News & Notes: April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020
View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

From GFWC’s International President

My Dearest Members,

It is with much sadness that I have to inform you that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and regard for your well-being and safety, the Executive Committee was forced to vote to cancel the 2020 GFWC Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, June 27–July 1, 2020. GFWC Georgia has been working long and hard on the many details that would have made this Convention a memorable and beautiful event, and I thank them, but know that they also want only the well-being of members to be the first concern.

All registrants will receive a full refund of their monies paid to GFWC. As our Headquarters Building is closed to comply with government restrictions, please allow some time to process these refunds. I urge you to also cancel your hotel reservations to avoid any penalty, as well as your travel reservations.

As you can imagine, we are strangers in this new land of government restrictions and social distancing, so bear with us as we work to finalize plans as to how we will proceed. Please watch for future messages in News & Notes.

I know we were all so looking forward to the Convention. The 2020 GFWC Annual Convention was about celebrating with joy the work of the present Administration and welcoming with excitement the plans for the next Administration. So perhaps on June 30, at 6 pm EDT, we can all lift a glass of whatever you wish—milk, soda, wine or champagne—and offer the toast “Here’s to Us.”

I send my best wishes for the health of you and your loved ones with this message. In the words of Dr. Seuss: “When it rains I look for rainbows, when it is dark I look for stars.” Keep looking for rainbows and stars!

Love Ya,
Mary Ellen Brock
GFWC International President

Your Response Needed: Legislative Blitz Tomorrow 

Take action on our Brand Initiative bills on GFWC’s Federation Day of Action! Contact your members of Congress in support of both Miranda’s Law and the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act. Visit GFWC’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) tomorrow, April 24 to send a message by email or phone on each of the two Legislative Alerts available. If you are not currently subscribed to the LAC, it’s not too late! You can subscribe here or by clicking the “Join Now” button on the homepage of the LAC. If you choose to contact you members of Congress outside of the LAC, please be sure to let President Mary Ellen Brock know so that you may be included in the count. Let’s raise our voices together to pass these important pieces of legislation!

How Are You Celebrating Arbor Day at Home?

Even if you have to be inside on April 24, you can still celebrate the beauty of the world this Arbor Day—and Federation Day. Look up your state’s tree on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website and start making plans with city or town officials to plant one in a special place once the COVID-19 Pandemic is over. Trees are one of the longest living organisms on earth, making them great symbols of your club’s legacy to leave behind.

Your club could also contribute to the Administration’s goal of planting 20,000 trees by donating a tree directly through the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. Other ways to celebrate Arbor Day from the safety of your home include:

  • Connecting with teachers in your area to raise students’ awareness of Arbor Day with an online lesson related to trees. Students could research the history of the day, write a poem about trees, or draw a picture of their favorite tree. Have your club sponsor a contest of their artwork using photos submitted by the students.
  • Reading a book about trees and then donate it to a library, a school, a teacher, or a child.
  • Educating yourself and others about caring for trees, proper pruning, and planting times.
  • Bring Arbor Day inside with container gardening, herb plants, or a bonsai tree.
  • Making a plan for planting projects so that when your club can execute them, you’ll be all set to go!

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC Temple Terrace Juniorettes (Florida), GFWC High Springs New Century Woman’s Club (Florida), and GFWC du Midi Woman’s Club (Alabama). Read and comment on their activities making Easter bags for the children of St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, reading to the kindergarten and first grade classes at the High Springs Community School on Read Across America Day, and celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday at Second Mile Preschool.

Have a success story to tell? Share your clubs volunteer story with us! Email

The Last Quarter of the Million Dollar Club
by Nancy Jones, GFWC  Capital Campaign Chairman

We are now in the home stretch of the Million Dollar Club for the 2018–2020 Administration, and I’d like to thank the 208 donors we have to date from the bottom of my heart! You have made a mark in the history of our organization. Generations to come will thank you as they visit our Headquarters so rich in women’s history.

