GFWC Installs New International President and Board of Directors

2024–2026 GFWC Executive Committee Members (l to r): GFWC Treasurer Juliet Casper of South Carolina; GFWC Second Vice President Mary Beth Williams of Colorado; GFWC President-elect Wendy Carriker of North Carolina; GFWC International President Suellen B. Brazil of Alabama; GFWC First Vice President Jolie Frankfurth of Florida; GFWC Secretary Dr. Susan Gettys of Missouri; and Director of Junior Clubs Shannon Bailey of Florida.


Washington, DC, July 9, 2024 — The General Federation of Women’s Club (GFWC) is pleased to announce the installation of its 55th International President Suellen B. Brazil of Alabama at the 2024 GFWC Annual Convention held in Chicago. GFWC President Brazil possesses the experience, the organizational expertise, collaborative skills, the support of the clubwomen, and the dedication to lead GFWC through a successful 2024-2026 Administration.

GFWC International President Suellen B. Brazil during the Installation Banquet thanking the GFWC Alabama Installation Committee for all their hardwork and attention to details to make the night extra special.

“I am deeply honored to serve as the 55th GFWC International President,” said International President Suellen B. Brazil. “Service and personal development are central tenets of GFWC’s 134-year mission.

“Under the banner of ‘Educate, Engage, Empower,’ I will strive to empower individuals from all walks of life, providing them with the tools and knowledge necessary to shape our future. Through education, we open the doors to opportunities and encourage a culture of lifelong learning. Increased engagement creates meaningful connections and fosters a sense of belonging. Empowerment encourages others to become catalysts of change, amplifying the scope and impact of our collective endeavors.”

“Suellen is a proven leader,” said GFWC International Past President Marian St.Clair of South Carolina (2020-2022). “With her determination and unquenchable faith and belief in GFWC’s mission, she will improve the lives of others and succeed in changing the course of history in many ways, large and small.”   

Brazil brings over 50 years of experience in various leadership roles characterized by enthusiasm, dedication, and passion.  Professionally, Brazil served 44 years as an educator, further demonstrating her commitment to public service. In 2010, she retired from Baldwin County Public Schools (BCPS) in Alabama as an Executive Elementary Administrator, overseeing 28 schools, 18,000 students, and all BCPS employees.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is the nation’s oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational women’s volunteer service organization that unites local women’s clubs in a collective effort to strengthen communities and enhance the lives of others through volunteer service. From her days as GFWC Alabama Director of Junior Clubs and GFWC Alabama State President, Brazil has been active on the 200-person GFWC Board of Directors. For the past 10 years, Brazil has served on the GFWC Executive Committee, the national leadership authority, for more than 60,000 club members nationwide. As a result, she has connected with local, state, and national leaders at the grassroots level on numerous priorities, including leadership development, legislative advocacy, and serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence, veterans, the homeless, children, and those facing food insecurity.

The 2024-2026 Board of Directors, composed of region presidents, state presidents, directors of junior clubs, special program chairmen, community service program chairmen and committee members, and appointees of the President, were installed and charged with leading the organization for the next two years.    

Brazil, from Daphne, Alabama, is the first GFWC International President from the State of Alabama in the organization’s 134-year history. She is the proud grandmother of four adorable grandchildren, mother of two sons and daughters-in-law, and wife to her late husband, Billy.

Photos by 2024 GFWC Annual Convention Official Photographer Laura Bergman, LoLoB Designs. See More Photos.

New Members Only Portal

You asked and we listened…

The GFWC Executive Committee is pleased to present the latest, greatest “Members-Only” platform to help you access important GFWC documents and connect with fellow clubwomen. It is user-friendly and easy to get started!

Your current account information will be transferred to the new platform. All users will need to complete a one-time registration using their existing email on the new portal.


You can download files from the Digital Library, view photo galleries, make donations, search for registered members, send direct messages, and much more!

Please allow 2-3 business days for GFWC staff to approve your profile. We thank you for your patience, as we expect to experience a high volume of requests at the beginning of this transition.

