District Four of Altrusa International covers the geographic areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Founded in 1917 in Nashville, TN by Dr. Alfred Durham, a member of Kiwanis. He organized clubs in Nashville, Louisville, and Dayton. He moved to Indianapolis where he met Mamie L. Bass.
Mamie L Bass felt that Altrusa could serve a higher purpose. In June 1918, when Altrusa held its first convention in Indianapolis, Mamie L. Bass's vision became reality. The Altrusa Institute became a classified service organization for women. Mamie L. Bass created the Principles of Altrusa which defined Altrusa as "a builder of women" and an organization based on merit and accomplishment.
Altrusa became International in 1935 when Altrusa organized its first club inMexico. Today Altrusa is in 19 countries and territories.
Altrusa is relevant to many civic-minded people who are interested in creating better communities. Last year, Altrusans proudly gave over a million volunteer hours around the world, including clubs in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, England, Bermuda, Ireland, India, Scotland, New Zealand and Russia.
In the sixties, Altrusans began to look to America's youth as the future of Altrusa. In 1966, ASTRA was established. ASTRA service clubs target young women ages 13 to 21 and encourage them in their educations. professions and service to society.
Several decades ago, Altrusa decided to institute literacy as an area of focus for the organization; since then, service areas have expanded to include HIV/AIDS and disaster relief. During our last biennium, Altrusans assisted in relief efforts for the Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes, as well as the Tsunami in Japan. Most importantly, Altrusans give their time and resources in areas that are deemed most important in their local communities.
The Altrusa story is evolving every day through club accomplishments. When you visit any Altrusa club, you will see leadership and service in action.