April 7, 2022
View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.
Convention Saturday Morning Business Session Speaker
If you have an interest in gardening or an affinity for nature and the great outdoors, you will love Carol Reese, the Saturday morning Business Session Speaker at the 2022 GFWC Annual Convention!
Carol, a recently retired Extension Horticulture Specialist at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson, is a garden and nature columnist for several newspapers. She is also a contributing writer for various gardening magazines and blogs, and was the Q&A columnist for Horticulture Magazine for many years. After earning her B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture from Mississippi State University, Carol taught classes at MSU in Plant Materials and co-taught Landscape Design for non-Landscape Architect Majors before moving to Tennessee.
Register for Convention by the April 30 Early Bird deadline to enjoy Carol’s informative and uplifting presentation on gardening and the natural world. View the Convention Agenda Page for the preliminary schedule, available as a printable PDF or as an interactive calendar. For more details on how to use this interactive calendar, view our Interactive Agenda Calendar FAQs.
Spring Is a Time for Renewal
By Karen Martinek, Environment Community Service Program Chairman
Spring is a time for renewal, a time to participate in environmental observances to help restore and take care of our planet.
National Park Week: April 16-24
Springtime is ideal for visiting many of the U.S. National Parks. It is the best time to find early-season pleasures such as blooming wildflowers, rushing waterfalls, and playful animals.
In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of their partnership with the U.S. Public Health Service, the National Park Service encourages everyone to explore the power of parks for better health. After a long winter of being indoors or experiencing difficult times, a dose of nature is often the best medicine. Just a five-minute walk in nature improves mood, self-esteem, and relaxation.
Our National Parks are one of our greatest treasures. Besides their beauty and recreational opportunities, the parks provide valuable natural resources and sanctuaries for a wide range of species of wildlife and plants. The National Park Foundation encourages our support for park preservation and protection.
Earth Day: Friday, April 22
Earth Day is a global movement to encourage environmental education and volunteerism. This years’ theme is “Invest in Our Planet.”
Climate change is our most urgent environmental concern. Earth is the only home we have. We need everyone to get involved and make the choice to help heal our planet. We each have the power to advocate for and support businesses that protect our environment and fight against those that don’t.
Arbor Day: Friday, April 29
Arbor Day is a day dedicated to planting trees. This year’s theme is “Trees Are Terrific…for Today and Tomorrow!”
Why plant trees? They make the environment healthier by purifying the air we breathe, filtering our water, and providing a habitat for birds and wildlife.
Do you know which is better for the environment: planting new trees or protecting existing forests?
Stay tuned for the answer—and more information on these celebrations—in an upcoming April News and Notes. Mark your calendars and schedule club projects, submitting your success stories with photos to PR@GFWC.org to be considered for the GFWC Blog. Use Facebook to share pictures as well.
As Leo Tolstoy said, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Let’s spring into action and Invest in Our Planet.
Cares & Concerns
We are sad to announce Lyla Fuhrman, GFWC Nebraska Past President (1996-1998), passed away on March 26. Lyla was a member for many years and enjoyed traveling to state conventions.
Volunteers in Action
This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC North Carolina District Nine and GFWC Millville Woman’s Club (New Jersey). Check out these stories of clubwomen donating funds and collecting plastic to help protect marine wildlife and participating in trash cleanup events in their community.
In recognition of Federation Day on April 24, GFWC is celebrating the long history of clubwomen working tirelessly within their communities to make the world a better place. Through these efforts, GFWC clubs often form long-term partnerships and work with various local organizations to develop projects with a lasting impact. If your club has been working on a project with a local charity or nonprofit for years, send your success stories to PR@GFWC.org to be considered for a special GFWC Blog series.
Commemorating 100 Years of History
Since April 1, 1922, GFWC has called the beautiful building at 1734 N St. NW, Washington, DC, home. Host to many events and gatherings throughout the past century, the decorated walls of GFWC Headquarters are filled with the stories of countless clubwomen and their guests. The process of purchasing the mansion began with GFWC President Alice Winter, who signed an option and began soliciting funds to pay for the building, with five clubwomen each putting 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. Within 40 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.
Since this historic day, GFWC Headquarters has undergone many repairs and renovations, all while keeping the original charm and legacy that attracted the Federation in 1922. Join us in celebrating this exciting milestone by enjoying the GFWC 100th Anniversary Virtual Tour, hosted by International President Marian St.Clair and President-elect Deb Strahanoski.
