Several years ago, the Women’s Club of Farmingdale (New York) created an Ambassador Fundraising Program to raise funds for International and Global Issues inspired by their parent organization, The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Inc. in Washington, D.C. The Ambassador Program consists of monthly lunches at local restaurants chaired by a rotating schedule of members. In the past, funds raised have been used to support a member’s daughter who is involved in building schools in Uganda in remote areas and, in addition to education, the schools promote healthy exercise for a healthy mind.
Currently, the Ambassador Program sponsored “Speak Up for the Poor,” whose mission it is to transform the world on behalf of the poor, especially creating a new reality for girls in poverty. By building an international network of people and organizations that run Girls’ Education Programs, Safe Homes for girls and Justice programs to investigate and defend human rights abuses, they have rescued girls born into brothels, rescued girls from sex trafficking and rescued girls from exploitation and abuse. They have helped and encouraged these girls to stay in school, find a path to success and inspired them to live up to their fullest potential. Unfortunately, hundreds of girls remain on their waiting list.
With the club’s $1,500 donation, Speak Up for the Poor was able to build and dedicate a beautiful Learning Center wing and purchase four bicycles for the girls to use as transportation. For more information, please go to: www.speakupforthepoor.org.
The Domestic Violence Committee of the GFWC Woman’s League of the Lowcountry (South Carolina) assembled and delivered comfort kits to Hopeful Horizons in May. Hopeful Horizons is a children’s advocacy, domestic abuse and rape crisis center, providing safety, hope and healing to survivors. This nonprofit center serves four Lowcountry counties. The kits will be used by the therapists working with the children. Each kit contained educational workbooks, a journal, colored pencils, crayons, playdoh, and a fidget toy as well as a weighted blanket to offer comfort and security during the interview process.
In addition to the kits CCI Hearing Dog Huxley presented CCI Hopeful Horizon Dog Adobe with a $100.00 gift card.This project by the Domestic Violence Committee was made possible by a $1,000 grant from S.C.F.W.C Progress Foundation.
GFWC West Side (Pennsylvania) recently donated funds to the Pennsylvania Regional Food Bank, the Al Beech West Side Food Pantry, and the “Dinner for Kids” program. GFWC West Side is dedicated to helping their local community and area nonprofits.
At the general meeting of GFWC Woman’s League of Mt. Holly (New Jersey), back in March, Home Life Chairman Elaine Hollowell, introduced a new project to raise funds to purchase a little red wagon for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The wagons are used to transport children to surgery, medical treatments, and many times just for a little ride with their families. Her goal was to pass around a tiny replica of the wagon asking members to contribute their spare change for the next few meetings, to work toward buying one wagon for $100. The meetings came to an abrupt end shortly after this due to COVID-19 and members have not had another meeting since. That did not stop their amazing, generous, and committed group of ladies from supporting this worthy project by mailing their donations to Elaine.
To date, members and anonymous donors have collected enough to purchase eight wagons for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The GFWC Woman’s League of Mt. Holly were able to bring smiles not only to the children, but their families as well.
GFWC Women’s Club of Indian River (Delaware) held their awards presentation from the Delaware State Federation of Women’s Club on June 2 at the pavilion of Warwick Park on the Indian River. The awards were presented by President Carla Pyle and some of her officers. The officers toured the state visiting each club to present these awards.
In honor of Memorial Day, the members of the GFWC High Springs Woman’s Club (Florida) placed flags on the graves of deceased veterans at the High Springs Cemetery and the Pine Hills Cemetery. The 295 flags were donated by American Legion Post 149 in Newberry. A penny was placed on each headstone to show someone visited the grave. To remember our veterans with health issues, the club served lunch donated by Wendy’s for the veterans living at the Mayflower Assistant Living facility in High Springs. Goody bags and chocolate covered Oreos made by one of their members were a big hit with the veterans. The residents created and signed beautiful cards thanking Wendy’s and the Woman’s Club.
GFWC Menominee Woman’s Club (Michigan) places flags on veteran’s graves at Menominee’s Riverside Cemetery for Memorial Day each year. This year, the club decided it could still participate in the project if masks were worn and the social distancing rules were followed. It was a beautiful day on May 21 for volunteers to honor about 400 veterans with flags. A photo of some of our volunteers in their masks is attached.
An additional 2020 Memorial Day project for GFWC Menominee Woman’s Club was to clean the marble gravestones in the original Veterans Memorial area of Menominee’s Riverside Cemetery. Last autumn Pat Krah, Chair of the Public Issues CSP, approached Todd and Christina Schloegel, owners of Menominee Granite Co., with a request for a price estimate to clean all the marble headstones. Their response was :”We will clean the headstones at no cost to your Club. It will be a thank you to your Club which does so much good in our community.” A photo of the newly washed headstones is attached.
