News & Notes: January 13, 2022


January 13, 2022

View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

Goodbye Post-Holiday Blues

By Beth Smith, GFWC Health and Wellness Community Service Program Chairman

Why is it so hard to get back into the swing of things after the holidays? Parties, friends, family, food, and beverages are fun but, for some, can lead to stress during and after the holiday season.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 64% of people report being affected by holiday depression, and it’s most often triggered by financial, emotional, and physical stress of the season.

Kick the post-holiday blues by putting some extra emphasis on the basics of physical and mental well-being. Get back into your regular schedule and focus on quality sleep, regular exercise, and a nutrient-dense diet.

Have fun too! Reaching out and getting face time with friends and other people you care about can prevent depression from taking hold.

Ask yourself: “How can I make this year different and better?” Think about how you will:

  • Spend the next 12 months making things better.
  • Set goals and get creative.
  • Transition to doing something in real life that you’ve only been dreaming of doing in your head.

Put your dreams into action!

Building Influence to Lead

By Shannon Bailey, GFWC Leadership Chairman 

We’ve all worked under someone who was in charge but wasn’t a leader. Ineffective leaders rarely have the ability to influence others.

How do you build influence? How can you grow as a leader?

Build Relationships

Be welcoming, be open to new people, really listen, and build relationships with your fellow club members. If you are known in your club or state as a leader who works hard, is interested in others, keeps confidences, and is kind, others will look for ways to include you and your influence will grow.

Pursue Personal Growth 

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, asserts “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get you there. This year, spend less time focusing on outcomes and more time focusing on the habits that precede the results.”

Focus on personal growth and you will reap the rewards. You will be more centered, more able to give to others, and your influence will grow.

Seek to Inspire and Encourage 

Great leaders inspire action with their words, sparking enthusiasm and commitment. With a single conversation, you can change the direction of someone’s life. Make it about them! Call out their potential and do it generously.

Serve Where You Are Needed 

To quote leadership expert Liz Wiseman: “Do what needs to be done. Make yourself useful. Be of service. When you do, you’ll be seen as a leader, you’ll get a chance to play bigger, and your work and impact will be multiplied.”

Build relationships. Pursue personal growth. Seek to inspire and encourage. Serve where you are needed.  Your life will be richer and opportunities will come.

Cares & Concerns 

Carol Hancock Carleu, Past New Jersey State President (1998-2000), passed away on December 1. Carol’s family has requested that no cards be sent at this time.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features the GFWC Woman’s Citizenship Club of Alamosa (Colorado) and Palos Heights Woman’s Club (Illinois). Read how clubwomen donated a flagpole to a local Boys & Girls Club and taught them about the importance of the flag, and hosted various events to raise money and collect donations for area charities.

Have a success story to tell? Email to have you club project considered for the GFWC Blog.

Vote for the 2021 President’s Pick

Monday, January 17, is the deadline to cast your vote for the 2021 President’s Pick overall winner!

Over the last year, International President St.Clair has selected a monthly project success story from the GFWC Blog and needs your help deciding which is the very best. Select which of the 12 club projects summarized in the 2021 President’s Pick Survey you think should get first prize. The club projects with the most votes wins, and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Clubwoman Magazine and other GFWC Headquarters communications.

We can’t wait to find out who you will chose as the overall winner for 2021!

Operation Smile Continues to Keep Its Promise to Help Children in Need

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems in developed countries were pushed to their limits while healthcare inequities in low- and middle-income countries became further exposed. The communities that were already vulnerable were hit hardest by the virus. Access to help was limited, personal protective equipment was scarce, and the already-restricted capacity of healthcare systems were overwhelmed with patients. However, throughout these times of uncertainty, people around the world found ways to persevere and GFWC Affiliate Organization Operation Smile has remained by their side to provide hope and life-saving treatments to those in need.Valeria, a kindergarten teacher in Mexico, was one of these people who continued to carry on despite her eight-month ultrasound revealing that her daughter, Lilia, would be born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. She had already lost her job as a kindergarten teacher due to pandemic lockdowns, and, tragically, her husband passed away just before Lilia was born. Grief, fear, loneliness, and doubt filled Valeria’s thoughts. Still, she persevered.When Valeria connected with Operation Smile Mexico, hope replaced her fear, support replaced loneliness, and care replaced doubt.Lilia received a cleft palate feeding plate that made it easier for her to eat. She participated in virtual speech therapies that helped her emotional and speech development. Finally, at surgical programs conducted by teams of Operation Smile Mexico volunteers following stringent COVID-19 protocols, Lilia received cleft lip surgery in March 2021, followed by her cleft palate surgery in September 2021.“This has changed my life because I know there is always a hope,” Valeria said. “I know that I’m not alone; I know that my daughter counts on people, special angels who support her, that love her. I thank Operation Smile for how wonderful you are.”Read the whole story on Operation Smile’s Stories You Make Possible Blog.Operation Smile works with patients around the world to ensure that they have access to safe surgeries for cleft lip and cleft palate. For additional information, reach out to the GFWC Operation Smile team.