To access the new Member Portal from GFWC’s website, click on the pink MEMBER LOGIN button in the upper right corner.

#GFWC #GFWC_HQ #IamGFWC #LivingTheVolunteerSpirit

Five Ways to Celebrate Federation Day

By Babs J. Condon
GFWC International President

On April 24, 1890, the GFWC constitution was ratified and 63 clubs officially formed the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. With nearly 3,000 clubs and 100,000 members worldwide, we surely have come a long way since that day 126 years ago. Every year, Federation Day gives us the opportunity to reflect on where we have been as an organization, and look forward to what we will accomplish in the future.

“It occurred to them that union is strength. Then they began to reach out toward each other.”

This quote from GFWC clubwoman and author Julia Ward Howe in 1889 is still relevant today. Just like our foresisters in 1890, we continue to find strength in federation. GFWC unites us all to one common mission of improving the lives of others through volunteer service.

Let’s unite our voices and celebrate this amazing Sisterhood of Service on April 24, Federation Day, and continue the celebration throughout Volunteers in Action Week, April 24-30. Here are just five things you can do to celebrate:

1. Send a Federation Day Press Release to your Local Media
Federation Day is great opportunity to share the history and accomplishments of GFWC and your club with your community. To help you publicize your club on Federation Day, we are happy to offer a press release that we encourage you to submit to your local media. Please feel free to edit the release to add more information about your club. The release also includes an infographic that demonstrates the collective impact of GFWC in 2015, highlighting the 6,124,693 volunteer hours completed.

Click on this link for the press release and infographic:

If you wish to have a copy of the press release as a Microsoft Word document please click here.

2. Take Advantage of the Federation Day Clubwoman Magazine Deal
GFWC Clubwoman Magazine is one of the best tools for staying connected to all things GFWC. Celebrate 126 years of Federation by subscribing today! If you’re a new subscriber to Clubwoman, we’re offering a buy one, get one half off subscription deal. Share the spirit of Federation Daybuy a subscription for yourself for $10 and send one to a friend for only $5! Visit the GFWC Marketplace on April 24 to take advantage of this special offer:

There is also a special year-round rate available for clubs who subscribe 100 percent of their members to GFWC Clubwoman Magazine. Encourage ALL of your members to sign up to receive a discounted price of $8 per subscription! Email for more information.

3. Share the GFWC love on Facebook!
Facebook is the perfect place to let your community know about the important work your club is doing. On Federation Day, be sure to share posts from the GFWC HQ Facebook account ( so that all of your followers know that April 24 is GFWC’s 126th Anniversary! Stay tuned for the GFWC Facebook Account on April 24 for special Federation Day posts. Throughout Volunteers in Action Week, share photos of your club members volunteering with the hashtag #VolunteersinAction.

4. Host a Federation Day Event
Celebrate GFWC’s exciting and monumental history by hosting an event on Federation Day, or anytime during GFWC Volunteers in Action Week from April 24-April 30! Whether it’s a club meeting, a community service project, or a recruitment event,  GFWC’s 126th Anniversary is a great time to increase your club’s presence in your community. Many clubs host Federation Teas or host a community clean up in April to increase awareness of Federation Day. Consider focusing your next event around GFWC’s 126th Anniversary!

5. Let us know how you’re celebrating!
Whatever your club is doing to celebrate Federation Day, we want to hear about it! Please send photos and stories of your events to



A Look Back at GFWC History with the International Past Presidents

Five of the GFWC International Past Presidents at the 2015 GFWC Annual Convention in Memphis, Tennessee.

For two years, the GFWC International President resides at GFWC’s Headquarters on 1734 N Street, located just south of DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C. It becomes her home as she invests all of her time into GFWC. Living at this National Historic Landmark is just one of the many duties required of the International President during her administration.

Serving as the official representative of GFWC, each International Past President has left a truly remarkable mark on GFWC that is still felt today. From Charlotte Emerson Brown, GFWC’s first president in 1890, to Babs J. Condon, GFWC’s 50th President, the Federation has been led by inspirational leaders who ensured GFWC was meeting its mission of improving the lives of others through volunteer service.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, join us on a glimpse of the past as we look back on the accomplishments and contributions of just a few of the many International Past Presidents. These incredible leaders are true examples of Living the Volunteer Spirit.

