News & Notes – August 23, 2018

Celebrate Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day is August 26 and it celebrates the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. It’s important for women to exercise that hard-earned right so they can have a significant voice in politics and advocate for issues that are important to them.

There’s no better way to celebrate the anniversary than to encourage young women in your community to vote! In the next few months, you can host a seminar on voting for your Juniorette club or for local high school students. Here are topics you can cover:

  • Give a history of women’s suffrage. Start out with an overview of what women worked toward and accomplished to make it possible to have a seat at the table they had so long been denied.
  • Explain the importance of voting. Whether you share your personal experiences and feelings about voting, or you research ideas to share, use your platform to inspire teenagers to feel like an important part of democracy.
  • Teach them how to register. The voting process can seem daunting, but you can be a great resource by teaching them how to register in your state. Create an informational packet for them so they will have the information handy once they turn eighteen and can even share it with siblings and friends.
  • Have a mock election. Demonstrate the process and make voting fun!
  • Encourage them to get involved. There are other ways for them to make their voice heard even before they’re of voting age! Staying informed on current events and issues is a great place to start. Even if they can’t vote, they can still contact their legislators! They can also volunteer for an organization that focuses on an issue that matters to them.

Open a dialogue about voting with the youth in your community. We need more women in political positions, and that starts with engaging girls and young women in discussions of the government and its procedures.

WHRC Call for Articles

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs has a long history of supporting woman in the military. During both World Wars, GFWC helped to train and recruit nurses to send to the battle lines, and we even sent over our own overseas units to recreation areas where American troops were stationed. GFWC supported the opening of, and continues to support, the Women in Military Service For America Memorial in Washington D.C. Most recently, we have announced the Military Women Initiative as part of this administration’s Seven Grand Initiatives. For this fall’s upcoming WHRC Newsletter, we invite you to submit articles detailing a program, an act of kindness, or an anecdote that demonstrates how your club has supported women in the military in the past. Submissions must be no more than 500 words and can include a picture, although a picture is not required. Please send all questions, concerns and submissions to WHRC Manager Alyssa Constad at

Women in the Military Labor Day Observance Reminder

Don’t forget to start planning ways you can support women in the military this Labor Day and thank them for the important jobs they do. In case you missed it in News & Notes, read some of our project ideas!

MLK Day of Service Ideas

One of the Grand Initiatives for the 2018-2020 Administration is to have 1,000 clubs participate in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 21, 2019 and January 20, 2020. Each week in News & Notes we will share a new project idea for how you can contribute to your community that day. Take notes on the ideas you like and present them at your club meeting!

Host a Feminine Products Drive

Homeless shelters often lack tampons and pads. Despite being highly requested, menstrual products are one of the least donated items. With limited access to bathrooms and showers, as well as a limited wardrobe, being homeless while on your period can be difficult and uncomfortable. Host a drive in your community for feminine products and donate them to a shelter in need.

National Park Service Anniversary

August 25 marks the day President Woodrow Wilson signed the act which created the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916. The NPS both protects beautiful and historical places and makes them accessible for the public to enjoy. In honor of the anniversary, consider support of the national parks as a new addition to your club activities.

  • Volunteer. Whether it’s cleaning up seashores, caring for native plants, or maintaining park trails, the National Park Service always has volunteer opportunities.
  • Visit a park. Your club can make a visit to a national park your next bonding experience! If you visit a park with a fee, your visit keeps the park running. Even if there isn’t a fee, you can support those parks by encouraging others to visit and appreciate their value.
  • Donate. Donations to national parks allow for continual upkeep, improvement, and preservation. Create conservation-related events and projects with the revenue going towards the NPS or your favorite national park.

GFWC has long been a dedicated supporter of conservation efforts and the creation of local and national parks. Find ways to support the national parks in your state! For more ideas on how to keep our earth clean and protected, don’t forget to check out the Conservation Community Service Program section of the GFWC Club Manual.