Registration is available through the Member Portal, and once you have registered, starting on April 24, you will receive a link to view the virtual tour. The tour link will be active until the end of June.
Celebrating 20 Years of Leadership Training
GFWC has always offered opportunities for members to learn and grow as leaders in their communities. Now, the Federation is excited to now celebrate the 20th anniversary of the GFWC Leadership Education and Development (LEADS) Seminar program! This program is intended to identify members at the grassroots level who have the potential and the desire to assume leadership positions in GFWC beyond their club. LEADS helps clubwomen gain the skills and confidence necessary to achieve these goals.
Established during International Past President Shelby Hamlett’s Administration from 2000-2002, the LEADS program is now held annually the day before the official opening of the GFWC Annual Convention. This seminar can make the difference for members who want grow in their roles.
For the LEADS application or to learn more about what makes a good leader, go to the “L” Resources folder of the Member Portal Digital Library.
2022 Jennie Award Finalists
By Linda Beatty, Jennie Award Chairman
Who will be the next eight club members to receive the lovely Jennie Award brooch?
Check out the Spring 2022 GFWC Clubwoman Magazine to meet the sixteen Region candidates and see if you can guess who the eight winners will be. All of them are excellent candidates for this prestigious award.
Like Jane Cunningham Croly (who used the pen name, “Jennie June”), many of them hold jobs outside the home and nurture their immediate and extended families, yet still have time to put countless hours into volunteering in their communities, churches, schools, and a multitude of other organizations and committees, in addition to Federation club work. The entries were amazing in their creativity and content. Judging them is never an easy task, and this chairman is grateful that she did not have to choose between so many worthy clubwomen.
Although the process is complete for this Administration, it is not too soon to start thinking of someone your club could nominate for the next round of awards. The eight national finalists just selected will be honored during the gala banquet at convention in New Orleans. The newest “Jennies” will bring the total number of honorees to 72 since the award began in 2006. And, there are so many more clubwomen in our Federation who deserve to be awarded that honor. Jennie June, the mother of our Federation, would be so pleased to know that women across the nation are keeping her beliefs alive. She would be honored that such an award bears her name.
April 12: DROP Everything and Read
By Tina Neese, Education and Libraries Chairman
Each year families have a special day to Drop Everything and Read together. This important day emphasizes reading as an essential family event. Families are encouraged to read together for 30 minutes daily without any other distractions. This national day of recognition honors the memory of the much beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary. If your club would like to embrace Cleary’s books, there are many internet resources, such as posters and materials that help students write about their favorite character and create new stories.
Clubs have several avenues to be able to celebrate and endorse this reading event. Plan projects to help parents read with young children.
- Provide a list of books to local daycare centers, pediatrician offices, or health centers.
- Partner with a local daycare, Head Start program, or preschool program for an evening with a book character.
- Provide books for families to read together and a book bag with goodies to take home.
- Dress up as the characters of a book and have story time with families. Furnish and lay out a book walk in your local park, library, or school playground; invite families to attend.
- Link reading tips for all ages from Reading Rockets to your club website. Provide copies to schools, libraries, and daycare centers.
- Host a themed book night for older children and teens. Find a hot math or science book topic and provide the instructions, supplies, and volunteers for a local school to host a STEM related literacy night.
Once you celebrate DEAR Day, submit your success stories to PR@GFWC.org to be considered for the GFWC Blog. For any photographs containing children, please include written permission (an email suffices) from parents or guardians for GFWC to publish.
I am a Volunteer
By Susette Redwine, GFWC Membership Committee
My middle name is “volunteer.” It’s just something that has always been a part of me. Why? Well, why not? Volunteering:
- Is good for you; it reduces stress and makes you healthier.
- Saves resources. Paid employees can dedicate their time to other things that cannot be accomplished by a volunteer.
- Is invaluable experience. Looking for a new career? Volunteer.
- Brings the community together, making needs known.
- Makes you grow. You will appreciate what you have and how to use it.
- Allows you to learn about yourself. You may find out what you are good at and what you can or cannot do.
The chance to give back is important. Volunteering supports families, schools, children, and can beautify and strengthen the community. Volunteering makes a difference and that’s why #IamGFWC.