Mary Elizabeth Preston

During her term, Mary Elizabeth Preston, the 32nd GFWC International President, promoted family unity and free enterprise.

“The private enterprise system has been the financial pillar of our society, the family has been the moral and philosophical pillar. While they both stand, our country is held aloft and free; if they should fall, America falls with them,” she said.

She also helped to establish the Korean Federation of Women’s Clubs, traveling to Seoul, South Korea in 1978. She then spent a week in the Soviet Union, along with First Vice President Juanita Bryant and Second Vice President Jeri Winger. In Moscow, the GFWC leaders met with leaders of the Soviet Women’s Committee and discussed the roles of Russian women.

After the discussion, Mary said that she had “a better understanding of Russian women. I have to believe that they too would like world peace. All the women of the world would. Our governments may work in very different ways, but as women, we have many common concerns.”

Marijo Shide
North Dakota

As GFWC International President, Marijo Shide worked to increase awareness of GFWC and encouraged clubs to put GFWC in their club name.

“Clubs and State Federations saw the value of the GFWC Brand. If a reporter didn’t know what GFWC was, that gave them a great opportunity to tell them,” she said.

Marijo promoted programs including crime prevention, energy conservation, the Community Improvement Program (CIP), CARE, and National Family Week.

Marijo enjoyed interacting with clubwomen and having the opportunity to serve. She also loved living at GFWC International Headquarters and having access to the Archives.

Juanita Martin Bryant
North Carolina
The opening of the GFWC Women’s History and Resource Center on May 1, 1984 was one of the highlights of Juanita Martin Bryant’s time as GFWC International President from 1982-1984. Vice President George Bush cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony, officially opening the center, which stores GFWC Archives and documents the history of women volunteerism. As a self-described history buff, Juanita is proud that the WHRC is still going strong today, and that it is used by individual researchers, universities, and historians.

Working with the mentally and physically handicapped, especially through the Special Olympics, was Juanita’s special project during her administration. She attended the International Special Olympics in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1983. Another highlight of her presidency was attending the National Multiple Sclerosis Conference in Houston, Texas, where she presented the MS Volunteer Award to Frank Sinatra.

Juanita also travelled internationally through the CARE project, visiting projects in Hawaii, Guam, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, and Saudi Arabia.

Looking back at her administration, Juanita says that she enjoyed the opportunity to visit and meet with clubwomen not only in the United States, but around the world as well.

“I feel very strongly that our volunteer work is a great contribution. It doesn’t trickle down from the top; it wields up from the bottom. The great success of GFWC is because it is organized not only in clubs, but on regional, national, and international levels. I think that is a major thing that has made GFWC so successful during this 126 years,” she said.

Jacquelyn Pierce
As the 46th GFWC International President, Jacquelyn Pierce’s administration focused on Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention. Participating in the writing of the Violence Against Women Act was one of the highlights of her time as president.

Jacquelyn is proud of GFWC’s recognition in the United States Senate in 2006. Then-Senator Joseph Biden (Del.) called “a gem among our midst” for our work in domestic violence awareness and prevention, as well as GFWC’s history of support for the Violence Against Women Act.

Jacquelyn had the opportunity to visit the Dominican Republic in 2007 with Reaching Out Internationally Chairman Nancy Jones, participating in the Plan USA Global Women’s Fund in Action.

“It was a very humbling experience for me to be able to write a personal check in the amount of $800 which enabled the women of the village of Azuna to purchase their first commercial sewing machine so that they could make the school uniforms that their children were required to wear. Presented on behalf of GFWC, that small donation made a difference. The women could now be gainfully employed and the uniforms could be made at a cost much less than if purchased in a retail store,” she said.

Jacquelyn’s administration theme was “Empowering Women One by One.”

