to volunteer at his church, listening to people contemplating suicide.[7] The movement grew rapidly: within ten years there were 40 branches and now there are 203 branches across the UK and Ireland helping many, deliberately organised without regard to national boundaries on the basis that a service which is not political or religious should not recognise sectarian or political divisions.[8] Samaritans offers support through over 20,600 trained volunteers (2011) and is entirely dependent on voluntary support. The name was not originally chosen by Chad Varah: it was part of a headline to an article in the Daily Mirrornewspaper on 7 December 1953 about Varah’s work.[9]

In 2004, Samaritans announced that volunteer numbers had reached a thirty-year low, and launched a campaign to recruit more young people (specifically targeted at ages 18–24) to become volunteers. The campaign was fronted by Phil Selway, drummer with the band Radiohead, himself a Samaritans volunteer.

Chad Varah breaks with Samaritans[edit]

In 2004, Varah announced that he had become disillusioned with the Samaritans. He said, “It’s no longer what I founded. I founded an organisation to offer help to suicidal or equally desperate people. The last elected chairman re-branded the organisation. It was no longer to be an emergency service, it was to be emotional support”.[10] One in five calls to Samaritans are from someone with suicidal feelings.[11] Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide.[12]


The core of Samaritans’ work is a telephone helpline, operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Samaritans was the first 24-hour telephone helpline to be set up in the UK. In addition, the organisation offers a drop-in service for face-to-face discussion, undertakes outreach at festivals and other outdoor events, trains prisoners as “Listeners” to provide support within prisons, and undertakes research into suicide and emotional health issues.

Since 1994, Samaritans has also offered confidential email support. Initially operating from one branch, the service is now provided by 198 branches and co-ordinated from the organisation’s head office. In 2011, Samaritans received over 206,000 emails, including many from outside the UK, and aims to answer each one within 24 hours. In 2009, Ofcom introduced the first harmonised European numbers for harmonised services of social value,[13] allocating 116 123 to Samaritans. This number is free to call from mobiles and landlines. In 2011, Samaritans received 5,020,006 calls for help, by phone, email, text, letter, minicom, Typetalk, face-to-face at a branch, through their work in prisons, and at local and national festivals and other events.[14]

Samaritans stresses that the service it provides is not counselling, and it will not give advice. Although Samaritans volunteers are trained in many of the same techniques as professional counsellors, they neither judge nor tell people what to do. By listening and asking questions, the Samaritans volunteers help people explore their feelings and work out their own way forward.

Samaritans do not denounce suicide, and it is not necessary to be suicidal to contact Samaritans. In 2011, nearly 80% of the people calling Samaritans did not express suicidal feelings.[14] Samaritans believes that offering people the opportunity to be listened to in confidence, and accepted without prejudice, can alleviate despair and make emotional health a mainstream issue.

Samaritans Radar

Main article: Samaritans Radar

On 29 October 2014, Samaritans launched the Samaritans Radar app, which Twitter users can activate to analyse tweets posted by people they follow; it sends an email alert to the user if it detects signs of distress in a tweet. However, because Twitter users are not notified that their account is being monitored in this way, concerns have been raised that the service could be abused by stalkers and internet trolls, who would instantly be made aware that an intended victim was potentially feeling vulnerable. In November 2014, a Change.org petition was launched calling on Twitter to block the app from accessing its data, effectively closing it down.[15]

The service was suspended on 7 November 2014, nine days after launch. Joe Ferns, policy director for Samaritans, said in a statement: “We have made the decision to suspend the application at this time for further consideration”. He added: “We are very aware that the range of information and opinion, which is circulating about Samaritans Radar, has created concern and worry for some people and would like to apologise to anyone who has inadvertently been caused any distress. This was not our intention”.[16][17]


Samaritans have a strict code of caller confidentiality, even after the death of a caller. Unless the caller gives consent to pass on information, confidentiality will be broken only in rare circumstances, such as when Samaritans receives bomb or terrorism warnings, to call an ambulance because a caller appears to be incapable of making rational decisions for him or herself, or when the caller is threatening volunteers or deliberately preventing the service being delivered to other callers.[18]

In November 2011 the Board of Trustees UK agreed a motion breaking with confidentiality in the Republic of Ireland by agreeing, “To provide confidential support to children but report to the Health Service Executive any contacts (from either adults or children) where it appears a child is experiencing specific situations such as those that can cause them serious harm from themselves or others.”