Now that we are staying home, we are likely saving on not dinning out, going to the movies, and visiting our favorite coffee shop. Please consider putting these dollars with other club members’ dollars, and add your name to the Million Dollar Club Roster. And if your District, State, or Region hasn’t donated, consider spending some of the money that may have been saved without having a local event this year. The current fund total as of March 31 was $208,000, and it will only take another 42 donations to reach the quarter of a million dollar mark!

Become a Million Dollar Club Member! You can honor your officers, give in memory of a beloved club member, or just give to make sure our beautiful Headquarters is still standing for another 100 years. To join the Club, submit the form by June 15.

Partner with March of Dimes While Sheltering at Home During the Pandemic  


Ready to do something to help friends, neighbors, and even folks we’ve never met? March of Dimes Volunteer Opportunities website offers DIY activities in addition to making baby blankets and hats. 
  • Write Notes of Hope. It can be a scary time for a mom or dad with a baby in the NICU. Send words of encouragement to families or healthcare workers. It just takes a moment to send a digital note.
  • Make Cloth Face Coverings. The CDC recommends cloth face coverings to add a protective measure, in addition to social distancing. March of Dimes can provide branded material or you may use your own. 
  • Gratitude Gifts for Healthcare Providers. Organize, purchase, or solicit in-kind donations for gratitude gifts and meals for those serving the public. 
Contact Amy Richardson for more information.

No-Sew Social Distance Scarf


Use your GFWC Infinity Scarf, an idea from Bennie Hall, to make a no-sew social distance scarf by following these easy steps:
Step 1
Lay scarf out lengthwise. Place a small hair scrunchie on each end. Place scarf around neck.
Step 2
Pull right end through left band; pull left end through right band.
Step 3
Need mask? Turn scarf around. Pull up over face; then tighten by pulling scarf tails in back.

Upcoming Johns Hopkins Medicine Webinars 

As the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, persists, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s A Woman’s Journey continues to provide critical health information. Participate in the remainder of the webcast series, Facts That Matter, featuring hour-long discussions with Johns Hopkins experts. The complimentary webcasts will be held 7–8 p.m. EDT the next two Tuesdays as follows.

Tuesday, April 28: Mindfulness and Meditation
Psychologist Neda Gould

Tuesday, May 5: Health Disparities
Internist and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Sherita Golden

Following remarks, each speaker will address your questions. You can participate by video with audio or by audio only. Dial in early — participation is limited.

In the meantime, the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website remains an important source of updated medical and epidemiologic information that will help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

Parliamentary Pointers
by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

Many clubs and states are holding elections in non-traditional ways this year. It is still important to have minutes that reflect the election results. These are important for club/state history but in many instances, are also needed to change names on bank accounts.

For those organizations having voting by mail, email, or anything other than voting at a meeting, the minutes should show the date the votes were counted, the names of those counting the votes, how many members voted, and how many votes each candidate received. If there are any illegal or invalid ballots, those should be recorded also. It should then state that the President was given the results of the election and that she declared the following to have been elected, giving the names.

How do you count votes in a time when we are specifically asked not to gather? Here are a few suggestions. The Nominating Committee or the Election Committee, or whatever group is named in the bylaws, will count these votes. If you are opening mailed, paper ballot, the chairman can open them while on FaceTime, Zoom, or any other program where everyone can see each other.  As the ballots are opened, the chairman would hold the ballot up to the screen so everyone can see it. If the votes have been emailed, then before the emails have been opened, the person receiving the email should forward each email to the other members of the committee. Each committee member would keep her own tally of votes.

UPDATE: Several weeks ago, this parliamentarian wrote in News and Notes, “Members are in office as soon as they are elected.” Several inquiries were received concerning this sentence. While this is true, it does not mean that as soon as someone is elected she has to take over the job. It was written to show that it is not necessary to have officers sworn in or to have an installation ceremony in order for members to begin their new jobs. Follow your bylaws for details as to when people begin their new positions.

Marketplace: GFWC Makeup Bag  

Need a place to store your makeup and beauty supplies after you’re done organizing and spring cleaning? Our  GFWC Makeup Bag is the perfect solution! Keep all your makeup in one convenient place. Perfectly sized for travel and transparent so you can easily check you’re not missing your favorite shade of lipstick. Order yours today at the Marketplace for $5.

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