“I have always thought that if you looked at a banner in the front of a convention hall, the words on that banner should define, without question, the mission of the organization. To me, GFWC, first and foremost, empowers its members, and it does so on an individual basis. Ask any club member what GFWC means to them and their answer will involve their personal empowerment,” she said.

Rose M. Ditto, Ph.D.
Rose M. Ditto, Ph.D., served as GFWC’s 47th International President. Her administration focused on health programs, specifically healthy self-worth. As president, Rose enjoyed the opportunity to share her passion for the importance of the development of healthy self-worth and emotional intelligence.

Serving with Missi McCoy, GFWC Director of Junior Clubs, the Executive Committee, and the GFWC Staff was another highlight. Rose also enjoyed attending GFWC Region, State, and club meetings and representing GFWC at events.

“Through my travels to GFWC Regions, States, and Clubs, I was always amazed by the projects and volunteer achievements proudly reported,” she said.

“GFWC — A Vision of Possibilities” was Rose’s administration theme, inspired by the song “I Am a Promise” from the musical “Kids Under Construction” by the Gaithers. The words are, “I am a Promise, I am a Possibility, I am a Promise with a capital P.”

“These describe each and every GFWC member as we have unlimited possibilities for serving others in our families, clubs, and communities,” Rose said. “GFWC’s historical accomplishments speak loudly, the present accomplishments continually build, and the future accomplishments are within our reach.”

The volunteer spirit and the giving nature of GFWC members have impacted the American spirit and culture which have reached all over the world, Rose said.

“At one time the voice of GFWC was very strong and quite influential, however, as our membership has lessened, so has our voice. The challenge now is to continue impacting those around us and within our reach—families and communities. The American dream is just not to have more, but to give more for the betterment of others,” she said.

Mary Ellen Laister
Mary Ellen Laister strongly supported the GFWC Signature Project: Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention and the Success for Survivors Scholarship. In 2013, GFWC awarded eight scholarships of $2,500 each for a total of $20,000.

Mary Ellen is proud to have raised over $20,000 in 2012 and 2013 to award these scholarships. Reading the applications and hearing the stories of these women was an emotional experience.

“When I read those applications, I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream. It gave you every emotion in the world,” she said.

Mary Ellen met one of the scholarship recipients during her administration, and said the young woman was so grateful that it brought tears to her eyes.

“It was so important that we made their life better,” she said.

According to Mary Ellen, the most exciting part of being president was traveling to the Regions and attending State Conventions, which allowed her to meet clubwomen and hear about the impact they were making in their communities.

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was very fortunate to be the 49th president,” she said.

The Red Dress Fashion Show at the 2013 GFWC Annual Convention in Hollywood, Florida was a huge hit, Mary Ellen said.

“I felt I had a very positive two years,” Mary Ellen said.

For a full list of GFWC’s International Past Presidents, click here. Stay tuned for a look at GFWC Past Directors of Junior Clubs on the GFWC Facebook Page.




Making an International Impact: GFWC Affiliates Around the World

By Elaine Ko-Talmadge
GFWC International Affiliates Chairman

In 1889, Dr. Emma Brainard Ryder of the New York City Sorosis Club placed an advertisement in a newspaper in Bombay, India, inviting young women of all classes and nationalities to a meeting about forming a women’s organization. Dr. Ryder received a great deal of backlash for her plan. Some missionaries said that men would not permit women to participate, and residents of Bombay argued India’s caste system would make forming a club difficult.

Despite this doubt, 47 women attended the first meeting, and 30 women became charter members. Thus, the first GFWC International Club was created. GFWC Founder Jane Cunningham Croly sent a message congratulating the new club. “Tell them the world was made for women also,” she wrote.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, clubs like Bombay Sorosis continued to form around the world. At one point, GFWC was present in 55 countries. Today, GFWC has International Affiliates in Aruba, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Ghana, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Taiwan, Curacao, and Ukraine.

International Affiliates are supported by the GFWC International Liaison Committee. The committee consists of a chairman and three committee members who work to promote GFWC membership services, benefits, and resources. The committee also hosts members who attend GFWC International Conventions and Region Meetings. I was proud to be selected as the 2016-18 chairman.