International reach

Through its email service, Samaritans’ work has extended well beyond the UK and Ireland, as messages are received from all around the world.

Samaritans’ international reach is through Befrienders Worldwide, an organisation of over 400 centres in 38 countries offering similar activities. Samaritans took on and renamed the Befrienders International network in 2003, a year after it collapsed. Some members of Befrienders Worldwide also use the name Samaritans; this includes centres in theUSA, India, Hong Kong, Serbia and Zimbabwe, among others.

The Volunteer Emotional Support Helplines (VESH) combines Samaritans (through Befrienders Worldwide) with the other 2 largest international services (IFOTES & Lifeline), and plans a combined international network of helplines. In their roles as emotional support service networks, they have all agreed to develop a more effective and robust international interface.

See also

Similar charities

Samaritans notice and intercom on top of the Itchen Bridge in Southampton

A number of other helplines exist that offer a similar service to Samaritans. These are often aimed at a specific sector/group of people.

One example is Nightline — student-run listening and information services, based at universities across the country, offer a night time support service for students. Each service is run specifically for students at a particular university/geographical area, and most Nightlines are members of the Nightline Association, a registered charity in England and Wales.

The NSPCC are also similar to Samaritans. NSPCC (National Service of Prevention of Cruelty to Children) offer support for children only, but Samaritans support both children and adults alike. This means that the NSPCC do not take adults usually.

Another example is Aware — a national voluntary organisation, based in Ireland, which provides supports to individuals who experience depression with their families and friends. Aware provides a Helpline service, as well as nationwide Support Groups and monthly lectures, which seek to educate and increase awareness of depression.

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes
RAOB Badge.jpg

RAOB lapel badge with Latin motto and maxim.
Motto No Man Is At All Hours Wise
Formation 1822
Type Fraternal Order (Philanthropic and Charitable)
Headquarters Grove House, Harrogate
  • Global
Official language English
Website www.raob.org.uk

The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) is one of the largest fraternal organisations in the United Kingdom.[1]The order started in 1822 and is known as the Buffs to members.

The RAOB organisation aids members, their families, dependents of former members and other charitable organisations.

The Order’s motto “No Man Is At All Times Wise” (Latin: Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit) and has the maxim of “Justice, Truth and Philanthropy”.


Origin in London

The order has a Rule Book, Manual of Instruction and Ceremony Lectures issued and revised by the Grand Lodge of England based at Harrogate in England. The ‘lodge’ description for branch organisation and headquarters was adopted in imitation of Freemasonry but RAOB is completely open in its objectives, activities and ritual. The RAOB was begun in the Harp Tavern (opposite the Drury Lane Theatre) by the artist Joseph Lisle and comedian William Sinnett along with other stage hands and theatre technicians in August 1822. It drew its then name of The Buffaloes from a popular song of the timeWe’ll chase the Buffalo. This first meeting is historically the Phoenix Lodge No.1. As members toured the country with various shows lodges were opened in other towns.

During the 19th century the Order spread throughout the British Commonwealth and Lodges now exist in Britain, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Middle East, India, Africa, Gibraltar[2] and Cyprus.

New lodges

As the Order spread through the United Kingdom, when a lodge opened in a new area, it became the Mother Lodge, from which subsequent Minor Lodges would be opened. This Mother Lodge would support and advise new lodges on rules and administration of membership. These Mother Lodges developed into the body responsible for administration and organisation and as the Order grew District Grand Lodges and later Provincial Grand Lodges were opened.

Grand Lodge

In April 1866 a Grand Lodge (later known as the Grand Lodge of England) was formed to control the Order, to set laws, to establish procedures and manage administration. Divisions within the Order led break-ups and the Grand Lodge of England fractured into smaller ‘Banners’ between which there was often rivalry. One Banner became the Grand Lodge of England Ltd, wrongly believing that by forming as a company they could gain exclusive usage of the name. The ‘Grand Surrey Banner’ proclaimed itself Mother Lodge of the World. Dozens of Banners were created around London and many more in elsewhere.

