Altrusa International of Warsaw Inc. is celebrating the organization’s 97th anniversary throughout April.
Altrusa is an international non-profit organization making local communities better through leadership, partnership and service. Members are civic-minded men and women who strive to create better communities worldwide.
Altrusa International was founded in Nashville, Tenn.,  in 1917 originally as the Altrusa Institute. At that time a record number of women were going to work during World War I and there was a need for women’s civic organizations. The organization was originally a classified service organization for women, but today they are an international network of women and men with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Member clubs are grouped into 15 districts throughout the world.
The organization became international in 1935, and in 1946 Altrusa sent its first representative to the United Nations. The organization’s International Foundation was formed in 1962. It is dedicated to improving economic well-being and quality of life through a commitment to community services and literacy. In 1966 the organization began to look to America’s youth as the future of Altrusa and established ASTRA service clubs to encourage young people (ages 13-21) to participate in community service.
The local Altrusa Club has been serving the Kosciusko County community for 40 years. Club members founded The Beaman Home Shelter for the Abused in 1985 and worked with the late Judge Burner to establish The Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Kosciusko County. CASA appoints special advocates to speak on behalf of a child in abuse and neglect cases currently in the local juvenile court.
Altrusans also provide scholarships and assistance to a single mother who is furthering her education in order to raise the standard of living for her family through Combined Community Services’ Project Independence program, and members provide support to Grace College Mentors for Kids, Bakers Youth Club, American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Mobile Meals.
The active local club is part of Altrusa’s District Six, comprised of members in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.  Local club officers include Sue Creighton, president and District Six board member; Jeanine Knowles, vice president; Beth Huffer, secretary; and Christie Beldon and Vicky Martin, co-treasurers.
Individuals interested in learning more about Altrusa and its service to the community may visit their website at or by visiting Altrusa-Warsaw on Facebook. They may also contact Membership Chair Martie Lennane at 574-267-6059.