My international life began in 1960 when I married my college sweetheart from Korea. During our 30 years of marriage, we had four children and hosted 17 international exchange students from all over the world. It just seemed natural that I would be part of GFWC International Programs.

When GFWC asked me to represent the Federation at the United Nations, I was thrilled and attended meetings pertaining to women, children, and families for a number of years.

My only regret is that I do not speak all the languages of our International Affiliates. Most of the officers speak English, but it is difficult for those who do not to attend GFWC meetings and conventions.

I look forward to the next two years, and hope to bring more clubs into our Federation. Remember, all GFWC clubs are welcome to become a sister club to International Clubs. Please contact me at for more information.

Here’s a brief overview of what some of our International Affiliates have been up to:

American Women’s Club of Toronto
The club’s It’s Teatime Fundraiser raised over $2,000 for Nellie’s Shelter, which assists those in need of food, shelter, and support. The American Women’s Club of Toronto will celebrate 100 years in 2017.

The Federation of Women’s Lyceum Clubs Ammohostos Cyprus
The club’s lifetime project is the Children’s Holiday Resort, a camp for children from economically disadvantaged homes. The project started in 1931 and now includes training in the arts and education, as well as community health services for women and the elderly.

Ukraine Women’s Club
The war in Ukraine has affected children and their families, both young and old. The Ukraine Women’s Club has tried to help make life a little easier for the children by hosting a camp in the summer, providing food during the year, hosting a Princess Ball for children without parents, and collecting clothes and utensils for families escaping the war. The GFWC Cookeville Junior Women’s Club (Tennessee) and the GFWC Heritage League (Nebraska) recently sent children’s vitamins, liquid ibuprofen, and DynaRub to the club, as medicines and fruit are very expensive in Ukraine.

Women’s Club of Aruba
Aruba celebrated its 80-year anniversary in 2014. Last December, the club provided clothes for 300 less-fortunate children. Members recently delivered 2,500 sports bottles to students across the island as part of their Save the Earth Project.

The Women’s Club of Osculda
The Women’s Club of Osculda, located in Curacao, was founded in 1963 for organizing seminars and study mornings. The goal was to help women take care of the economic and social affairs of their families and advance women’s sense of responsibility as members of society. Today, members promote women’s health, and recently formed a parent’s group in the schools.

International Women’s Club of Porto Alegre
The International Women’s Club of Porto Alegre, Brazil, established in 1964, helps children from the slums find a better life. Members run a children’s club for students, helping them complete their homework and learn leadership skills.

Recently, members bravely entered a march against government corruption to show the world that, as women of all different classes, they are all affected by government malfeasance, and reform is necessary.

 GFWC Baroy Woman’s Club
The GFWC Baroy Woman’s Club, located in the Philippines, partners with local officials and nongovernmental organizations to implement the KidzFeeding Project, a daily meals program that works to combat undernourishment and malnutrition in children three and younger in Baroy. The project provides training to parents on the kind of meals they should provide their children. The club plans to bring this program to other villages and seeks help funding this project. Only $0.65 is needed to provide one meal to a child.

American Women’s Literary Club
The American Women’s Literary Club of Lima, Peru celebrated its 90th birthday with a new cookbook called “Fresh Flavors.” The club’s signature event is Noche de Musica, held every year at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. Money from these events has gone towards building a classroom for a school, funding educational supplies, and providing financial support for teachers at the Instituto Pedagogico.

International Women’s Club of Merida
The goal of the International Women’s Club of Merida, Mexico is friendship, service, and self-improvement. The club mentors young women and provides scholarships for higher education.

National Council of Women of Taiwan
The National Council of Women of Taiwan was established in 1950 to enable women’s groups in Taiwan to work with nongovernmental organizations. The National Council of Women of Taiwan advocates for women’s issues, cares for elderly, handicapped, and indigenous people, and promotes environmental protection and child welfare.

Taipei International Women’s Club
The Taipei International Women’s Club has promoted education, public welfare, international friendship, and cultural exchange since 1951. The club recently donated to victims of a typhoon in the Philippines and the Taipei Benevolent Society for the Blind.

