February 10, 2022
View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.
Help Support Relief Efforts for Marine Wildlife in Lima, Peru
On January 15, more than 10,000 barrels of oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean just north of Lima, Peru, at Repsol’s La Pampilla refinery, the largest oil refinery in the country. The spill occurred when an underwater volcano erupted as an oil tanker was being unloaded at the refinery. As of early February, it was reported that cleanup of the oil spill would not occur until late March. While most sea lions, penguins, otters, and other wildlife within these coastal habitats abandoned the area, many others that were trapped when the oil spill occurred died due to severe intoxication, and the long-term effects are yet to be known.
In Lima, the American Women’s Literacy Club is working to collect funds and other donations to support Organization for Research and Conservation of Aquatic Animals (ORCA)’s efforts to rescue mammals along the entire coast of Peru following this devastating oil spill. Donations have included various medical supplies and money to help with the purchase of gasoline and other necessities to allow ORCA to travel along the coastline to rescue and transport the wildlife in need of help.
Help the American Women’s Literacy Club support marine wildlife relief efforts in Lima by donating to ORCA. Every small donation can make a difference and potentially help save the lives of the animals affected.
By Marian St.Clair, International President
The GFWC Blog is a valuable addition to the various GFWC communications that aim to keep clubs and members informed and to provide inspiration and motivation as we work together toward a better future. Since its inception, many club projects have been highlighted, and it gives me great pleasure to choose a single project each month for special recognition. I admit, however, that selecting a winner is a very subjective process. Every club story has an important message to share, so it’s not a matter of choosing the biggest or the best, but of looking for a project that will inspire or help other clubs and/or communities in a meaningful way.
That is why this month’s President’s Pick goes to the Ladies Tourist Club (Minnesota), which has supported the American Red Cross since 1979, and has coordinated and assisted with 12 blood drives in the past two years along with support from a nearby church, Altona Hutterite Brethren, Inc.
Across our country, the medical community is experiencing the worst national blood shortage in more than a decade. This puts patients at risk as doctors are forced to make decisions about who receives blood now and who must wait until more blood is available. There are many problems in this world that are beyond our scope to solve, but nearly everyone can donate blood and each club can have a positive impact on the blood shortage.
As Club President Judy Loewe explained, “We are here to help the Red Cross get the blood to the people who need it.” Judy also notes there was a learning curve at the beginning of the pandemic, but now safety protocols are in place to keep volunteers and donors safe.
The American Red Cross reports a 10% overall drop in donations since March 2020. Prior to the pandemic, 25% of donations came from college and high school drives, but there has been a 62% drop in student donors. Blood drives have also been cancelled in recent months due to staffing limitations, a rise in flu and COVID-19 infections, and weather-related issues.
Though the Ladies Tourist Club is small, with only six members, they are mighty in their resolve to assist the Red Cross and to support their community through other projects. My sincerest congratulations to President Loewe and the members of the Ladies Tourist Club for this outstanding project and 122 years of service in Henderson, Minnesota.
Cares & Concerns
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bess Stevenson, Past GFWC Wyoming State President, on January 29. Bess spent many years working and laughing alongside her fellow clubwomen.
We are sad to note that Ted. G. Schumann, Sr., father of Becky Weber, member of the GFWC Bylaws Committee, passed away last week. Our hearts go out to Becky. Cards can be sent to the Weber family at 602 Malone Court, Metamora, IL 61548-9121.
Kiffany Stollings, GFWC Arizona President Elect, passed away on January 18. Cards and condolences can be sent to Steve Stollings at 1746 S. Christenson St, St. David, AZ 85630.
Volunteers in Action
This week’s GFWC Blog features the GFWC Sisters of Service Woman’s Club, Inc. (Florida) and GFWC Rhode Island clubs. Read how clubwomen created a program to teach at-risk youth in their community basic life skills and donated bags of clothes and shoes to area veterans.
Have a success story to tell? Email PR@GFWC.org to have your club project considered for the GFWC Blog.
International Update: The Women’s Club of Ukraine Endures through Challenging Times
Members of the International Women’s Club of Ukraine (Kyiv) are staying strong as they endure trying times. In January, Russia stationed more than 100,000 military troops near the Ukrainian border, despite warnings from other world leaders (visit apnews.com for more information).
