Support Sisterhood's Vashon Island Girls

Vashon Sisterhood is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission is to honor and empower girls, build connection, and create spaces for listening, sharing, mentorship, and support.

Please click here to visit our website. 

About Vashon Sisterhood:

* 74% of girls say they are under pressure to please everyone (Girls Inc, The Supergirl Dilemma)

* 75% of girls with low self-esteem “reported engaging in negative and potentially harmful activities, such as disordered eating, cutting, bullying, smoking or drinking, when feeling bad about themselves” (Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem, June 2008)

* Between 2009 and 2014, 36.1 percent of girls reported depression, compared to 13.6 percent of boys who had their first onset of depression (National Survey of Drug Use and Health).

* If teenage girls feel connected and secure, protective factors in the form of manageability and meaningfulness can act as counterweights to the demands and unfairness of everyday life.  (International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, June 16, 2015)

For nearly two years, we, a small group of Vashon Island women, have been gathering, imagining, and creating an organization to support our girls. This organization has been named Sisterhood.  In the 2018-19 school year, we successfully launched weekly Circles at all three Vashon Island schools this  year and were recently awarded 501(c)3 nonprofit status to sustain our Sisterhood work. Our plans are to continue to develop other programs for our girls from nature-based experiences to activism.

Last year, we were only able to offer Circles to our girls due to generous community donations and hundreds of donated volunteer hours. As a budding organization, Sisterhood has become a 501(c)3 nonprofit so we can sustain our programming through grants and fundraising. We need your financial support for:

* nonprofit filing fees
* insurance
* small stipends to the 10 Circles mentors

“Being a part of Circle has opened my eyes to the similarities we all have and shows us how to listen and empathize with people we often wouldn’t. Circle allows us to make connections with each other in a safe place where we can share our hardships while getting support and overwhelming understanding.”
~ Sisterhood Circle participant

We couldn't wait for non-profit status to begin, so we're in the position to offer proof of concept. With a year of Sisterhood experience behind us, the girls are living proof of the project. We began our work with girls in our elementary, middle, and high school in 2018-19, and we are excited to share the goodness and success we have already experienced with the girls.

During the 2018-2019 school year we began offering Sisterhood Circles at Chautauqua Elementary, McMurray Middle, and Vashon High Schools. We invited girls to gather weekly in our Sisterhood Circles where the focus was on building connection to self and others, creating space for compassionate listening and sharing, honoring each person’s strengths and uniqueness, celebrating diversity, building active leadership and resiliency skills, creating opportunities for self-exploration and self-empowerment through engaging activities, art, music, guided discussions, ongoing adult and peer-to-peer mentorship, and FUN!

What emerged from our first year of Circles was powerful. The girls shared that they felt a deep sense of connection and acceptance. 

“I am a tree.
I grow and stand in the wind.
I can sway and withstand without snapping.
I am the most outstanding beauty in the forest.
I am tall and strong.”

“I am a leaf.
I fall and then regrow again.
I am beautiful in many different ways.
I glow in the bright light of the sun.
I blow in the wind.
And when I’m knocked down, the wind takes me for a ride again.”

“I am a book.
A lot packed in one.
Never know when I’m coming.
But don’t judge me by my cover.

“I am a water bottle.
I am strong on the outside, like a shell.
I am full like a bucket.
I’m pure and authentic.
I can do flips and tricks and impress everyone.
I hold the most valuable thing for living inside of my shell."

The above poems are a result of a Sisterhood activity: each girl was asked to choose a metaphor for herself. She wrote down the metaphor as the first line of the poem, which was then passed around a small circle. Each girl that received the poem added one line. When the poem returned to the creator, she added the final line. It is important to note that girls were not given any instructions to be affirming, supportive, or encouraging. They just naturally did so. Imagine how it would have felt to receive your poem back from the others in the circle, who wrote the middle lines about and for you.

We already know that this Island and our larger community takes care of one another and its youth.

Are you willing and able to make a donation to support our girls?

If so, you can make a contribution through this Go Fund Me link (or by sending a check made out to Vashon Sisterhood, mailed to: Sisterhood / P.O. Box 1851 / Vashon, WA 98070).

With gratitude,

your Sisterhood Leadership Team

Margie Butcher, Yvette Butler, Laura Camner, Emmy Graham, and Patty Gregorich


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Margie Schilling Butcher 
Vashon, WA

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