Grand Bahama American Women’s Club
The Grand Bahama American Women’s Club is marking 50 years this month. The club is also planning for its 13th Annual Philanthropic Golf Tournament, which raises money for scholarships and grants. Recently, clubwomen provided 1,600 vision and hearing screenings in local schools.



How to Recruit New Members This Winter

With temperatures dropping and snow falling, staying inside covered up with a warm blanket sounds nice right now! But Winter Seasonal Recruitment has started, which means it’s time to start thinking about how to bring “A Flurry of New Friends” to your next meeting.

Below, GFWC Membership Committee Chairman Tammy Garland shares some great ways you can help your club gain more members this winter and throughout the rest of the year. After all, the 2014-2016 Recruitment Theme, “A Proud Past and a Promising Future with Friends,” is all about celebrating friendship. What better way than to share your GFWC membership with some new friends?

Tell your friends, neighbors and co-workers about GFWC

As a member for 27 years, I have discovered that the more people you tell about GFWC, the more people will want to join. Be ready to share your story with others by practicing your elevator speech, a 30 second summary about your involvement in GFWC.

Here are some examples of elevator speeches from the GFWC Club Manual:

I am a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, one of the largest women’s volunteer organizations in the world. We are committed to the betterment of our communities through volunteerism and the empowerment of women. GFWC volunteers find joy in living and giving. Here, let me give you one of our cards.

GFWC is the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, one of the oldest volunteer women’s organizations in the world dedicated to service in our communities, state, nationally, and internationally. Our motto is “Unity in Diversity.” We do what needs to be done in our communities. Our national emphasis is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention. Would you like to learn more? Here is an informational GFWC tri-fold and my card. May I have your card? I will contact you with information on our next event.

Anywhere you go, whether you’re at the office, a friend’s party, or a community meeting, you should be prepared to talk about GFWC. Consider sharing your elevator speech when you’re volunteering at places in your community, like a church or childcare agency.

Tell people about the new projects your club is doing, and invite friends or neighbors to your next club meeting or service project. I suggest encouraging every member to bring a friend to your next meeting or club event. I have found that many women decided to join GFWC because a friend invited them to a meeting!

Host a Recruitment Event

Planning an event takes time and preparation, but a successful event can show potential members what your club, and GFWC, is all about. My club recently planned a dinner with a self-help speaker where we could each invite a guest. It was a wonderful opportunity to add members.

Are you hosting a club-sponsored event? Why not invite prospective members to join in on the fun? You could follow the example of the GFWC Taunton Junior Woman’s Club (North Carolina), who on a bus ride to a casino fundraising trip told participants about GFWC, and gained seven new members.

Or maybe try something similar to the GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Williamsburg’s (Virginia) First Friday, a new member initiative that brings together clubwomen and prospective new member for happy hour, allowing them to mingle in a fun environment.

Combining membership recruitment events and service projects allows for prospective members to see what type of causes your club supports. Try holding a new membership lunch or dinner and encourage attendees to bring donations for a cause your club supports. For example, if your club supports a local food pantry, encourage new members to bring nonperishable food items and use the event to talk about other projects supported by your club.

Your club could also hold a monthly or bimonthly “meet and greet,” allowing new members to join you and get to know what your club is all about.

Publicize your club

Other than simply asking a friend to join GFWC, I think raising awareness about your club can help increase membership. In the past, I have found that Facebook posts, fliers, brochures, pictures in the newspaper, and telling others about what our club does and supports in our communities can attract ladies who have similar interests.

Using public relations tools to promote your club can be an effective way to recruit new members. Post club photos and news on your Facebook page, or submit press releases and information about upcoming events to your local newspaper. Consider making a flyer or brochure for your club that you can distribute to places across your community. Radio advertisements or announcements about your club meetings or events can also help bring new members to your meeting.

Developing business cards for your club is another great way to spread the word about GFWC. The GFWC Joliet Junior Woman’s Club (Illinois) installed five new members after adapting the use of membership business cards that are designed with contact information, the club’s logo, and the club’s mission statement.