Clubwoman Lora Pavlenko explained club members and other citizens are once again in a strict quarantine zone and are facing fear over what the future holds. In addition to the possibility of invasion, the price of food and medicine has risen several times. Clubwomen are urging everyone to stand together and offer help to those in need when they are able. During these times of uncertainty, international members have been doing what they can to give people hope, including meeting monthly with women survivors of domestic violence, providing gifts to children at the holidays, and supporting children with disabilities.
As the club does everything they can to raise money to help families who have suffered in war zones and to help support children in need of food and medicine, you can extend thoughts of kindness, unity, and support to the club and the citizens of Ukraine through the club’s Facebook page.
Sign Up to March for Babies by February
Register to participate in GFWC Affiliate Organization March of Dimes’ March for Babies: A Mother of Movement. If you sign up or join a team participating in this annual fundraising campaign by February 18, you will also receive a free gift. Members can lead a team of members and walk together either remotely or in person to raise money for healthy moms and strong babies.
With preterm birth and maternal death rates continuing to rise, the U.S. remains among the most dangerous of the developed nations for having a child, especially for women and babies of color. By joining March for Babies: A Mother of a Movement you’re lifting up communities, creating connections, and taking action to make the U.S. a more equitable place. Be part of this movement for change and ensure that every mom and baby is healthy!
How Do I love Thee, Libraries?
By Tina Neese, Education and Libraries Community Service Program Chairman
Let me count the ways we can love our libraries for National Library Lover’s Month. Find creative project ideas, such as a library love event with dinner and bundles of romance, to add to your February projects at www.librarysupport.net, and provide much-needed general support to help libraries thrive.
- Donate your time, money, and expertise.
- Sponsor a subscription of a popular magazine.
- Honor a clubwoman with a book donated in her honor.
- Donate a book or a shelf of books. Ask if your club’s name can be engraved on a plaque placed on the shelf.
Be a Friend
- Donate used books for book sales, and volunteer to work at book sales and other events.
- Use your club’s skills to help with fundraising events.
- Develop, publish, and promote a “wish list.”
- Volunteer to help library staff. Shelve books, mend materials, nurture plants, or clean up after weather or other emergencies.
- Become a tutor or read stories to children.
- Present an adult program or sponsor a book club.
- Maintain history files. Become a docent.
- Participate in Library Legislative Days. Ask your mayor or governor to proclaim February as Library Lover’s Month. Support library legislation.
- Urge schools to make library funding a priority. Investigate funding challenges that libraries are experiencing, and share your findings with others via newspaper articles, radio shows, or social media.
- Ask a local librarian to speak at a club meeting.
Registration Open: 2022 Women’s History Month Event
Registration is now open to attend GFWC’s Annual Women’s History Month event from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 9, at GFWC Headquarters, 1734 N St. NW, Washington, DC. You can sign up to join us for this event through the GFWC Member Portal until Monday, March 7. To attend the Women’s History Month Event and reception, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is required. A negative COVID-19 test cannot be accepted for admittance to the event, per Washington, DC, guidelines.
As we gather to celebrate March as Women’s History Month and commemorate the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, and prepare to celebrate 100 years of ownership of GFWC Headquarters, we are proud to announce this year’s event will feature Stephen A. Hansen, architectural historian, historic preservation specialist, and author.
With more than 30 years of experience in historic preservation and cultural resources management, Hansen is the author of A History of Dupont Circle: Center of High Society in the Capital, which chronicles the neighborhood of GFWC Headquarters. Hansen also wrote the book Kalorama Triangle: The History of a Capital Neighborhood, and authors the website Washington Chronicles, which focuses on the history of Washington, DC, through the stories and images of its people, neighborhoods, and architecture.
Copies of A History of Dupont Circle: Center of High Society in the Capital will be available for purchase during the event and Hansen will sign books following his presentation. You can also preorder copies of the book when you register for the Women’s History Month Event.
The GFWC Photography Contests
By Shari Carter, GFWC Photography Contests Chairman
Taken by Allison Carter—Blue Hole Farm
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” This excellent advice from Ansel Adams can be applied to entries for both 2022 photography contests: World in Pictures and GFWC Living the Volunteer Spirit.
I am excited to see what you have experienced through a camera between January 21, 2021, and December 31, 2021! Below is an overview of Photography Contests opportunities and guidelines.
The World in Pictures has three categories:
- The first, the World Up Close, takes the viewer into a whole new close-up world.
- The second, Natural Wonders, showcases mountains, meadows, rivers, oceans, or any other magnificent vistas.
- The third category, Reflections, features settings or situations that will bring back memories or capture a fleeting image reflected in water, glass, or a mirror.
GFWC Living the Volunteer Spirit captures special moments, projects, and programs in the lives of GFWC clubwomen.
As for judging the photographs:
- State Level–Clubs will send their entries to their State Photography Contest Chairman. The States will determine the deadline.
- National Level–Each State Photography Contest Chairman will send one winner from each contest and category to GFWC Headquarters in Washington, DC postmarked by May 15. The address is GFWC, 1734 N Street NW, Washington DC, 20036.
There are monetary prizes for these contests: $100 for first prize, $75 for second prize, and $50 for third prize.
If your State Convention is after May 15, please let me and the Second Vice President know.
Visit the Photography Contests section of the 2020-2022 Club Manual in the Member Portal’s Digital Library; there is a “C” Resources folder and then an “Awards and Contests” folder within the “Club Manual” sub-folder. In the “Forms” sub-folder of the Club Manual root folder, you will find GFWC’s Creative Arts Waiver Form.
Start Preparing for the 2022 Convention
On March 1, the official 2022 Call to Convention will launch at www.gfwc.org/what-we-do/annual-convention. The Spring issue of GFWC Clubwoman Magazine will no longer contain a copy of the official Call to Convention. Until then, there are two ways you can start preparing to roll with the good times in The Big Easy.
Book Your Hotel Room
GFWC’s room block is now open! The Group rate is $199 for a room with either one king bed or two double beds. Learn more about the Convention Hotel, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.
Donate a Raffle Prize
Support the Big Easy Raffle by signing up to make a donation. Fill out the Raffle Donation Agreement Form.
Share the Love of Service – “Done In a Day”
By Mary Pat Marcello, Membership Committee
While working with a new club, many of its members indicated that, due to their personal and professional responsibilities, participating in long-term projects was not feasible. That turned on a light bulb.
Working cooperatively, the members selected one project for each month. The projects had to be started and completed during the monthly club meeting. Each member volunteered to chair one month’s project, determining the materials needed, the recipient, as well as facilitating delivery to the recipient agency. In this way, the club was not only true to its mission to serve its community’s needs, but this process also enabled members to actively participate and enhance leadership skills on their individual timeline.
This model can be easily implemented by any sized club or could be used for a community-wide “Day of Service.” Thinking outside the box enables a more diverse work ethic for all clubs.
Operation Smile Shares Inspiring Patient Stories
As GFWC Affiliate Organization Operation Smile continues to help families around the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they are sharing their patients’ inspiring and life-changing journeys.
One of these patients was 11-month-old Ethan, who was born prematurely and with a cleft lip that had not been detected in any prenatal ultrasounds. When Ethan and his mother, Dayrim, left their local hospital in Guatemala City, Dayrim was worried about what the future would hold for her son.
As the months went on, Ethan grew stronger and healthier, but after four unsuccessful attempts at surgery, his cleft lip has still not received the care it needed.
Dayrim eventually heard about Operation Smile through a neighbor, and was once again hopeful about finding help for Ethan. After traveling to a local clinic, Dayrim’s fifth attempt at getting Ethan cleft surgery was successful.
You can read more about Ethan’s story and others through Operation Smile’s Stories You Make Possible blog.
New England Region: JoAnn Calnen, President
GFWC New England Region President JoAnn Calnen chose the theme Change the Script for her Administration. It can be easy to fall into familiar patterns and traditions, but JoAnn wanted State Federations, Districts, and clubs within the Region to take a closer look at how they operate and examine their routines. Whether it be methods of attracting new leaders, setting agendas for meetings, or even drawing in new members, she asked members to consider if there were steps they could take toward positive change. For JoAnn, her theme has been about inspiring clubwomen to question if what they are doing is working, and if it isn’t, finding creative ways to turn the situation around.
JoAnn specifically encouraged clubwomen throughout the New England Region to reflect on changes that would lead to an increase in membership or inspire more members to take on leadership roles in the Federation. For example, if a club has been organizing the same volunteer projects for many years, JoAnn suggested coming up with new and unique project ideas to take on in addition to their other projects that may interest potential members in a community.
The theme Change the Script was an unintentional foreshadowing of all the changes the world and clubwomen were required to undergo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but members faced these changes with grit and grace. Clubs successfully moved to Zoom and other alternative methods of hosting meetings and completing community service projects and members have continued to celebrate the change.
As clubwomen have seen, it’s important to be ready to Change the Script in a constantly evolving world.
State Director of Junior Club’s Project: Kathy Huggins, Nebraska
GFWC Nebraska Junior Director Kathy Huggins chose GFWC Affiliate Organization March of Dimes’ Mission: Healthy Baby program as her special project. This program specifically helps military families by providing free pregnancy and newborn health information and support services to the families. Kathy thought this was a great fit for her special project because GFWC Nebraska clubs have historically taken on projects to help and support members of the military, and this was a unique way to continue that tradition. Additionally, she was inspired to choose this project in part by another Nebraska clubwoman who told her about making baby blankets for March of Dimes in the past. As someone who enjoys quilting in her free time as well, Kathy thought this would be a fun way for members to support the organization and mothers and babies.
Kathy called on the many talented Nebraska club members who knit, crochet, sew, and quilt to contribute to this program by making baby hats, NICU mom care packages, and baby blankets. A specific goal of how many items to make or donate was not given to the clubs throughout the state, but Kathy encouraged everyone who could to participate.
Many clubwomen offered their talents to make items for the mothers and babies, and GFWC Nebraska was able to donate more than 60 handmade items to Mission: Healthy Baby. Kathy offered her gratitude to everyone who donated and gave their support to the program and her special project.
Club Anniversaries and Gold Pin Recipients
GFWC Juniorettes Arlington (New Jersey)
GFWC Past Junior Presidents’ Club – Shore District (New Jersey)
GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Ramsey (New Jersey)
GFWC Junior Woman’s Club Long Valley Area (New Jersey)
GFWC Agawam Junior Women’s Club (Massachusetts)
GFWC Blair Woman’s Club (New Jersey)
GFWC Associate Alumnae Douglass College (New Jersey)
GFWC Woman’s Club of Carlstadt (New Jersey)
GFWC Woman’s Club of Peapack-Gladstone (New Jersey)
GFWC Woman’s Club of Plant City (Florida)
GFWC Woman’s Club of Sarasota, Inc. (Florida)
GFWC Yoder Women’s Club (Wyoming)
GFWC Charlotte Woman’s Club (North Carolina)
Gold Pin Recipients
GFWC Peninsula Hills Woman’s Club (California)
GFWC Redwood City Woman’s Club (California)
GFWC Woman’s Club of Antioch (California)
GFWC Redwood City Woman’s Club (California)
Catherine E. Gardner
GFWC Elizabeth City Women’s Club (North Carolina)
Faye E. Hoffman
GFWC Elizabeth City Women’s Club (North Carolina)
GFWC Amherst Woman’s Club (Virginia)
GFWC Durant Fortnightly Club (Oklahoma)
GFWC Woman’s Club of Belleville (New Jersey)
GFWC Marketplace: Learning Through Living…Some Assembly Required
February is a time to visit your favorite local library, but you can also celebrate National Library Lover’s Month by expanding your at-home, personal library with one of several inspiring books available in the GFWC Marketplace.
One of these books is Learning Through Living…Some Assembly Required by Dr. Suzanne Metzger, which was written to help all of us appreciate the growth and learning we experience each passing day, the importance of setting standards for our lives, and what it means to be an example to others. It is a daily motivational book that brings awareness to the idea that, even in the most seemingly insignificant moments, there is always a higher power present. Order yours today.
There could be some mail service delays throughout the pandemic. To speed up processing of your order, we request that you pay for your order at time of purchase in the Member Portal. For information on mail service in your area, visit the USPS Service Alerts page.