December 17, 2020
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From the Desk of the International President
by Marian St.Clair
GFWC clubs and individual members have faced extraordinary challenges over the past ten months. I’m proud to say that many obstacles have been overcome with skill, ingenuity, and, most especially, tenacity. Where there is a clubwoman, there is a way!
As I reflect over the past months, I’m incredibly grateful for the work that you have accomplished. Our local communities and many others across the globe have benefited from members who continue to open their hearts, roll up their sleeves, concoct innovative fundraisers, and lend a strong back or helping hand. You have passionately supported vital legislative advocacy efforts and embraced a variety of new initiatives and ideas. Even as I write this note, I imagine you are making cookies for those who need cheering during the holidays and packing boxes of treats and necessities for those who would otherwise do without. You are making a tremendous difference with your club-to-community outreach, especially now.
You have stepped up to larger challenges too. Who would have believed, just a year ago, that clubs would be connecting remotely? Or, that State Federations would be forming cyber clubs in record numbers? And who could have guessed that hundreds of members, from near and far, would enjoy this year’s decorations at GFWC Headquarters via a remote Holiday Open House? We have grown and changed out of necessity, but many of these valuable tools will serve us well in the coming years.
To keep your accomplishments front and center in 2021, News & Notes will introduce a new feature in January. Once a month, I will write a column called, “The President’s Pick,” to highlight a club project from a recent GFWC Blog post. It’s a win-win proposition. We hope clubs will share more of their successful program ideas and that a wider range of clubs will participate. Please don’t pass this opportunity by!
As we look ahead to 2021 with renewed hope, I trust your club experiences will hold you in good stead. Thank you again for your devotion to GFWC and for your determination to make a difference in the lives of others. Best wishes to and yours for a meaningful holiday season and a New Year that brings good health and happiness.
GFWC will be closed from December 24–January 1 in observance of the holidays! Any GFWC Marketplace orders placed after today will not be shipped until January 5. Enjoy the holidays and stay tuned for the next News & Notes issue on January 7.
Cares & Concerns
We extend our sympathies to GFWC Colorado State President Deb Greer, whose father Grover Jaeger passed away. Cards and condolences may be sent to Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org or 3065 Stevens Circle N, Erie, CO 80516.
Volunteers in Action
Throughout the year 2020, the GFWC Blog has spotlighted success stories that have not only provided ideas that clubs could apply to their own projects but caught the eye of many outside of our Federation community. Our last post in 2020 features the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove (Florida), GFWC Seward Woman’s Club (Nebraska), Madison Study Club (Minnesota), Naperville Woman’s Club (Illinois), GFWC West Side Woman’s Club (Pennsylvania), and Woman’s Club of Fairfax (Virginia). GFWC looks forward to bringing the same innovative, wide-ranging community service topics to you in 2021 that are represented in these five club success stories.
Have a success story to tell? Email PR@GFWC.org a summary of your project and how it made a difference to be considered for the GFWC’s Blog. Preference is given to submissions that include at least one action-packed photo. Photographs submitted of children must be accompanied by written permission (an email suffices) from a parent or legal guardian.
Happy 2021 From UNICEF
UNICEF would like to take a moment to say “thank you” for everything clubwomen have done to support children and UNICEF USA this past year. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose unprecedented challenges, clubwomen’s continued support toward protecting children has been instrumental in allowing children to not only survive, but thrive.
UNICEF has put together a video
to show GFWC just how much it appreciates your continued dedication in supporting UNICEF’s life-saving work for children and communities around the world!
Congress gave themselves until December 18 to enact FY 2021 federal agency funding. This omnibus appropriations bill is likely to be the last major piece of legislation to be enacted by this 2019-2020 Congress. Many hope COVID-19 recovery funding and other bills will be attached. For example, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, and all federally-funded community programs are operating under an FY 2020 Continuing Resolution until Congress approves a permanent budget.
GFWC recently activated our Legislative Action Center (LAC) to urge Congress to fix the funding formula for the Department of Justice’s Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program grants in order to boost funding levels for FY 2021. Learn more about this program in the LAC, which provides funding to local rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters, along with other victims of crime. Thank you for taking action as a member of the GFWC Legislative Action Center. If you have not yet done so, join the LAC now.
Prevent Online Child Sexual Exploitation
GFWC activated our Legislative Action Center in support of the EARN IT Act of 2020 (S. 3398 and H.R. 8454), which proposes to establish the National Commission on Online Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention, and limit the liability protections of online service providers with respect to claims alleging violations of child sexual exploitation laws. While the Senate bill was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee, it appears that the limited number of legislative days does not give enough time to enact this legislation. A related bill, the Online Content Policy Modernization Act (S. 4632) proposes to revoke the entire Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields technology companies from liability for what users post online. Although this broad bill was withdrawn from the Senate Judiciary Committee agenda on December 10, this will certainly be a priority issue for the 2021-2022 Congress.