If there’s some popular events in your community coming up, why not reserve a table or booth to advertise your club? Be sure to bring informational materials about your club, and display some photos of members in action! For example, I am always ready with tickets to our events, business size information cards, or a small token that women will keep or use and be reminded of the club and what it supports.

I hope these tips help you and your club recruit new members this winter. I encourage you to adapt these suggestions to best fit your needs.

Check out the Membership and Communications and Public Relations Advancement Guides in the GFWC Club Manual for more information on recruiting new members and promoting your club.

If would like to share your seasonal recruitment stories, please email them to Membership Services Manager Kate Garlick at I can’t wait to read about how clubs creatively recruited new members.


End Human Trafficking in Your Community


If you’ve been following the GFWC Facebook and Twitter pages, you may have noticed that we’ve been sharing facts about human trafficking throughout the month of January to mark Human Trafficking Awareness Month. These facts, provided by GFWC International Outreach Partner U.S. Fund for UNICEF, included the shocking statistic that over 5.5 million children worldwide are victims of human trafficking.

Human trafficking may feel like it’s a problem that happens somewhere far away, but the truth is that it’s been reported in every U.S. state. That’s why it’s more important than ever for clubwomen to work together to end trafficking.

Mansi Mehta, Manager of Civil Society Partnerships at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, hosted a webinar for GFWC members last week to share ways that we can work together to end trafficking. Clubwomen learned about how to speak to their clubs and local communities about stopping human trafficking.

While Human Trafficking Awareness Month has come to a close, there are many ways we can continue to act throughout the year, including:

Learn the signs of human trafficking
Visit to learn more about common signs child victims of trafficking may show, including working long and excessive hours, being nervous or anxious, and appearing malnourished.

Get informed about human trafficking
UNICEF USA offers both a podcast series and a toolkit that can help you learn more about this issue.

Be aware of and decrease your slavery footprint
Visit to learn more about how victims of human trafficking are exploited and how you can ensure the products you purchase don’t use exploited workers.

Host a screening of Not My Life 
Not My Life shows human trafficking both around the world in the United States. Email  to get a copy of the film. You can also host a facilitated discussion following the documentary.

Check out more tips covered in the End Trafficking Webinar by clicking here.

GFWC At Arlington National Cemetery

GFWC International President Babs J. Condon, clubwomen and staff at the 2014 Wreaths Across America Ceremony.

GFWC International President Babs J. Condon, along with GFWC staff, and fellow clubwomen will be participating in the annual Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday, December 12 at Arlington National Cemetery. GFWC has sponsored several wreaths and is also volunteering its time to lay wreaths on the grounds. The Opening Ceremony begins at 9:30 am. If interested in joining GFWC at Arlington National Cemetery, please contact Derek Tennant at

Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states to spread its message about the importance of remembering our fallen heroes. If you can’t make it to Arlington but want to be involved, check out the wreath laying options in your state or sponsor a wreath at Arlington.

Learn more about Wreaths Across America by visiting their YouTube Channel and checking out this video.


Giving Thanks for GFWC

By Babs J. Condon
GFWC International President

As we approach Thanksgiving, I like to reflect on my many blessings and would be remiss if I didn’t take the time to thank each of you for the valuable contributions you have made to GFWC.

For all that you do to improve your communities through your volunteer service, I am grateful, because it is the work of volunteers like you that makes GFWC a remarkable organization. By living the volunteer spirit, you are improving the lives of others each and every day.

Whether you’re planting pinwheel gardens for child abuse awareness during Advocates for Children Week or wearing purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am truly inspired by the time and energy you put into all things you set your mind to accomplish.

This fall has certainly been a busy time. October marked Domestic Violence Awareness Month, reminding me how thankful I am for all the work GFWC has done through our Signature Project: Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention. Our club members meet with our elected officials to discuss legislation to end domestic violence and raise money for the Success for Survivors Scholarship. I am thankful knowing you are committed to breaking the cycle of abuse.