Name changes

The Order’s honorifics of “royal” when it did not have royal patronage nor a Royal charter and “antediluvian” when in fact its foundations are of historical record, or that it is an “Order” although it had no standing nor recognition from any house of nobility, are meant to add mock solemnity to its fellowship status and have no more veracity than its having anything to do with the buffalo.

The Seditious and Riotous Assembly Acts of the late 19th century affected the gatherings of clubs throughout Britain. To overcome this issue and show the Buffaloes were not subversive to the interest of the state, the Order described itself as the “Loyal Order of Buffaloes”‘. The word “loyal” was often mispronounced as royal, and soon stuck.

The addition of “Antediluvian” (meaning before the time of the flood in the Bible) occurred in the 1850s.

However, the Royal Warrant Act required any organisation using the ‘Royal’ prefix to register with the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and to desist from using the title if permission was not granted. Since the Buffaloes had been using the title from the 1840s, the Lord Chamberlain agreed that no objection would be raised on continued use of the title on the grounds of long usage, provided no act by the Order arose that would disgrace its use.

Twentieth century

First World War RAOB GLE Ambulance c. 1916

The First World War led to temporary or even permanent closure of many Lodges due to the enlistment of members. The Buffs supported the war effort through supplying ambulances to bring wounded soldiers back from the front lines. Initially six motorised ambulances were purchased and sent with each one manned by ‘Volunteer Buffs’. More followed and, on their return after the war, the ambulances formed the first ambulance service in England.

In 1926, Lord Alston succeeded in persuading the Order to purchase Grove House, Harrogate, for use as an orphanage to which every active member contributed a Ha’penny (half of one old penny).[3] When the orphanage was no longer a requirement after the state took over responsibility for orphans, the Order began a new charity fund which is still in place today.

Ingham, Queensland, 1935

During the Second World War, the Order offered Grove House for use as a military hospital.

In 1949, an international convention in Glasgow reported over 1000 attendees from around 4000 lodges, and was to celebrate 130 years of the Order. Sir Andrew Murray, the Lord Provost, addressed the conference.[4]

Present day

Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes Civil and Military Lodge, Whittington, Staffordshire, c. 1920

The RAOB continues its work in the local community helping all those its members promise to help and assist in times of difficulty or need. Minor Lodges throughout the United Kingdom and the rest of the world raise money for charities and charitable causes.

As with many organisations dating from the pre-Victorian period, there has been a noticeable decline in membership since a boom in the 1970s. By 2012 Scotland’s oldest lodge, the Royal Edinburgh Lodge No. 854, was down to 25 members.


Membership is open to all males over the age of 18 who are willing to declare that they are “true and loyal supporters of the British Crown and Constitution”. Politics, religion or gambling is strictly forbidden at gatherings.


The Order currently has a three-tiered system of Minor (Private) Lodges, Provincial Grand Lodges (Local Governing Body) and Grand Lodge. Each Province may also have a Knights Chapter and Roll of Honour (ROH) Assembly, the minimum entry requirement being that the member has attained the appropriate degree to be admitted.

Charitable funds exist at Lodge, Province and Grand Lodge levels to assist members of the Order and/or their dependents requiring assistance.

The Grand Lodge owns and operates two convalescent homes to provide rest and recuperation facilities for members, their wives or widows recovering from illness or medical treatment.

Office & Degree 

There are four degrees within the RAOB:

  1. Brother (1st degree) (Kangaroo)
  2. Certified Primo (2nd degree)
  3. Knight Order of Merit (Knight Sir) (3rd degree)
  4. Roll Of Honour (Right Honourable sir) (4th degree)

In a Minor Lodge, there are 11 Officers:

  1. Worthy Primo
  2. City Marshall
  3. City Secretary
  4. City Treasurer
  5. City Chamberlain
  6. City Tyler
  7. City Constable
  8. City Registrar
  9. City Minstrel
  10. City Waiter
  11. Alderman of Benevolence