News & Notes: April 1, 2021


April 1, 2021

View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

Convention Registration Now Open

By Laurie O’Kelly, GFWC Convention and Meetings Chairman

Who is ready for the GFWC Annual Convention? I am, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone for the “Celebrating Culture, Cultivating Connections” Convention at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, August 27 – 30. I have missed seeing my GFWC friends this past year.

Convention is a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends from around the world and to make new friends. I attended my first GFWC Annual Convention in June 2000 in Boston, and I was hooked. I have only missed two Conventions since! I was and continue to be impressed and inspired by the work and leadership of GFWC and always want to soak up as much as I can to take back home to my state of South Carolina.

GFWC Annual Convention means friendships, laughter, and fun—but there is a lot of important business conducted too. View the Online Call to Convention for our busy agenda, particularly during the Business Sessions when the proposed Bylaws and Resolutions will be discussed. What a great opportunity to learn and grow!

Let’s make some friends and memories in Atlanta, August 27-30, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. To register, login to the GFWC Member Portal and then click on “Events” to select the Convention. Early bird registration ends June 15.

Looking Back on Women’s History Month

Throughout March, GFWC celebrated Women’s History Month by recognizing women’s contributions to history, culture, and society and sharing these inspirational stories with you. From women who made their mark on history by serving in various branches of the U.S. military, to those who saved countless lives in the nursing field, there were many examples of strong and influential women to choose from. Although GFWC celebrates the accomplishments of women all year long, Women’s History Month offers a unique occasion to shine a brighter light on a few individuals who helped shape the world as we know it.

Now is your chance to reflect back on the stories we have shared throughout March by completing the Women’s History Month crossword puzzle. The clues are based on the weekly News & Notes articles, as well as posts on GFWC’s Facebook page. This fun and informative activity will serve as a reminder of all the incredible achievements women have made and will hopefully encourage you to continue to do what you can to make your own communities a better place for young women and girls today.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC Woman’s League of Lowcountry (South Carolina), GFWC Woman’s Citizenship Club of Alamosa (Colorado), GFWC Millville Woman’s Club (New Jersey), and GFWC Agawam Junior Women’s Club (Massachusetts). Check out these stories about how clubwomen raised money for GFWC Affiliate Organization St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, supported local teachers and veterans, and made blankets for the YWCA of Western Massachusetts.

Do you have a success story to tell? Email

D.E.A.R. – Drop Everything and Read, April 12

By Tina Daniel, GFWC Education and Libraries Chairman 

On Monday, April 12, celebrate the annual “Drop Everything and Read” day and beloved author Beverly Cleary’s birthday. Reading Rockets is a founder of the program and encourages families to read for thirty minutes together. The concept of “D.E.A.R.” is referenced in Cleary’s book Ramona Quimby, Age 8, which has become an inspiration for the campaign.

How can clubs participate?

  • Host your monthly meeting on April 12 and ask everyone to stop, pick up a book, and read. If you are in person, provide a book to each member to read during this “D.E.A.R.” time, and then have members take the book home with them to finish.
  • Sponsor a “D.E.A.R.” time at your local school. Provide writing activity suggestions to the teachers. Some ideas include writing an opinion piece on what makes a happy family or assuming the voice of a favorite character in the book you have chosen. Provide a journal for each student to use or create a picture book retelling of the story.
  • Host a “D.E.A.R.” event. Create flyers, invitations, stickers, bookmarks, and certificates. Have members wear a “D.E.A.R.” t-shirt to promote the event. It can be held at a school or in a local park or community area.
  • Give families reading tips and booklists by posting them on your club’s website or providing them to your local library or school parent resource center.
  • Sponsor a reading basket and hold a raffle for families to win the basket.
  • Place books in your local laundromats to encourage reading.
  • Record readings of books and provide them to families.
  • Promote remote reading from grandparents to grandchildren.

I look forward to reading about your D.E.A.R success stories on GFWC’s Blog. Contact about submitting your project summaries and photos.

