News & Notes: January 6, 2022


January 6, 2022

View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

Select the 2021 President’s Pick

In 2021, GFWC launched a new News & Notes column: the President’s Pick. This column is a celebration of how clubs make an impact in their communities every day by rolling up their sleeves and lending a helping hand. Each post on the GFWC Blog offers project success stories that a wide range of clubs can adapt to their own communities’ needs. The GFWC Blog has also caught the attention of readers outside the Federation looking for insight about how clubwomen are Living the Volunteer Spirit.

Over the last year, International President St.Clair has selected a monthly project success story from those on the GFWC Blog. Now it’s time for you to pick the overall winner for 2021!

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.

Congratulations again to all 12 clubs distinguished with a President’s Pick. We can’t wait to find out who you will chose as the overall winner for 2021. And if your club wasn’t selected in 2021, there are 12 chances in 2022 to spotlight the difference that your club is making in the lives of others. Keep submitting your project success stories to, and keep Living the Volunteer Spirit.

Why Donate Blood Platelets?

By Beth Smith, Health and Wellness Community Service Program Chairman

Donating platelets took just a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon

As we enter another year of the pandemic, there continues to be a shortage of blood and platelet donations. Patients deferring care due to COVID-19 has increased, resulting in a higher demand for blood donations at hospitals.

How do we convince people to become donors? Let me share one GFWC member’s story.

Kim Overman, 7-year member of GFWC Ossoli Circle, first experienced that blood platelet donations were lifesaving when seeking treatment for her young son’s sinus infection, which wouldn’t go away. When the doctors found a tumor, a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) soon followed. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for children and teens with NHL, because it can reach all parts of the body and kill lymphoma cells wherever they may be. But Kim’s son experienced blood clots from chemo and ultimately needed a transfusion of blood platelets to continue the lifesaving treatment. After seven months of chemo, Kim’s son was in remission. He’s now 28, and his blood has not shown signs of cancer yet.

Then Kim herself needed a transfusion about 15 years ago. Kim had uterine fibroids, which caused complications that many women don’t experience. Kim became anemic after her red blood cell count dropped too low before a much-needed surgery to address other health concerns. Today, she’s also in good health.

Kim’s personal experience is one of many and it illustrates why a personal appeal to potential platelet donors is so important. Tell Kim’s story or one of someone in your club’s community when you’re promoting a blood drive. For tips on hosting a blood drive, download the tip sheet in the Member Portal’s Digital Library, located within “B” resources.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Save a life today!

Cares & Concerns 

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kandy Kizis, Past GFWC Alaska President (2008-2012). Dedicated to serving as a GFWC clubwoman at the local, state, and national level, Kandy passed away on December 13.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC Ohio Junior Cyberlinks Club (Ohio) and GFWC Women’s Club of Farmingdale (New York). Check out these stories of how clubwomen hosted a Gingerbread House Workshop for area families and donated holiday goodie bags to children at a local care facility.

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

Happy 2022 from your GFWC Capital Campaign Committee

By Mary Jo Thomas, Capital Campaign Chairman

Let’s start the New Year with renewed commitment to make Run for the Roses a phenomenal success. We are so close. We can do it with your help!

The holiday tour of our beautifully-decorated headquarters was fabulous, whether you attended in-person or remotely. Let’s make sure our historic home is here for future generations of clubwomen to enjoy!

Thank you for your generosity thus far. The opportunities for giving continue through this 2020-2022 Administration. Here are some ideas:

  • Make GFWC Run for the Roses your Valentine with contributions in February.
  • Have a “Pot of Gold” St. Patrick’s Day activity in March.
  • Celebrate April. April 1 marks 100 years of GFWC Headquarters owning its building at 1734 N Street in Washington DC, and Federation Day is on April 24.

Let’s make those days of giving an opportunity to ensure success for our Run for the Roses race to the finish line.

Any size of donation is greatly appreciated and helps. Let’s invest in GFWC and pass that million-dollar goal. We’re worth it!

We’re all in…how about you?

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.

A Year in Review for Operation Smile

Although the 2021 fiscal year proved to be another challenging year for GFWC Affiliate Organization Operation Smile’s patients, their families, and teams around the world, it also showcased the organizations commitment, resilience, and adaptiveness.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented Operation Smile’s global community with adversity in many ways, from lockdowns to food insecurity to health systems stretched beyond their limits.

Time and again, thanks to the unwavering compassion and generosity of supporters and volunteers, their teams continued to provide patients with life-changing cleft surgery and comprehensive care amid daunting, ever-changing, and complex circumstances.

Without GFWC members and others, Operation Smile couldn’t have kept their promise of providing health that lasts for people affected by cleft lip and cleft palate living in places of need around the world. As they look ahead to their 40th anniversary, Operation Smile offered their thanks to everyone who stayed by their side.