Earlier this year, when schools and planned service projects started being canceled or postponed, members of the GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club (Georgia) scrambled to find creative ways to serve and quickly discovered that their communities needed them more than ever. After holding their first virtual meetings and challenging their Community Service Program (CSP) Chairs to get creative, GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club President Diane DeGaetano, a retired RN who understands first-hand the importance of protective equipment, encouraged all the seamstresses in the club to start sewing masks for local and state hospitals workers in need. More than 300 masks have been shipped and delivered to date with many more to come. She then asked each CSP to donate a portion of their annual budget to provide a GFWC Federation Day Italian buffet lunch for 30+ respiratory therapists at their local county hospital. Not only were they able to show their appreciation for the medical frontline workers, but they also supported one of their local small business restaurants with the project.
GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club education committee members identified the need for children’s books at their Title I elementary school after the libraries and schools closed. They coordinated with the principal and administrators to establish a Pop-Up Little Free Library in front of the school stocked with 3 cases of disinfected along with new and used books for readers of all ages. As the children and their parents or guardians walked to school to pick up their free lunches during the week, the school staff would give each child their own book to take home along with their lunch.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, International Affiliate GFWC CrêSer in Brazil is focusing its work on helping those in need. CrêSer is working to provide supplies and shelter to families affected by unemployment and cut in wages.
CrêSer relied on great commitment from its volunteers and employees for the manufacturing and distribution of 2,000 fabric and 300 acetate protection masks. A fundraising campaign made it possible to set up 1,215 baskets with non-perishable food that was delivered to families in need.
CrêSer adopted all hygienic security measures by suspending group activities, communicating via telephone, internet, and social networks. They also practiced social isolation and domestic care, as well as the prevention of violence against children, adolescents, and women.
CrêSer hope to return to normal programs soon!
The GFWC Appalachian Leading Ladies Junior Woman’s Club (Virginia) was officially federated in February at GFWC Virginia’s Mid-Winter Executive Board Meeting. Just ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced all clubs into quarantine, GFWC Appalachian Leading Ladies Junior Woman’s Club was unable to get started the way they envisioned. Instead, the club utilized group messages and video chatting on Facebook Messenger to adopt a mask-making project. Members donated supplies, monetary donations via PayPal, got started sewing, and distributed masks to those in need throughout the community at no charge.
GFWC Newington/Wethersfield Women’s Club (Connecticut) distributed nearly 300 free masks to community hospitals, clinics, first responders, pharmacies, police, correctional officers, those with health complications, and more. GFWC Appalachian Leading Ladies Junior Woman’s Club has donated 646 masks, 79 bands, and 8 hospital gowns. Masks were donated to Newington Rapid Recovery, Prudence Crandell, Newington Town Hall, and Senior & Disabled Center. They were also donated to co-workers, friends, and family. They have spent 387 hours making these items and donated over $700 in in-kind donations.
Clubs across Oklahoma had to be creative with celebrations as club years ended with sheltering-in-place and social distancing. GFWC Waurika Sorosis Club has sponsored a Tea for graduating seniors for more than 25 years. This year, club members had to be creative in honoring the class of 2020 graduates. On May 6, club members delivered each Waurika High School graduating senior yard signs, pizza, a rose, a gift from the club, and balloons. Club members drove separate cars and were careful to socially distance as the deliveries were made.
The group also gives each Kindergarten graduate a copy of “Oh the Places You Will Go,” a favorite by Dr. Seuss. This year, the books were distributed by school superintendent, Cody Simmons, as the students had their graduation in individual family groups with no more than two family members present. The kindergarten book program was started in 2011.
The GFWC Woman’s Club of Bridgeport (West Virginia) and the GFWC North Central Junior Alumnae (West Virginia), annually celebrates GFWC Federation Day. Typically, the occasion is noted with a meeting or party, but this year—due to the COVID-19—members celebrated in their own homes, snapping photos to share with each other. Members were asked to reflect on the many friendships made through their Federation involvement. They were to call a friend and reminisce about the wonderful opportunities they have shared through their membership in GFWC.
April is usually the month that GFWC Marlton Woman’s Club (New Jersey) gathers at its monthly meeting to partake in many fundraising events. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these events have been canceled. GFWC Marlton Woman’s Club witnessed the hardship of their neighbors and community suffering financially from business and school closures firsthand. Via electronic vote, it was approved by the membership to divide all available funds this year to donate to six area 501(c)(3) organizations that are on the front lines feeding, sheltering, and helping those at-risk in our community. GFWC Marlton Woman’s Club donated $750 each to the following six community partners: Cherokee High School Food Pantry, Covenant House, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Providence House, Wiley Food Pantry, and Women with Voices Charity.
