Helping Children Succeed in School
August 31, 2017
With school coming back into session, it’s hard to miss the vibrant Back-to-School displays at your local retail stores. As much as kids might mourn the end of summer, picking out a new wardrobe, freshly sharpened color pencils, and all the items on their supply list can be a fun experience. Unfortunately, it can also be an expensive ordeal for their parents, especially for families with multiple children.
Fortunately, GFWC clubwomen rose to the challenge of making sure that the children in their communities, no matter their financial situation, have access to the supplies they need for school. All of these clubs found different and creative means of collecting items, but all methods had the same level of impact: children will be better equipped to do well in class.
The GFWC Woman’s Club of Denville-Rockaway (New Jersey) established collection sites for school supplies in three different towns. Several local businesses volunteered to help, showing a great level of community cooperation. The club collected $500 worth of school supplies, which they distributed to four different nonprofits. Since the club doesn’t have summer meetings, the project can be difficult to organize, but project coordinator Susan Kleczynski says, “I have to give my team a lot of credit,” and drew on the phrase, “Many hands make light work,” because even with many members on vacation, everyone tried to chip in and commit to the project.
The GFWC Pocono Mountain Women’s Club (Pennsylvania) also collected school supplies throughout the summer, filling twenty nylon backpacks with $400 worth of supplies, including pens, crayons, rulers, and much more. They donated the bags to their local pantry, and even had leftover supplies that they plan to give away to the school or community church.
The GFWC Swartz Creek Women’s Club continued its annual support of Guiding Harbor, a residential and foster care program started by GFWC Michigan. Each year, club members collect school supplies like markers, notebooks, and backpacks to donate to school age boys and girls. Last year they donated $749 worth of supplies, and this year they expect a great result as well, with supplies quickly arriving.
Gift cards were an innovative idea this summer, with the Woman’s Club of Parsippany Troy Hills (New Jersey) hosting a Back-to-School drive where they collected gift cards for purchasing school clothes, as well as collected lunch snacks for the kids at shelters. Similarly, the Needham Women’s Club (Massachusetts) gave gift cards to their local Community Counsel to help them purchase school supplies for local children in need.
GFWC Escanaba (Michigan) took part in a “Wishes on Wheels” campaign and collected school supplies throughout August. Then they were given a list of students in the area who needed the help, adding a personal touch to the donation process.
Parents and their children aren’t the only ones who have to worry about school supply prices; teachers do too! The Jonesville Junior Guild (Louisiana) thoughtfully gifted teachers with double-duty caddies filled with school supplies that teachers might otherwise run out of in their classroom throughout the school year.
No family should have to worry about their child’s education being impacted by their inability to afford school supplies. Luckily, GFWC clubwomen across the country made it their mission to make sure children have what they need to succeed.
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For more than 60 years, GFWC clubwoman and 2020 Jennie Award Winner Barbara Winingham has been making a difference in her community by volunteering with GFWC Texas and GFWC Amity Club of Bowie.
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