A few highlights from the year include:

97 Medical Programs

Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Operation Smile conducted 97 medical programs across 41 sites in 15 countries. Each program was led by local medical volunteer teams operating under stringent safety protocols.

12,900+ Patients Treated

Operation Smile provided 12,971 patients with surgery and dental care at medical programs, care centers, and partner hospitals in 23 countries last year. Their ability to provide patients with care this year is the result of decades of collaboration with thousands of volunteer medical professionals living in the countries they serve, a majority of whom received training and education from Operation Smile. Since 1982, they’ve helped more than 326,000 people receive life-changing surgical and dental care.

27 Care Centers

Operation Smile provided patients with comprehensive cleft treatments including speech therapy, dentistry, orthodontics, psychosocial care, and more year-round at 27 care centers in 18 countries.

217,800+ Patient Interactions

Operation Smile provided more than 217,800 patient interactions including patient health screenings, operations and post-operative care at medical missions, dental screenings and procedures, and operations and consultations at care centers.

Building the Connection

By Sally Harper, GFWC Membership Committee Member

GFWC Members are anxious to reconnect with their friends and return to their pre-pandemic activities and projects. But amazing projects and events were still accomplished during the restrictions using new and innovative programs.

Many members had never heard of platforms such as Zoom for remote meetings. These platforms opened up a connection, making it possible to network and collaborate about common goals with others across the globe right from our own homes. Even cyber clubs were feasible.

Posting upcoming club events on Facebook and other social media platforms, and inviting the general public to participate, has brought GFWC to people who might never have heard of our organization before. They can see what we do and we can invite them to join us. In-person interactions might be our preferred modality but our scope should not be limited to our immediate circle of friends.

Reach out and take advantage of these new connections. Share your thoughts on building a connection with members and prospects alike on Facebook.

Johns Hopkins Webinar January 11

Johns Hopkins Medicine is offering a webinar at 7:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 11, about how human papillomavirus (HPV) infections can lead to the development of various cancers, including ovarian and cervical cancer as well as oral cancers. Join head and neck oncologist Carole Fakhry, M.D., M.P.H., and gynecologist and pathologist Cornelia Trimble, M.D., as they discuss new guidelines for the HPV vaccine, which is effective in preventing the development of cancers among women of all ages. Visit the Johns Hopkins website to register for this event.

Office Depot Savings Program

It’s time to get organized for 2022 and start taking on your New Year’s goals! Look no further than GFWC member savings through Office Depot for everything you need. The coupons will be valid through January 10; some exclusions apply. Take advantage of this great deal before it’s gone!Visit to shop online through their Office Depot Savings Program.

State Director of Junior Club’s Project: Patti Kuchar, Illinois

GFWC Illinois Junior Director Patti Kuchar selected the Children’s Research Foundation and Advocates for Children as her special projects. Many GFWC Illinois clubs participated in Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children projects, and not all were Junior Clubs! The below examples are only a few projects completed during Advocates for Children Week from October 24-30.

GFWC Illinois Naperville Juniorettes Club held a Suicide Awareness Prevention Walk and the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club held an annual Trick-or-Treat event. Meanwhile, the Lombard Junior Woman’s Club donated $300 to their local library to purchase “Read to Learn” kits for children in kindergarten to third grade. Kits included books, toys, crafts, and more.

Abingdon Junior Woman’s Club hosted a “Diaper Drop,” to collect 341 diapers and other supplies that were distributed through Loving Bottoms Diaper Bank. Elgin Junior Woman’s Club provided lunch to families with children at their local homeless center, and the Somonauk Junior Woman’s Club and the Junior Encore Club both donated items to children staying at a local homeless shelter or to children at local schools.

Coal City Junior Woman’s Club donated coloring books and crayons to a local hospital, and the Morris Woman’s Club collected cheerful, non-skid socks for pediatric cancer patients. Almost 300 pairs of socks for infants to teenagers were delivered to Central DuPage Hospital and Lurie’s Children’s Hospital.

The CRF Junior Woman’s Club also held fundraisers and helped secure monetary awards and grants to go to various doctors to continue research on creating common language for pediatric cancer data, the effect of pediatric lupus clinic care at the Comer Children’s Hospital versus care at a regular clinic, sleep deficits during hospitalization for pediatric ward patients, and more.

Patti also presented a program on Advocates for Children at the GFWC Great Lakes Region Conference in October.

GFWC Marketplace: Living the Volunteer Spirit Sticky Notes

The 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 feature the GFWC Living the Volunteer Spirit tagline. Each pack contains 50 sheets of 3×4 inch wide sticky notes. 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.