April 22, 2021
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Take the GFWC Environment Challenge Today
By Karen Martinek, Environment Community Service Program Chairman
The theme for today’s Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth,” making the focus of GFWC’s Environment Challenge Project to reuse, reduce, repurpose, and recycle plastics timely.
A study reported in National Geographic showed that half of all plastic manufactured becomes trash in less than a year. Plastic trash never completely decomposes. By 2050, scientists fear that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Since the invention of plastic in the 1950s, approximately 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced. Of that plastic, only 9% has been recycled.
When plastic tosses around in our lakes, rivers, and oceans, it breaks into tiny pieces called microplastics. Microplastics have now been found in our freshwater, in cities’ tap water, and in bottled water. The average person eats more than 70,000 pieces of microplastic a year, roughly 100 pieces per meal. Until we reduce our plastic usage or replace current plastics with biodegradable plastics, we must recycle to keep plastic out of our water supplies.
On Earth Day, there are global activities planned to clean up plastic on beaches and roads and in rivers. Join these efforts or set up your club’s own project.
- Go plogging (picking up trash while jogging).
- Plan roadside and beach cleanups to keep plastics out of sewers and oceans.
- Participate in ocean cleanups or donate to them.
- Clean plastics from rivers to keep plastics from dumping into the oceans.
- Upcycle your plastic bags and plastic bottles.
- Support banning single-use plastics, such as straws.
- Join a plastics recycle program, such as with these companies: Trex or Terracycle.
Upon completing one of these projects, submit your success story about helping to restore our earth to PR@GFWC.org.
GFWC Celebrates Federation Day Saturday, April 24
More than 100 years ago, women from 63 clubs from across the country met in New York City to officially form the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and sign its constitution under the leadership of Jane Cunningham Croly. Now, GFWC celebrates this monumental occasion every April 24 by calling attention to the Federation’s long and inspirational history, filled with stories of women who have been and continue to be dedicated to making their communities better. Although the world has come a long way since that day in 1890, members’ commitment to serving others has never changed. Along with looking back on and celebrating our history, Federation Day gives us the opportunity to look forward to the goals we hope to accomplish in the future.
Celebrate Federation Day and share GFWC’s history with friends, neighbors, and members of your community. Showcase the service projects your club completes to make a difference in the lives of others. The GFWC Blog is an excellent resource to promote the work of GFWC clubwomen throughout the Federation. While we aim to celebrate this volunteer spirit in every blog post, this week we recognized National Volunteer Week with a special three-part blog series leading up to Federation Day. Don’t forget to check out these inspiring stories from your fellow clubwomen and to share your own stories of volunteerism with us at PR@GFWC.org as another way to celebrate.
Together we can make this Federation Day a memorable celebration of our legacy of service!
Volunteers in Action
In recognition of National Volunteer Week from April 18 through April 24, GFWC created a special three-part blog series this week highlighting members’ efforts to help others. The blog posts on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday featured GFWC Greensboro Woman’s Club (North Carolina), GFWC Texas Alamo District, Village Improvement Association of Rehoboth Beach (Delaware), GFWC Junto Woman’s Club (Virginia), Decatur Woman’s Progressive Club (Mississippi), Civic Women’s Club of Picayune (Mississippi), and Pontotoc Woman’s Club (Mississippi).
Although we shined an extra light on volunteers this week, GFWC is proud to share the inspirational stories of clubwomen volunteering to make a difference for others every week. If you have a success story to tell, email PR@GFWC.org.
Welcome Home, GFWC
By Hope Royer, WHRC Chairman
Plans for a headquarters building were first discussed in 1892, only two years after our organization was founded. The act of Congress that granted a charter to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs had specified that its headquarters be located in Washington, D.C. It was not until April 1922 that the Federation’s permanent home was purchased at 1734 N Street, NW.
The five-story, stone and brick home at 1734 N Street, NW was built in 1875 for Rear Admiral William Radford and his family. Thaddeus and August Markley, the home’s second owners, added to the Admiral’s original design by constructing a unique long and narrow room above the former carriageway (now the Women’s History and Resource Center Archive). 1734 N Street became home to its third owner, General Nelson A. Miles, in 1895, a respected military leader during the Civil War and the American Indian Wars. Mr. and Mrs. John Jay White purchased the mansion in 1908 and remodeled the building into a “modern” residence. The Whites agreed, in 1921, to sell the home to GFWC for $70,000.