Don’t Forget to Renew Your Club’s General Liability Insurance

February 1 is the deadline to renew your club’s General Liability Insurance. Some clubs still are not meeting as often or only meet remotely online, so members may not be focused on club financials, but different types of insurance can help protect your club’s finances.

GFWC is pleased to offer three types of club insurance plans through our insurance partner, AHT Insurance:

  • Directors & Officers Liability Insurance, intended to cover a variety of claims that allege a wrongful act attributable to the management or governance of an organization.
  • General Liability Insurance, which provides protection in the event of bodily injury or property damage to a third party due to your club’s alleged negligence.
  • Event Insurance, which allows clubs to insure a single event.

General Liability Insurance premiums start at $375 annually, but may vary based on the number of club members and other special considerations. Directors & Officers Liability Insurance premiums are $463.50 annually for all GFWC clubs. Event Insurance varies according to the scale of the event being insured.

For additional information about AHT Insurance plans, contact Assistant Account Manager Carol Rohde at or 703-737-2248.

Now Open: Convention Program Ad Sales

Convention brings clubwomen together from across the country to celebrate all of the hard work they’ve put into their communities. That makes it the prime place to share your love and appreciation for the clubwomen in your life. Purchasing an ad in the 2022 Convention Program, which every attendee receives, is an opportunity to be loud and proud about your club or Federation sisters. Whether they’re doing a great job as leaders in this Administration or they’ve been there for you through difficult times, shine a spotlight on them! Orders and payment must be received by April 1. Check out our Convention Program ad form to see your options. Submit your form to Publications and Project Manager Taylor Fussman.

Great Lakes Region: Patricia Heitman, President

GFWC Great Lakes Region President Patricia Heitman’s Administration theme is Patterns of GFWC. From community service programs to club projects, every aspect of GFWC has a pattern and tradition for clubwomen to follow. Each of the State Presidents within the Great Lakes Region reflected these patterns through their own special projects and focus areas, and members throughout the Region rose to the challenges presented to them with creativity and generosity.

Patricia’s service project at the 2021 Great Lakes Region Conference did just that, generating an impressive collection of items on a wish list to go to Easterseals Joliet Region, Inc. Easterseals responds to the needs of Americans living with disabilities throughout the United States. Many clubwomen throughout the Region donated essential and recreational therapy items for the organization.

Clubwomen also spent part of the Conference making Christmas ornaments for veterans with the Manteno Veterans’ Home, in Kankakee County, Illinois. Patricia said she was thrilled with the participation in both of these projects and the generosity of the members in the Region.

State Director of Junior Club’s Project: Preshus Howard, Kentucky

The 2020-2022 Administration has not been without difficulties, but clubwomen have overcome them and became stronger. The focus for GFWC Kentucky Junior Director Preshus Howard has been her work with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and the Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children. She continues to work with her sister and other clubwomen who share a passion and vision about raising awareness for organ, eye, and tissue donation throughout the Bluegrass State.

Clubwomen were asked to host donor drives and invite a donor and/or recipient family or family member to speak at their club meetings and to share their stories with everyone. They encouraged everyone to talk about organ, eye, and tissue donation and learn what their connections were and what ideas they could all come up with to increase awareness, raise funds, and break the stigma around donation. Club members made various donations to KODA and Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ Trust for Life to help support these organizations and spread the word.

Preshus also asked club members throughout the Administration to collect gently-used or new suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, and toiletry bags to donate to social service offices for foster children. This project gave children a way to transport their belongings in a bag of their own.

GFWC Marketplace: Silicone Phone Wallet

The GFWC silicone phone wallet will make carrying your important cards easier by conveniently attaching to the back of your phone. With space for carrying two cards, the wallet uses a patented 3M adhesive to help it stay on most phones and phone cases without demagnetizing your cards. The wallet is great for when you would rather not carry your full wallet or purse. Order yours today.

In recognition of January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, GFWC will be sharing various blue items – the international color of human trafficking awareness – with you this month as a way for you to not only enjoy some great GFWC Marketplace items, but help raise awareness of this global issue.

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.