Giving Thanks for GFWC
November 20, 2015
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.
If there is time in the day to lend a helping hand, Irene Iverson will do it. A member of two GFWC clubs and recent honoree of the One OC Spirit of Volunteerism Award for 2014, Irene has been an active leader in her community since she joined the Red Cross as a volunteer at 15.
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.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!