Earlier this year, when schools and planned service projects started being canceled or postponed, members of the GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club (Georgia) scrambled to find creative ways to continue to serve and quickly discovered that they cannot be stopped when their communities need us more than ever. Members came together and to help their communities in several ways:
- GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club sewed more than 300 masks that have been shipped and delivered with many more to come.
- GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club coordinated with local elementary school after the libraries and schools closed. They established a pop-up Little Free Library® in front of the school stocked with three cases of disinfectant, and books for readers of all ages.
- GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club Home Life set up a drive-by food donation box outside of the Allstate office in downtown Lilburn, GA; it was posted on social media so that both the general public and club members could drop off donations for their local food pantry without ever leaving their cars or waiting in line.
- GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club Arts Committee ordered components, assembled, and delivered 200 craft kits to Lilburn Elementary School for the children.
Even though Illinois was in its fifth week of “shelter in place,” members of GFWC Northwest Suburban Woman’s Club (Illinois) still celebrated Earth Day. Here’s how members of the GFWC Northwest Suburban Woman’s Club celebrated:
• They posted celebratory announcements of Earth Day on their personal Facebook pages.
• They participated in a Zoom video call online and shared their experiences.
The GFWC Women’s Club of South County (Rhode Island) participated in the Arbor Day Grand Initiative. The club provided the funds for three trees to be planted in South County Rhode Island. The participating Rhode Island communities were Narragansett, South Kingstown, and Charlestown. The trees selected were a flowering plum, an autumn flowering cherry, and a tulip tree. The towns were very appreciative to participate in this program. Members were also asked to plant trees or woody shrubs to help in this project. As a result, two trees and six woody shrubs were planted.
In honor of Federation Day on April 24, the GFWC High Springs New Century Woman’s Club (Florida) was proud to donate an Automated External Defibrillator trainer to the High Springs Fire Department. AEDs make it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required.
GFWC Julian Woman’s Club (California) has now sewn well more than 600 face masks. The majority have been delivered to healthcare workers at hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, and clinics. Another member has sewn more than 200 masks for locals in our small town. Once the word was out, residents have contacted the club requesting masks. A donation is requested as a way to honor the project.
The GFWC Temecula Valley Woman’s Club (California) is always thinking of ways to help its communities. Members were notified that the Temecula Valley Hospital were in need of “disposable shoe protectors,” or as we call them, “booties.” GFWC Temecula Valley Woman’s Club had a bulk of these supplies stored for our next Holiday Home Tour. Club President Carol Stern contacted the club’s Executive Board to see if they would approve donating them to the hospital, which was granted. Kim O’Brien got them from storage and delivered seven boxes of 150 booties, three smaller boxes of booties, and one box of large garbage bags to the hospital. The nurses were thrilled to receive them.
Members of GFWC Woman’s Club of Spring Lake (New Jersey) have been busy making masks for all club members. The club has even expanded their distribution to assisted living facilities, families, neighbors, and friends. It has been donating to local food banks and sharing worthwhile health news to each other. Calls have been made to check in on older members, especially those who live alone.
GFWC Georgia North West District have been busy completing projects to help others during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Check out its video for unique project ideas.
For the past 20 years, GFWC Temple Terrace Juniorettes (Florida) have held an Egg Hunt for their community and the proceeds go to Relay for Life. Since the Egg Hunt was canceled this year the girls decided to use their Egg Hunt supplies to make Easter bags for the children of St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. Three of the club members are the grandchildren of the club’s advisor, Joyce Johnston. The children worked together to put the fill all 40 bags. Each bag has a dozen plastic eggs, two bags of candy, a prize, a craft item, and a sheet of stickers. The bags were given out to the children whose parents have been coming to the food bank for food boxes. The Juniorettes also donated $50 for the food bank to purchase more food, as there is an increased demand for food.
Twelve members of the GFWC High Springs New Century Woman’s Club (Florida) read to the kindergarten and first grade classes at the High Springs Community School for Read Across America Day on March 2. The members read a book written by Dr. Seuss in honor of his birthday. The book was then donated to the class for their library.
The GFWC du Midi Woman’s Club (Alabama), celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday at Second Mile Preschool with the Cat in the Hat a.k.a. President Adelaide Cape, and Education Community Service Program Co-Chair, Amy Tolson, reading a few of their favorite books. After reading, each child got to pick out one Dr. Seuss book to keep in support of the Grand Initiatives. Each student from the preschool also received a copy of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” as a Christmas present.
Heidi is both a shining example and inspired advocate of the belief in meaningful volunteering.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
GFWC Towanda Nokomis
With eight members, the GFWC Towanda Nokomis is proving that a small group of committed citizens can, in fact, change the world.