Cultural Diversity Month
By Angela Cutrera, Arts and Culture Community Service Program
During the month of April, we celebrate cultural diversity. We recognize the similarities and respect the differences of cultures throughout the world and appreciate our diverse heritage and traditions.
There are many opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity. Most of these can be integrated into existing projects.
- Read or review books about different cultures. Locate books by local authors and about your local history and heritage. Choose books to add to your reading list.
- Watch or discuss a foreign film or movie.
- Visit a museum, art gallery, or cultural center with exhibits of local or international cultures or artists. Many exhibits can be viewed virtually if none are available locally.
- Listen to different styles of music and attend concerts or an international festival.
- Share a recipe for an international dish or sample foods from different cultures. Host an international dinner to share information about other cultures.
- Study and celebrate international holidays.
- Learn about local history and the history of other countries.
- Study national, state, and international flags and discover how their history and culture are represented in the flag design, colors, and symbols.
- Donate cultural materials such as books and magazines to libraries and schools.
- Discover the similarities and differences among your club members. Share stories about your family heritage and ancestry and how you are each unique.
Cultural diversity exists within our own family, our neighborhood, our town, state, and nation, and across the globe. Take the time to learn about local and international history and traditions and discover the value of our differences. Celebrate diversity!
National Library Workers Day on April 14
By Tina Neese, Education and Libraries Chairman
National Library Workers Day (NLWD) provides a time to recognize the library staff for the work they do in keeping our libraries running day to day. Nominate a stellar library worker at ala-apa.org for their outstanding performance. When nominating, also submit your nomination to your local paper, library newsletter, or online, to show your support for your star library worker.
Plan a star-studded dinner for your library staff. Host their families and pass out academy award- worthy awards for the staff, from hardest working to rising star of the library awards. Be sure to involve the volunteer staff as well. Pass out gift cards to the staff. Provide a breakfast or lunch as well as a nice goody bag of items. Design a fun t-shirt and purchase for the staff to wear.
The American Library Association provides a toolkit with press release samples, proclamation samples, and PSA scripts. Use these to promote your local librarians and encourage the community to support the library throughout the year.
Johns Hopkins Webinar April 12
Johns Hopkins Medicine is offering a webinar at 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 12, about what you need to know about diabetes. Join Endocrinologist Thomas Donner, M.D., who is the director of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center, as he discusses revised guidelines defining type 2 diabetes, as well as new medications and devices to help manage glucose levels. Participants will also learn about research on late onset type 1 diabetes and the relationship between diabetes and pancreatic cancer as well as other diseases. Visit the Johns Hopkins website to register for this event.
State Director of Junior Club’s Project: Tammy Welter, Wisconsin
GFWC Wisconsin Junior Director Tammy Welter selected her Administration theme, Random Acts of Kindness, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, but it turned out to be the perfect fit for the last two years. Tammy chose this theme as a way to encourage clubwomen and others to show kindness to the people around them, whether they are a close friend or a stranger. This theme fit well during the challenges of the pandemic because members were forced to think outside the box to make a difference in their communities, resulting in many inspiring acts of kindness.
Junior club members throughout Wisconsin had to find new ways to run meetings, connect with their communities, and help those in need. The clubs learned how to Zoom and turned back to more hands-on projects that could be done individually. From collecting food and winter clothing to donating art and school supplies, members were there to help their communities however they needed.
As part of Tammy’s theme, members were encouraged to participate in Capes for Kids and Kindness Rocks, two projects to help and support children. For the Capes for Kids project, more than 300 capes were collected and sent to Enchanted Makeovers, an organization that distributes the capes to children in shelters. For the Kindness Rocks project, members painted stones with encouraging words and placed them throughout their communities with some near children’s hospitals and pediatric offices for kids to find.
As another way to show the importance of random acts of kindness, funds raised by the GFWC Wisconsin Juniors were donated to various local organizations chosen by clubs that were selected at random. The donations were made in honor of each club.
Tammy has been proud of the way clubwomen have worked in their communities to help get through the challenges of the past two years.
GFWC Marketplace: GFWC Logo Flashlight
Brighten up your club with the new GFWC logo flashlight! With the GFWC emblem and logo on the side, it’s sure to be the perfect accessory. This useful and stylish tool is powered by 3 AAA batteries, which come included with your purchase. Order yours today.
For information on mail service in your area, visit the USPS Service Alerts page. To speed up processing of your order, we request that you pay for your order at time of purchase in the Member Portal.