Celebrate GFWC Advocates for Children Week

By Deb Allen
GFWC Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children Chairman

GFWC clubwomen will celebrate Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children Week from Sunday, October 23 to Saturday, October 29, but members continue to help children all year long! One of the things that makes me proud to be a clubwoman is the passion our organization has for children. If you are looking for projects to make a difference in your community, consider one of the following:

Invite a local firefighter to bring turnout gear to speak about fire safety.
Have you seen firefighters wearing their full turnout gear? Have you heard their breathing when they wear oxygen masks? Now, imagine encountering this for the first time as a child, in the dark, when your house is on fire. Invite a local firefighter to speak at elementary schools or daycares. Ask them to bring their turnout gear to put on while talking to the children about fire safety. If appropriate, have them put on their oxygen mask so that children can hear what it sounds like. Help the children to recognize the gear that looks and sounds scary is helping to keep the firefighter safe.

Help authorities find victims of child trafficking.
Traffickers post pictures of their victims in hotel rooms as a way to advertise their business. Click here to download the TraffickCam app and then upload pictures of hotel rooms to help authorities find sex trafficking victims. TraffickCam uses these to identify the background in pictures of trafficking victims allowing authorities to identify where the victim might be. Ask your local hotels to allow you to take pictures of their rooms as well as upload pictures while you are on vacation. (Unsure how to download and upload? Ask a Junior or Juniorette to help!)

Help those who are about to age out of foster care.
Children in foster care age out when they are not permanently placed in a home or reconciled with their families before they turn 18. Identify these children and set up classes or workshops to teach them life lessons, such as managing money or cooking to prepare them for life as an independent adult. Help these children develop a plan to finish their education and consider providing scholarships if your state charges for the GED test.

Remember to report what you are doing!
Don’t wait until January to notify me of the good work you are doing. I am often asked to brag about what GFWC is doing as Advocates for Children. I would love to be able to brag about your club, district, state or region.

Feel free to share your Advocates for Children history with me as well. Do you have a project that has been ongoing for many years? How did Advocates for Children begin in your club or state? Have you won any community awards for your efforts? Were you part of GFWC’s adoption of the Advocacy for Children’s week?

Remember General, Junior, and Juniorette clubs may report under the Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children category. Start writing your reports now while it is easy to remember the details of your project. Remember to explain your project in detail so that another club may be able to utilize your project in their area.

Thanks for all that you do in the lives of children during Advocates for Children Week and throughout the year! Mark your calendars for our 2017 GFWC Juniors’ Special Program Advocates for Children Week to be held Sunday, October 23 to Saturday, October 28, 2017.