Proposed American Women’s History Museum
Legislation that may be approved before Congress adjourns in December is the Smithsonian America Women’s History Museum Act (S. 959, H.R. 1980). The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), was approved in February, and the Senate companion bill, sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), is ready for floor action. The bill authorizes the Smithsonian to establish a council to recommend a site, the design, and construction of the museum on or near the National Mall.
Environmentalists Ask Court to Block Arctic Oil Auction
Native Alaskans and environmental groups are asking a federal court to block the Trump Administration from selling oil drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge next month. The groups yesterday filed requests with an Anchorage judge for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Interior Department’s planned January 6 auction of oil and gas leases across the refuge’s 1.56-million-acre coastal plain.
As the final session of the 117th Congress comes to a close, we would like to thank GFWC members for their advocacy and action over the past two years. We have been closely monitoring and supporting the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act and Miranda’s Law, the two pieces of legislation chosen by GFWC members at the eight Region Conferences in 2018. While these pieces of legislation did not move forward during this Congress, our collective voice surely did not go unheard. In total, 2,641 GFWC members wrote 8,005 letters and made 467 calls in support of these bills. Thank you for the work that each of you has done to move these important bills forward.
Bring in the New Year with GFWC Resources
While making your 2021 GFWC to-do list, consider identifying what members-only resources in the GFWC Member Portal’s Digital Library you have not accessed. From the Leadership Toolkit to the Club Manual to the many other documents available, this Digital Library is a great first stop for your 2021 planning!
Before downloading any resources, double check that you’ve allowed pop-up windows within your favorite browser’s settings with the tips below.
In Chrome, you can enable pop-ups for specific websites while keeping them blocked for other websites. To enable pop-ups in Chrome:
- At the top right, click on the three vertical dots and then choose “Settings.”
- Under “Privacy and Security,” click “Site Settings.”
- Click “Pop-Ups and Redirects.” Under “Allow,” add in all lower case “https://gfwc.users.membersuite.com/auth/portal-login” to enable pop-ups.
In Firefox, you can enable pop-ups for specific websites while keeping them blocked for other websites. To enable pop-ups in Firefox:
- Open Firefox and click the icon with three horizontal bars in the upper right side of the browser toolbar.
- Select “Options” (Windows) or “Preferences” (macOS).
- In the left sidebar, click on “Privacy and Security” and then scroll down until you reach “Permissions.”
- Next to “Block Pop-Up Windows,” click “Exceptions.” In the “Address of Website” field, add in all lowercase “https://gfwc.users.membersuite.com/auth/portal-login,” and then click “Allow.”
- Click “Save Changes” and close any remaining dialog boxes.
For Microsoft Edge, pop-ups are either entirely enabled or they are blocked. To enable pop-ups in Microsoft Edge (Windows 10):
- Click the ellipsis icon (…) in the upper right corner of your web browser and then click “Settings.”
- In the advanced settings section, click “View” advanced settings.
- In the Block pop-ups section, click the switch to “Off.” Pop-ups are now allowed.
For Safari, pop-ups are either entirely enabled or they are blocked. To enable pop-ups in Safari:
- From the Safari menu, choose “Preferences,” then click the “Security” tab.
- Ensure the block pop-up windows option is not checked. Unchecking this option will allow pop-ups.
State President’s Project: Carroll Craun, Oklahoma
Pictured: Durant Fortnightly Club with supplies for a local crisis center.
From 1896 to today, GFWC Oklahoma members have faced adversity, conflicts regarding American Indian land, hardships, terrorist attacks, and challenges with a can-do attitude. For the 2020-2022 Administration, clubwomen are asked to become “points of light for positive change” in all communities and address the eight GFWC Signature Program focus areas. The goal is to increase awareness and seek ways to change Oklahoma communities for the better in these focus areas.
Through creative ideas and new ways of utilizing what is available during these challenging times, these focus areas will see positive change via some of the following:
- Virtual mentoring programs.
- Training programs for life changes.
- Behavior etiquette reinforcement.
- Safe havens for survivors of abuse.
- Advocates for children and elders.
- Care packages.
- School supplies.
- Law officer support.
- Trafficking programs.
- Shelter supplies.
- Helping hands, listening ears.
- Crisis center supplies.
- Task force participation.
Compiling and learning from past accomplishments is helping to instill pride, a sense of ownership, and belonging for our members. With confidence in GFWC Oklahoma’s abilities to make changes, they will forge ahead with strength and determination to succeed … and they will!
GFWC Marketplace: Holiday Sale
There are still special holiday discounts in the GFWC Marketplace. You can find many books to curl up with over the holidays for just $5!
Select t-shirts are also 50%-75% off! Look back fondly at past GFWC Annual Conventions with t-shirts from St. Louis and Palm Springs or celebrate the success of the Seven Grand Initiatives with a commemorative t-shirt. All are available at deep discounts now!
There have been reports of mail service delays in many communities throughout the United States. GFWC staff is processing Marketplace orders as quickly as possible, but Headquarters is still operating with limited staff onsite daily. In order to speed up processing of your order, we request that you pay for your order at time of purchase in the Member Portal. For details on mail service in your area, visit the USPS Service Alerts page.