With a background in corporate America and management, Tamara Miller has spent decades learning how to be a good leader and team player, and she was excited to bring these skills to the GFWC LaVerne – San Dimas Woman’s Club in California.
After retiring in 2015, Tamara wanted to take advantage of the time she now had to become more involved in her community. She began looking for a local charitable organization that would allow her to keep a flexible schedule.
When she saw an article about a new club starting, she decided to go to a meeting and quickly became friends with the other ladies in attendance.
Soon after this first experience with the GFWC club, Tamara’s husband passed away and she knew keeping busy was now more important than ever. After meeting another clubwoman who had also recently lost her husband, Tamara was certain she was in the right place.
“Being involved in the club is just what I needed. It really was a lifesaver for me,” she said.
Despite her experience with leadership, Tamara did not originally plan to take on too many responsibilities with the club, but soon found herself enjoying a chairman position. It wasn’t long before she filled the role of club president.
Tamara said she is glad she took on the new responsibility and was thrilled to work with her fellow members in new ways.
“They are all just so friendly and willing to help. We have a great group of people,” she said. “Everybody pitches in with one type of project or another.”
Although being club president during part of the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges of its own, Tamara noted the clubwomen were great about trying to stay involved and make a difference.
“We tried to keep up with everybody and keep active and find projects that we could do during that time without face-to-face.”
Tamara said the club generally has many projects going on at one time that people can choose to participate in, but she is always particularly excited by their Freedom Bags project, which is sponsored by their local police department.
For this project, the police department provides clubwomen with a list of necessary items and members put together filled backpacks that are then given to children survivors affected by human trafficking.
Tamara said it is great to be part of this project and others that truly make a difference in people’s lives. She added the clubwomen really enjoy working with children and families in need.
“You feel like you are doing something that is going to help other people,” she said.
As Tamara continues with her GFWC journey, she said she would encourage anyone to join a club where they can give back.
“I think those who are not getting involved and are just sitting at home are really missing out on that rewarding feeling,” she said.
Debra Lubas joined GFWC Florida in 2017 because she wanted to make a difference in her community. She has been a shining example of Living the Volunteer Spirit in Florida. Debra has worked on projects benefitting those experiencing hunger and housing insecurity.
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