By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • There’s a new group of “Amigas” in Hoke County, and they’re hoping to make a difference in the lives of others through volunteer service.
“We’re here to do community service, give back to the community,” Las Amigas chapter president Traci Jones said.
Las Amigas, Incorporated is a national organization of women, founded in 1957 by the late Dora Ramsey Mason and Mary Quick Moore. The original 12 members organized in Charlotte, and within a decade, there were seven chapters. Today there are about two dozen chapters – included a brand new one right here in Hoke County.
Jones and Vernetta Robinson, the vice president, are two of about 20 women in the area who joined forces earlier this year to launch the new local chapter.
“We’re trying to grow the organization. The Raeford chapter got its start as a new chapter on March 12, 2022,” Jones said. “We currently have a chapter of 20 members and we’re just eager and excited to insert ourselves into the Raeford community.”
Las Amigas has multiple goals, among them efforts to foster a closer relationship and a fuller exchange of ideas among members; to further the enhancement and development of its communities through cultural and civic improvement; and to promote the general improvement of its communities through various projects.
“The initial vision of the co-founders was a network of professional women working together to enhance, enrich, and improve the lives of citizens from all walks of life,” information about Las Amigas stated. “They visualized members enhancing the quality of life and promoting the general improvements of their community, encouraging personal and professional growth and fostering a close relationship among the sisterhood. The shared values of the organization are integrity, respect, honesty, good citizenship, service, teamwork and commitment.”
Besides the new Raeford chapter, Las Amigas has chapters located throughout North Carolina as well as in Virginia, Maryland and Georgia.
Raeford’s Las Amigas is still a fairly new part of the organization, but in just the past few months the women have worked to support the community. They have a lot more planned, too.
“Currently a couple of things we’ve done so far, we did give a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student who attended Pine Forest High School…but moving forward for 2023, we’re going to do our scholarship here in Hoke County,” Jones said.
The group is also working on a back-to-school event for a local elementary school in Raeford.
“We’ve already spoken with the principal and the vice principal at J.W. McLauchlin and we’re going to be a blessing to their school, providing back-to-school supplies,” the chapter president said.
Las Amigas also participated the first annual Jubilee in Fayetteville as well, but going forward, they want to focus their work in the Raeford area. The group’s leaders have reached out to the Raeford-Hoke Chamber of Commerce and Maggie’s Outreach Community Economic Development Center (MOCEDC) and others on ways to do that in the future.
“We’ve got our name put out there,” Jones said.
Besides volunteer opportunities, Las Amigas is looking for new members. The chapter plans to host a recruitment day Saturday, September 24 in Raeford. The location for the recruitment day is to be announced.
“We’re going to be passing out water, literature, different things about our organization,” Jones said. “Our focus is to serve the community, give to the community any way that we possibly can.”
Anyone interested in joining Las Amigas or learning more about the group can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit them on Facebook at Las Amigas Incorporated, Raeford Chapter; or view the organization’s main website at www.lasamigasincorporated.org.