Deadline Tomorrow: Convention Program Ad Sales 

Tomorrow, April 2, is the deadline for placing an ad in the 2021 Convention Program! Don’t miss your chance to share your love and appreciation for the clubwomen in your life. Whether they’re doing a great job as leaders or they’ve been there for you through difficult times, an ad is a chance to shine a spotlight on them! Design your own full-page, half-page, or quarter-page ad according to the specs on the order form. Or select from one of two template designs, available in either full-page or quarter-page sizes.

Orders and payment for Convention Program ads must be received by tomorrow to guarantee space. If you plan to pay by check, we recommend placing your order early because there have been reports of mail service delays in many communities. For questions, please contact Publications & Project Manager Taylor Fussman.

GFWC Headquarters Update 

Please join us in welcoming Ciara Rhodes to GFWC HQ as our new Executive Coordinator. She will be working in the Executive Office, providing support to the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Office staff. Ciara’s email is

Welcome Ciara!

Help Support the Success for Survivors Scholarship Fund

To celebrate their 15 year anniversary on Easter, Starfish Project has launched a new “Transformed Collection” featuring beautiful jewelry named after a quote from a woman at Starfish Project talking about the transformational impact it has had on her life. Through a fundraising agreement for the 2020–2022 Administration, purchasing any Starfish Project products at this dedicated link will supply 25% of the proceeds to the GFWC Success for Survivors Scholarship Fund!

Starfish supports women escaping human trafficking and exploitation. The organization is currently working with more than 150 survivors to provide a fresh start in life by arranging safe housing, healthcare, education, and training, and employing them to make jewelry and garments to support its mission. Order your next piece of jewelry today and help a survivor of human trafficking succeed!

State President’s Project: Ruth Ann Northon, Michigan

GFWC Michigan State President Ruth Ann Northon chose five special projects that Michigan clubwomen have embraced.

Arts in Schools: Since school budgets are being cut throughout the state, art programs are suffering. Clubs have been volunteering to help with costumes and sound equipment, painting scenery, donating makeup, and even rehearsing lines with kids in various school drama departments. Vocal departments always need money for music and band departments need money for music too, but also appreciate used instruments.

Environment: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Plastic is the biggest concern, so clubwomen are encouraged to bypass plastic for renewable resources, like glass, and to repurpose pill bottles. Clubs are helping to clean lakes, rivers, and beaches – Michigan is known as the Great Lakes State, after all. They are also picking up trash while they are out walking and doing highway cleanup. Everyone is encouraged to plant trees and start flower and vegetable gardens. You are never too old or young to start. People need to protect wildlife, especially bees.

Handwarmers for the Homeless: Club members are donating handwarmers, socks, and shoe warmers (which can be purchased at dollar stores or in sporting goods departments), along with coats and sleeping mats made from recycled plastic bags to their local shelters. Money is always welcome as well. Members also volunteer in soup kitchens.

Humane Society: While members are out shopping, they are picking up an extra bag of dog or cat food, jugs of litter, or bleach for the Humane Society. Donations of old blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys are also welcome. Volunteers are needed to help clean shelters and foster pets until forever homes are found.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace: This organization’s goal is to make sure no child is sleeping on the floor in our communities. Volunteers can help make bunk beds and donate money for wood, bedding, sheets, blankets, and pillows.

GFWC Marketplace: Headquarters Notebook

Whether you are planning for future club projects or preparing for an upcoming meeting, there is no better time to purchase a GFWC Headquarters Notebook to help you organize your thoughts and stay on top of your to-do list. This spiral-bound notebook features a 1929 cover of General Federation News that includes a gorgeous illustration of GFWC Headquarters. Order yours today.

There have been reports of mail service delays in many communities throughout the United States. GFWC staff is processing Marketplace orders as quickly as possible, but Headquarters is still operating with limited staff onsite daily. In order to speed up processing of your order, we request that you pay for your order at time of purchase in the Member Portal. For details on mail service in your area, visit the USPS Service Alerts page.