Club Projects

Press Release - Altrusa Club of Gig Harbor

August 21, 2011 

Altrusa Monitoring Project - Gearing Up, Needing Volunteers 

Written by: Nancy Hohenstein 


In cooperation with the staff at Goodman Middle School, Altrusa of Gig Harbor is again organizing a volunteer monitoring project for their students but this year it has a new twist.

A new approach to the school day schedule at the middle school level has created a "Flex Period" each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning from 9:14 to 9:44 am. The Flex periods will be used by staff and students for enhancement classes not included in the regular curriculum. For students who are achieving at or above grade level, they will get to participate in broader exploration like (sample classes)

For students needing extra help in math or reading, the Flex Period will provide it, with small, focused classes led by teachers and assisted by volunteers who will work with individual students or small groups.

If you are interested in helping a student reach their potential in math or reading, and have just ½ hour on a regular basis one morning a week or more, please contact Nancy Hohenstein at 253-858-7699 or by email at or  Annette Jacobs


Altrusan Pat Jones monitoring


15th Annual Harbor Fest Brochure

December 11, 2010

Altrusans at Work

Purdy's Purse Project

At their annual planning meeting last summer, the members of Altrusa Club of Gig Harbor heard the following story, and decided to help out:

Sue Braaten watches these women get off the bus on Kimball Drive in front of her Best Western Wesley Inn. They have a plastic bag with all their belongings inside…and it is fairly empty. They often look pretty lost and forlorn, says Sue. These are the women who have just been released from serving time at Purdy’s Women’s Prison. If there are no families or friends to meet them at the prison gate, they are left on the doorstep of the Gig Harbor Community to fend for themselves. Their resources are slim. Sue wanted to help, and at first it was just her project. She started collecting purses, new and used, to give to them, and then filling with things she knew they would need…toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, combs, a note pad and pen…things you find in the average woman’s hand bag.

While Altrusa Club of Gig Harbor mainly serves the needs of children in the local community, when an unmet need presents itself, the club is glad to step up. The members planned an event for the annual Make a Difference Day to collect purses and sundries for Sue’s Purdy Purse Project (Altrusa’s name for it), and last Friday night, November 5th, it happened.

Twenty women gathered at Altrusa member Pat Schmidt’s home. They feasted on an OctoberFest potluck of brats, beverages, and home-made German Potato Salad. They collected over 200 purses and filled them with everything they could think of that would help launch these women into a better life.

“It was a great fun evening,” said Nancy Hohenstein, Altrusa President. “I was amazed how many purses we collected. They came from all over our community, and as far away as Puyallup! It is just a pure example of the heart of Altrusa and our Friends here in Gig Harbor.”

Braaten estimates that she gives away approximately seventeen purses a week to the women who come to her door. The effort of Altrusa to collect purses will probably provide her project with supplies for up to six months. Contact: Nancy Hohenstein 253-858-7699 for more information

Since its charter in 1982, Altrusa Club of Gig Harbor's members have made a major impact on our community. You can find them at work for schools, business, health and safety, and the arts.
Check Presentation - Altrusa of Gig Harbor presents the initial $30,000 payment of their $100,000 pledge at ground breaking for the community's new Boy's & Girl's Club Hope Center. The $100,000 will equip a community kitchen that will permit groups and organizations to cater large groups for meals as well as serving the daily needs of local children. Shown here with the ceremonial check and the members of the club and the board of the Boy's & Girl's Club of South Puget Sound.
The Peninsula Youth Orchestra - An ongoing commitment of funding and support by the Altrusa Foundation has helped this local teaching orchestra to grow from a few students to close to 100 students in multiple skill levels. The organization continues to develop into a stable and well-respected teaching and performing organization, and Altrusa continues to help the orchestra with funding for student scholarships. Program graduates are continuing on to build careers in their chosen musical specialties.

A.S.K. - Altrusa Serving Kids - Alturas's members keep in touch with the needs of youth and education on the peninsula by gathering school supplies for children whose families cannot afford to purchase them and by helping to provide a welcome to educators into the community each fall.

The Gig Harbor Boys' & Girls' Club
Along with a Community Center complex has been a dream of community leaders for several years. Working with other organizations and leaders, Altrusa Foundation has committed to raising $100,000 to fund, equipping a central community kitchen for the complex.
The Altrusa Foundation - Enables supporter of Altrusa's commitment to the community to make tax-deductible donations to the programs and projects supported by the organization. Check out our foundation by clicking on the logo.
More Projects
► Altrusa founded the original Peninsula Adult Education Program, providing literacy education services to adults with low literacy skills, in 1989.
Downtown Beautification. Altrusa funded and placed cement beaches at downtown Gig Harbor intersections for pedestrian seating.
Community Activities. Altrusa participates in community celebrations such as the Maritime Gig.
► Altrusa helped found and operate the original Health and Safety Fair that takes place each spring.
Guest Enjoy Weather, Scenery and Learning More about Altrusa At Wine & Cheese Membership Event
Green Gables Edgewater, a gorgeous Bed & Breakfast located on Henderson Bay, was the setting for a glorious evening of live music, spectacular wines, glorious food and information on the advantages of becoming a member of Altrusa. The response was terrific! Over 60 guests attended, and several prospects have continued to visit the club and are considering membership.

"Patience and persistence is the key to making this membership drive successful," said President Nancy Hohenstein. "We compete with hundreds of other opportunities for involvement in our communities. We need to keep telling the story of why we are the best option for people to donate their time and energy, and we need to prove that we will welcome and involve them immediately."

And the price? The cost to the club for the event was less than $50.00. The venue, wine, food and music were donated by local merchants and individuals.
Make A Difference Day
Altrusa of Gig Harbor celebrates Make A Difference Day each year by making, collecting and combining items for the Tone School for homeless women and children. This year the effort included creating personal care kits with hygiene items; knit sets of hats, scarves and mittens; and supplying school materials such as notebooks, pens, purses and wallets for the students.
Awards and Achievements
► Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Month Award
► Chamber of Commerce Club of the Year
► Maritime Gig Parade: Best Service Organization Float
► Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award for non-profit service clubs
► District Twelve Altrusa International Mamie L. Bass Award 2nd place, PYO Service Project, Governor's Planning and Membership Awards