Back to School Volunteering
August is National Back to School Month, so with the month just around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking of ways you can support teachers, students, and schools in your community. Consider the following volunteer ideas!
- Collecting supplies for students. Donating backpacks and school supplies is a popular project among GFWC clubs because low-income students shouldn’t have to worry about falling behind at school because they can’t afford the tools to succeed. Collect supplies at club meetings and host a school supplies drive in your community so families in need can start the year off right.
- Volunteer for before-school and after-school programs. Those programs keep students engaged physically, emotionally, and academically. Additionally, they provide a space to grow, learn, and develop a sense of community belonging. Programs vary from providing homework assistance to encouraging physical activity. Oftentimes the programs are underfunded, so contact your local schools to see if they need volunteers!
- Make Teacher Care Baskets. It’s tough to be a teacher, demonstrated by the wave of teacher strikes earlier this year where educators voiced concerns of low wages, insufficient school budgets, and more. Show teachers in your community that you value everything they do. You can make gift baskets filled with supplies that will be useful in their classroom, including tissues (because with so many students and sickness so easily spread, they can never have too many!) markers, highlighters, scissors, post-it notes, and more. While they’ll most appreciate gifts that are functional, it couldn’t hurt to throw in a thoughtful gift like chocolate too!
- Be proactive – ask the school what they need. When in doubt for how you can help, simply reach out to the schools in your town and ask how you can be of most assistance to them! There might be opportunities you’d never know about otherwise, or resources they need that you’d never think to donate. They’ll be sure to appreciate hardworking volunteers with as much spirit as GFWC clubwomen.
Schools play an integral role in communities, and it’s important that the community gives back to them. Use this time to plan how your club can make a difference not just in the next few months but all year long!
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Continuing to Celebrate 2018 Awardees
Congratulations again to the 2018 Jennie, Charlotte Emerson Brown, Millie Crom, and other award winners that were announced at the 2018 GFWC Annual Convention. Check out the 2018 Awards web page and let’s continue to celebrate their accomplishments!
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!
Painting Project at School
A national holiday means schools are closed, which makes it the perfect opportunity for volunteers to revitalize the public schools in their communities with a fresh coat of paint or beautiful murals! Start researching your area to see if there are schools or public places that will be hosting painting events for the Day of Service!
Welcome to GFWC’s Newest International Affiliate
The GFWC Cam Kwoki Woman’s Club was formed by a small group of South Sudanese women who were based in a refugee camp in Uganda after being forced to leave South Sudan when civil war broke out. They started out by creating handicraft items which they sold to improve their circumstances. When their funds ran out, they received support from the Partnership for Community Development, a partnership which included GFWC Maine. The club meets every week and works on activities and projects. Every member is treated with respect regardless of their position, race, or tribe. Their goals are to expand their businesses, start an orphanage program, and support people in need, especially mothers with health issues. Welcome GFWC Cam Kowki! GFWC is so happy to have you.
by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro
Continuing on with Bylaws~
ARTICLE IV ~ Officers This should include a list of all officers, in order of rank from President on down. It should also include the duties of each officer. Take a lot of care stating the duties of the officers because if any are omitted it might be assumed that that duty is not necessary. After the duties for each person, it is helpful to add a statement such as, “…and any other duties applicable to the office as prescribed by the Parliamentary Authority adopted by the Society.” If there are a great many duties for most officers, a separate article on “Duties of Officers” can be added after this one.
This article should also include the particulars of the nomination process including how to nominate, who may nominate, the criteria for each office, and who receives the nominations. Is there a nominating committee? The time of elections and the length of term for each office should be included here. Are officers elected by ballot vote? Is a majority or a plurality needed? Can a member hold more than one office at a time? When does an officer begin her duties? Since the former officers’ duties end when the new officers’ duties begin, there must be care taken here in the case of an office that has not been filled. Does the officer from the previous term continue?
Also included in this article should be what happens when an officer cannot fulfill the duties of her office. What is the process for resignation and who replaces her? If an officer does not resign but is not performing as she should in her position, who makes that decision, and what is it based on? How is the officer notified? If the bylaws state that the officers “shall hold office for a term of ____ years and until their successors are elected,” then an officer can only be removed for cause. If the bylaws state that the officers “shall hold office for a term of ____ years or until their successors are elected” then an officer can be removed at the “pleasure of the membership” by a two-thirds vote or a majority vote if previous notice has been given that the vote will take place. Since a lot hinges on a very small word (and v. or), an alternative would be to state, “Officers may be removed from office for cause by disciplinary proceedings as provided in the parliamentary authority” OR “Officers may be removed from office at the pleasure of the membership as provided in the parliamentary authority.” Please note that “pleasure of the membership” does not imply that this is a happy procedure, but rather that it is the membership, either at Convention or by a mail vote, or whatever is allowable in the parliamentary authority used, that makes the decision.
Legislative Action Corner
Urge Congress To Increase Funding For Violence Prevention Programs
The bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues Co-Chairs, Representatives Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urging them to support greater funding for preventative programs in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Authorization for VAWA will expire on September 30, 2018.
Since VAWA was first passed in 1994, with the strong advocacy of GFWC, serious victimization by an intimate partner declined by 72 percent for women and 64 percent for men. However, it is estimated that as many as 45 million adults experience physical violence, rape and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Recent studies report the financial cost of rape to be more than $120,000 per victim, with more than half of that cost coming from the lost workforce productivity.
GFWC urges increased funding for the Rape Prevention & Education (RPE) grant program administered by the Centers for Disease Control Injury Center; the Department of Justice’s Consolidated Grant Program to Address Youth and Children Experiencing Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and Engage Men and Boys as Allies; and the Department of Justice funded National Resource Center’s efforts to prevent workplace sexual harassment and violence.
Join the GFWC Legislative Action Center to continue supporting programs providing services to survivors and prevention education regarding violence against women and families.
Volunteers in Action
This week’s Volunteer in Action photo is of the GFWC Lawrenceville Woman’s Club (Georgia). To learn about their recent project and to see more photos, 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 PR@GFWC.org to be considered for our next Volunteers in Action member profile.
GFWC Pop Socket Grip
Looking for a way to hold your phone with more ease? The GFWC Pop Socket Grips are just for you! These stylish phone accessories let you do more with your phone – just expand to use and collapse to lay flat. Offers a secure grip and functions as a convenient stand, all while featuring the GFWC logo on a white background. Available for $5 each at the GFWC Marketplace.
From Our Family to Yours
Introducing five new products to entice customers and boost your fundraising sales:
• Smoke Pecans
• Chipotle Mixed Nuts
• Wasabi Almonds
• Cocoa Almonds
• Mixed Blueberry, Strawberry, and Vanilla Yogurt Raisins
We’ve got everything you need to get started in our Free Sample Kit!
Request one today: (800) 323-0775 dept. 210
An eight-year Air Force veteran, Penny has been a GFWC member since 2008, and is currently serving as the club president of GFWC Helena Woman’s Club (Montana).
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.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!