When Patricia Porto was approached by a member of the GFWC Brunswick Woman’s Club in Georgia during an event she was volunteering at in 2015, she decided to tag along to a club meeting to learn more. After seeing the room filled with friends and neighbors, she decided to join the group of women working to make their home a better place to live.
With a background in many aspects of business, Patricia was quickly placed in charge of the club’s public relations efforts with the goal of making their volunteer projects and club as a whole more visible in the community.
As the club president in 2021, Patricia said she was fortunate to join the club and get to help others.
“The woman’s club gave me an outlet to give back,” she said. “Our club is so diverse in all the different things that we have been doing and this is a perfect place to volunteer.”
She noted that being able to volunteer without a committed schedule has also made the woman’s club a great experience.
Patricia said she has been involved in many outreach projects since joining the GFWC Brunswick Woman’s Club, tackling issues such as helping children in need, supporting survivors of sex trafficking and domestic violence, and more.
She added when the women work together as a team, so much more is accomplished than if she was taking on these projects by herself.
“It’s the types of things that we can’t do alone, but together we can,” Patricia said. “With this club as a group, even though we’re small, we’re able to put together our energies and give back.”
One project that stands out for Patricia throughout the years has been Helping Hugs for Haiti, which involved clubwomen making sewing kits, putting them in upcycled tennis ball containers, and then sending them to Haiti with members of an outside mission trip.
Patricia said that although club members always help financially when they can, she prefers to find more hands-on ways for the women to get involved and give back.
“It’s more than writing the check. That’s different for us. We write the checks too, but we are out there doing stuff,” she said.
Along with enjoying being able to make a difference for others, Patricia said she loves being part of the woman’s club because of her friendships with the other clubwomen and the relationships with other area residents.
“It’s about the camaraderie that we have within the community,” she said. “We participate in all the things that we can through GFWC and it opens windows for us.”
Looking forward, Patricia said she is excited to continue to be involved in the GFWC Brunswick Woman’s Club and see what else her fellow clubwomen are able to accomplish.
“To join GFWC has not only given us an opportunity to do great things here, but it wakes up our talents and energizes us to get more involved,” she said.
When Ann Sebastian left her house to get groceries one day in 2012, she never expected to join the Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach, in Delaware, but she immediately knew she couldn’t say no to the opportunity.
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 Woman's Club of Westminster
The GFWC Woman’s Club of Westminster (Maryland) has an annual project that corresponds with one of International President Brock's Seven Grand Initiatives. Every year the club partners with Penguin Random House, one of the area’s publishing houses and distributor of books, to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday.