One Month Away: Dr. Seuss’ Birthday
Your club’s volunteer spirit is needed March 2 on Read Across America Day, which is of course also Dr. Seuss’ birthday. GFWC cares a whole awful lot about giving children in need the opportunity to read. Last year, clubwomen throughout the Federation participated in the Dr. Seuss Grand Initiative, resulting in 50,716 books being donated to children in need.
But the lives of children in your community could still get better! Help to ensure 4,200+ more books are donated by June 30 to schools, Head Start programs, and other places dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children.
The goal of the 2018–2020 Administration is to donate a total of 55,000 Dr. Seuss books directly to clubs’ local communities. The Dr. Seuss Grand Initiative needs someone like you.
Volunteer in Actions
International President Mary Ellen Brock personally extends her thanks to all of the clubwomen who participated in a project on MLK Day. She was thrilled to read all that you accomplished—and so touched by all of you who embraced this Initiative and shared your pictures on social media. You certainly promoted the GFWC brand! As our second MLK Day-themed post shows, service projects were so varied, which mirrors the diversity of programs of GFWC.
Raise Awareness about Preventing Teen Dating Violence
It’s important for teenagers to know what a safe and healthy relationship looks and feels like, especially if it’s their first one. They might not recognize abusive patterns or behaviors. They also might only know how to identify physical abuse and not psychological, emotional, and digital abuse (using technology such as cell phones or social media to abuse and control). Visit www.loveisrespect.org to educate yourself and youth in your community on teen dating violence, indicators, and healthy relationships. Use GFWC’s Action Guides as resources!
Buy a Convention Program Ad
Get excited for the experience in Atlanta by purchasing an ad in the 2020 Convention Program to recognize your club or fellow Federation sisters. Use our Convention Program Ad form to order and pay for your ad by March 27!
Bylaws: Preparing for Your Club’s Feature
by Gay Warren, GFWC Bylaws Committee Chairman
Have you recently reviewed your club’s Bylaws? If the last time the bylaws of your club were reviewed was a few years ago, there may have been some changes. An annual review of your club’s bylaws is important to keep your bylaws relevant. Over the years, times and circumstances may change the structure and requirements of the club. As our organizations grow and mature, revisions to the bylaws should be considered to more accurately reflect the activities of the clubs, the states, and GFWC.
Recent changes within the GFWC Bylaws may also affect a club’s bylaws. At the 2019 GFWC Convention, a bylaw amendment was approved to revise the names and number of the Community Service Programs. While this change does not take place until the beginning of the 2020–2022 Administration, your club needs to review its bylaws prior to that time so that the new Community Service Programs can be successfully integrated into your club’s program of service. Effective July 1, 2020, the number of Community Service Programs will change to five and will become the following: Arts and Culture, Civic Engagement and Outreach, Education and Libraries, Environment, and Health and Wellness.
So be proactive, and review those bylaws soon!
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Great Bridge Woman’s Club Visits Operation Smile
As early as 1988, Great Bridge Woman’s Club (GBWC) in Chesapeake, Virginia, was collecting items and making monetary donations to GFWC Partner Operation Smile. Back then, items collected included bandages, cough syrup, combs, magic markers, and coloring books.
During the 1990’s, GBWC hosted speakers from Operation Smile and continued to collect items to assemble Smile Bags. The club also made Smile Dolls and hospital gowns for the young patients. A donation of $125 was given to the Smile Pin Campaign, and club members worked at Rowena’s Bakery in Norfolk, Virginia, and donated their “salaries” of $260 to Operation Smile.
As 2000 approached, GBWC never forgot the wonderful work that Operation Smile had accomplished for patients and families around the world. GBWC collected small stuffed animals, travel size toothpaste, coloring books, and other needed items, and packed smile bags. In 2014, club members were invited to tour the new Operation Smile facility in Virginia Beach. They got to meet Hennglie Dorival, a young Haitian girl who had been brought to the area to have a very large facial tumor removed; the procedure could not safely be performed in her home country. Seeing her joy and confidence after having received the surgery inspired GBWC to become even more involved with the positive impact that Operation Smile was making.
In 2019, GBWC donated 19 large wheeled suitcases to Operation Smile to meet a growing need. GBWC then hosted Cindy Raglin, retired vice president of Quality Assurance, at a meeting who shared her passion for what Operation Smile means to so many children and families. GBWC also heard from Partners in Health Haiti about efforts to improve health care in that area.
Great Lakes Region: Paula Schlice, President
Great Lakes Region (GLR), like so many of our sister regions, is experiencing some challenges. As this administration began, we tried to find ways in which the Region could supply the member states with resources they could use to help in their home states. As we worked on this issue, we had some ideas that were workable, such as neighboring states finding ways to hold joint meetings and workshops. They would be able to better negotiate with facilities if they could produce a large attendance and the expenses of speakers and other items could be shared.
At our 2019 Region Conference, we had several pop up leadership workshops throughout the conference arranged by our GFWC Leadership committee member Diane Addante. The topics were motivation, parliamentary procedures, body language, emotional intelligence, goals and accountability, conflict resolution, procrastination, and mentoring. These workshops were filmed by Diane and Loretta Caron and posted on GFWC GLR’s YouTube videos. Feel free to view them and/or use them at your meetings. A couple of them are really fun. As a first effort, it went very well.
State Director’s Project: Nebraska, Kathy Huggins
GFWC Nebraska Director of Junior Clubs, Kathy Huggins, has chosen Prevent Child Abuse Nebraska for her special project. One of GFWC’s Partners, Prevent Child Abuse America is the leading national, not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is “to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children.” The national organization is dedicated to promoting the healthy development of children through state chapters, public awareness, and advocating for national changes in policy that promote a nationwide prevention network. They provide outreach materials, research, evidence-based prevention practices, and training to help the statewide community councils maximize effectiveness in implementing prevention programs.
In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the pinwheel as the national symbol for child abuse prevention through “Pinwheels for Prevention.” By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children. Prevent Child Abuse Nebraska promotes pinwheel gardens and other activities throughout the state for Child Abuse Awareness Month each April.
NFWC clubs have been encouraged to raise awareness of child abuse and promote healthy childhoods by planting pinwheel gardens. Kathy began by designing a GFWC Nebraska shirt, and they were sold at this fall’s district conventions. Now she is taking the profits raised from the shirt sales and using them to subsidize the purchase of pinwheels for Nebraska clubs that want to participate. The clubs are in the process of finalizing their orders in preparation for the April events.
The pinwheel reminds us of our own childhoods and the fact that all children deserve to be happy and healthy. Kathy is hoping to see pinwheels pop up all over Nebraska this year!
by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro
The term ex-officio means “by virtue of one’s position or status.” In many cases, the president of a club or state is an ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating and/or election committee. If this is true, it must be stated in the bylaws. Another ex-officio member might be a mayor or a state official, a member of the community, or even an employee of the group, who have been made members of a board or a committee because of the positions they hold or the area in which they have expertise.
An ex-officio member has all the rights of a member. They may make motions, may speak, and may vote. They may also be elected to an office. The only difference between a regular member and an ex-officio member is whether or not they are counted as part of a quorum, or in determining whether or not a quorum is present. If the president is an ex-officio member of a committee, she is not counted as part of the quorum because she may or may not attend a meeting at her discretion. In the other cases, if the ex-officio member is not an officer, he or she is not counted as part of the quorum because, again, they may or may not show up for a meeting.
An ex-officio member is automatically dropped as a member when their term of office is over. A club president, the town mayor, a state official, etc. stops being an ex-officio member as soon as they leave office.
Jot down your Dr. Seuss project ideas by starting off your club year with a fresh notebook. The blank pages are just waiting for your next big idea! Featuring a vintage cover of General Federation News, this notebook brings together the old and the new. Get yours for $12 in the GFWC Marketplace.
Mary Ellen Brock
A clubwoman for 40 years, GFWC International President Mary Ellen Brock has served on all positions of the Executive Committee, GFWC New Jersey Legislation/Resolutions Committee member, GFWC New Jersey Past State President’s Club President, and North Jersey Women’s Club Treasurer.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
GFWC Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club
Founded in 1934, the GFWC Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club is perhaps best known for its Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence Benefit Day, which raised over $10,000 last year.