A Woman’s Journey Conference

Join hundreds of women from around the country on Saturday, November 10 at Baltimore Hilton Hotel for the 24th annual Johns Hopkins Medicine’s A Woman’s Journey conference. 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The two keynote speakers will be nurse, breast cancer survivor and humorist Lille Shockney and nurse and associate director of the Center for Global Health at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Nancy Glass. Lillie Shockney will reflect on the thousands of patients she has shepherded through breast cancer diagnosis and treatment while witnessing the evolution of medical research in the treatment of cancers. Dr. Nancy Glass will share her life-long commitment to addressing gender-based inequalities in diverse populations and preventing violence against women in humanitarian settings. Listen to these two keynote speakers and select four out of 32 seminars all featuring Johns Hopkins Medicine experts.

Lectures include:

  • Coping with the News Cycle
  • Foods to Enhance Your Immune System
  • The Implication of Inflammation
  • Finding Your Voice
  • Kidney Disease in Women of Color
  • Fatigue and Sleep
  • Having your Chocolate and Eating It Too
  • The Rise of Lung Cancer in Non-Smoking Women
  • The Impact of Stress in Women
  • Home Diagnostic Tests
  • Strategies to Treat Pain without Addiction
  • Thrive to Survive

Open to the community. Register before August 31 and save 10% off of regular registration of $145. Continuing Education Credits available.

For more information and a complete list of available lectures, please call: 410-955-8660 or visit:

Legislative Action Corner

Military Bill Addresses Domestic Violence

Congress has approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which provides for programs and resources for our military. The House-Senate NDAA conference agreement includes the following excellent provisions related to domestic violence and sexual assault:

Military Justice

  • The measure will make domestic violence its own punitive article under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
  • The Department of Defense (DOD) will have to create a standardized expedited transfer process for service members who are victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.
  • DOD will have to reinvestigate security clearances of senior officers and DOD personnel who have been convicted of sexual assault, sexual harassment, fraud, or other crimes.
  • The Department of Defense will have to designate a single official or entity within the Office of the Secretary to oversee the department’s registered sex offender management program.
  • The final conference agreement adds strangulation and suffocation to the definition of aggravated assault in the UCMJ.
  • DOD will have to establish a consolidated tracking process for submitting crime reporting data to the FBI for the gun eligibility and other criminal history databases.

Parliamentary Pointers

By GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

More on Bylaws~

ARTICLE IX. Amendment of Bylaws. The bylaws should always prescribe the procedure for their amendment and such provision should always require that advance notice be given in a specified manner. This article should state that amendments must be approved by a two-thirds vote. The manner and timing of previous notice should suit the needs of the assembly. With a small group, oral notice may be sufficient. Some groups will accept a general statement of the purport of the amendment/s, while others require the exact wording that will be voted on.

Additional Articles. Each group may decide on any other articles they feel are necessary. These may be on subjects such as finances, constituent units, departments, and disciplinary procedures.

Well-written bylaws make the business of an organization flow much more smoothly. Specifics, such as the time of meetings, who provides refreshments and other small items can be written in a group’s Standing Rules. They do not belong in bylaws.

Volunteers in Action

Chairman Jane Bitters filling shelves at the Veteran’s Hospital.

This week’s Volunteer in Action photo is from the Yucaipa Woman’s Club. To learn about their project that supports the administration’s focus on women in the military, check out their new club profile on the GFWC website!

Have a story you want to share? Send your photos and a description of the project to to be considered for our next Volunteers in Action member profile.

GFWC Marketplace: Living the Volunteer Spirit
Sticky Notes

Living the Volunteer Spirit Sticky Notes are a must-have for every busy GFWC Clubwoman. These sticky notes are available in light blue with the white GFWC emblem watermark and GFWC – Living the Volunteer Spirit tagline, and the GFWC website is in a darker blue color on the sticky notes. Each pack contains 50 sheets of 3×4 inch wide sticky notes. Available for $1.25 per pack at the GFWC Marketplace.


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