Earlier this fall, your president was grateful to represent GFWC at the anniversary celebration of the Violence Against Women Act at the home of Vice President Joe Biden. While Vice President Biden was expressing his appreciation for GFWC, I could not help but remember the dedication to our cause shown by our club members across the country. We may have a long way to go, but together, I believe we can accomplish anything. Indeed, as we mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, let us remember to continue to be active in our efforts to end the global pandemic that is violence against women.

In November, clubs continue to show their volunteer spirit by promoting Prematurity Awareness Month, honoring our veterans for their service, hosting DogFest Walk ‘n Rolls to raise money for Canine Companions for Independence, helping improve literacy among adults, and so much more. How blessed I feel to be a member of this group of strong and determined women who change the world.

On November 11, I visited Arlington National Cemetery with the GFWC Executive Committee, GFWC Resolutions Committee, GFWC Staff, and the President’s Assistants, and we all had to opportunity to honor those who have served and sacrificed their lives for our country. It is because of this service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans that we are able to celebrate our freedom this Thanksgiving, and my father, Staff Sergeant Arthur H. Peck is among those who gave so much that we may be free. For that, I am especially thankful.

Finally, I am thankful to serve as your International President, and sincerely appreciate all that you do to improve our world by Living the Volunteer Spirit. On Thanksgiving and throughout the year, I count my many blessings and am grateful for your commitment to GFWC.



GFWC Honors Our Veterans

By Hope Royer
GFWC Public Issues Community Service Program Chairman

We are reminded every year on Veterans Day of the tremendous debt of gratitude we owe to our military personnel. They are our heroes, both past and present.

On Veterans Day and throughout the calendar year, GFWC clubwomen support and express their gratitude for the over 22 million veterans living in the United States.

Whether they’re hosting a “Barbecue for the Troops” fundraiser, inviting homeless veterans to a “Bring a Vet to Lunch” meeting, or hosting group sew days to make adaptive clothes for wounded service personnel, GFWC clubwomen are committed to helping veterans.

Through GFWC’s Public Issues Community Service Program and its partner organizations, Sew Much Comfort and the USO, GFWC clubwomen have countless opportunities to educate their communities on the needs of military families. Clubwomen advocate for legislation supporting active and veteran military personnel, and help veterans with the often difficult transition back to their communities.


“Real heroes don’t wear capes. They wear dog tags.”


Veterans give so much to our country on a daily basis, but sadly, the commitment and sacrifices made by veterans often go unnoticed. In response to this, GFWC announced its support of Green Light A Vet, a national campaign to increase awareness and support for veterans through a visible symbol. GFWC encourages its members and their communities to change a porch light to green to recognize veterans year-round.

GFWC Public Issues Partner Sew Much Comfort is the only national organization that provides adaptive clothing at no cost to support the unique needs of our wounded service personnel from all branches of the military and the National Guard. More than 147,000 pieces of adaptive clothing have been provided over the past eleven years. GFWC clubs support Sew Much Comfort by providing seamstresses and through in-kind and financial donations. Donating adaptive clothing to wounded service members gives them a sense of comfort as they recover and provides them with a reminder of our gratitude for their service.

As USO approaches its 75th Anniversary in February, GFWC clubwomen will continue to provide active support to help lift the spirits of troops and families. Clubs provide in-kind and financial donations, and help provide “No Dough Dinners” for military families in financial distress. These dinners usually take place once a month right before payday and help families not only by lifting some of their financial burden, but also providing a place for fun and fellowship.

In addition to volunteering at local USO centers, Clubwomen support the United Through Reading program, in which children of deployed parents receive a DVD of their mom or dad reading them a bedtime story, by donating books and DVDS, hosting book drives, and raising money for the program.

GFWC clubwomen will proudly fly the flag of the United States of America in honor of our nation’s veterans as they organized and attend community wide celebrations on Veterans Day. Well beyond November 11, GFWC clubwomen will continue to honor our nation’s heroes, both past and present.

“Real heroes do not wear capes. They wear dog tags.” Thank you to all the veterans who sacrifice so much so that we may live in freedom.