GFWC President Alice Winter signed an option and began soliciting funds to initially pay for the building. Five clubwomen each put up $1,000. In January 1922, when the GFWC Board met, it sustained the action and entered into a contract of purchase. The balance of the necessary $20,000 “down payment” was completed using advance loans of $13,500 and $1,500 from the GFWC General Fund. GFWC took possession of the building on April 1, 1922. Within forty minutes of the April 1922 GFWC Convention Call to Order, delegates pledged $105,000 from the Convention floor. The three-year $50,000 mortgage was paid off and necessary updates and redecorating were begun.
The rest is history, a very interesting history, indeed.
The Credentials Committee Is Ready for Convention
By Lisa M. Hedrick, Credentials Chairman
Are you ready for the 2021 GFWC Annual Convention this August 27–30?I, along with Committee Members Martha Casassa, Dottie Gregg, Tric Heepe, Karen Leach, Michelle Munoz, and Sharon Sheridan, anxiously await your arrival at the registration booth in Atlanta, GA. We will direct you to the meeting rooms, closest restroom, restaurants/bars, and even shopping at the Marketplace for GFWC merchandise. Once you have the basics for the Convention, we will get down to the most important part of registration: Are you a Voting or Non-voting delegate?
No need to guess or refer to your state status. Those are different. Once registration closes on August 4, the Credentials Committee members will verify the levels of all attendees. Voting privileges are granted only to those registered for the entire Convention. Attendees paying daily registration do not receive voting privileges.
To make it easier to identify your status, the Call to Convention has each of the levels listed:
- Club Level
- Board Level
- Region Level
- State Level
- GFWC National or International Club
- National Organization or International Affiliate
Check the criteria for voting within the Call to Convention to know your status before registering through the GFWC Member Portal. The Early Bird registration deadline is June 15. We will be ready to help you through the process and welcome you in Atlanta!
GFWC Headquarters Update
Please join us in welcoming Lydia Miller to GFWC Headquarters as our new Membership Services Coordinator. She will be working as part of the Membership Services team, providing support and information directly to GFWC members. Lydia’s email is lmiller@GFWC.org.
April 30: Croly Award Application Deadline
There’s only one week left for journalists in your community to apply for the 2021 Croly Award! Encourage all journalists you know who have helped advance the rights of women to apply by April 30, 2021, and consider sharing the award information on Facebook. All journalists who contribute to newspapers, broadcast news programs (radio, television, and digital), magazines, or online publications, either on staff or in a freelance capacity, are welcome to apply. A deserving journalist could be working right next door!
State President’s Project: Dale Fisher, Virginia
April is the Month of the Military Child. Did you know that the flower of the military child is a dandelion? Why? Because, like the dandelion, military children are resilient and put down roots anywhere.
The 2020-2022 GFWC Virginia State Project is support of military families with a financial emphasis on the Armed Services YMCA of Hampton Roads. GFWC Virginia State President Dale Fisher did not grow up in a military family, but she did grow up in a very patriotic family, and has always held much respect and admiration for those who serve to protect peoples’ freedoms.
Virginia clubs are providing assistance to lower-level enlisted personnel on bases across the Commonwealth with an emphasis on food insecurity and new baby planning. Handmade cards offering thanks and support, children’s books, and arts and crafts supplies are also being donated.
The Armed Services YMCA is the nation’s oldest military service organization. They focus on strengthening military families through youth enrichment initiatives and family support systems. GFWC Virginia’s goal is to raise $35,000 to purchase a bus for the YMCA’s transportation needs before and after school, to camps, and to field trips offering lessons on character development and healthy living in a fun and safe environment. All clubs received a little yellow “bus bank” to pass around at meetings, place at a local establishment, or to go trick-or-treating with the Armed Services YMCA. Someone’s change can change the life of a child. An additional fundraising campaign involving a drawing for a “bus basket” full of gift cards totaling $1,100 was kicked off April 1.
Service members and their families make tremendous sacrifices as they serve the country. It is Dale’s hope that GFWC Virginia will reflect its patriotic pride through support of the military community.
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.