News & Notes: November 18, 2021


November 18, 2021

View our Important Dates page for upcoming events and milestones.

Holiday Giving Season Rapidly Approaches

The holiday giving season starts on November 30, Giving Tuesday! It’s an excellent day to support the preservation of GFWC’s Headquarters and to help ensure the legacy of our great Federation.

Make a gift to GFWC to support one of the following funds.

Capital Campaign

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of GFWC’s guardianship of 1734 N Street NW, Washington, D.C., by making a donation that will fund repairs and ongoing maintenance of our historic home. Join the Run for the Roses race to the finish line of the “Campaign for the Future!” With your support, the Capital Campaign will have a spectacular finale.

Success for Survivors Scholarship

Make it possible for survivors of domestic and sexual violence to balance personal-life demands with pursuing a degree. This fund provides survivors with a means to achieve both financial and personal independence through higher education.

Friends of the WHRC

The Women’s History and Resource Center preserves and promotes the work and history of GFWC through its archives and collections. The WHRC is one of the most comprehensive women’s history centers in the United States!

These are just three ways you could help to preserve the essential history and work of GFWC clubwomen. Visit the Member Portal to see all the donation options and how a gift from you this Giving Tuesday will support the legacy of GFWC!

President’s Pick

By Marian St.Clair, International President

GFWC has a proud past that includes many efforts toward the advancement of women, children, and families. For example, we often hear about early telegram- and letter-writing campaigns, including one steered in 1906 by member Alice Lakey that pushed for passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and another effort four years later that supported the eight-hour workday and workplace safety.

Today, our members embrace a wide array of projects. All of them are important and worthy, but it is essential that we continue to engage in works that advance society by creating a shift in ideas and actions, not only here at home but also around the world.

This month’s “President Pick” recognizes The American Women’s Literacy Club in Lima, Peru, for their focus on education and literacy as the solution to a problem that limits the growth and development of individuals, as well as the country. As member Sara Kurzenhauser explains, “Peru is socially stratified and has lots of classism. One way to combat these issues is through improving education.”

Each year, the club raises money for education-based charities, such as Ensena Peru, a nonprofit organization that sends trained teachers to rural areas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has raised money with events, by hosting guest speakers on Zoom. Additional funds will be raised in December, when several prizes will be raffled.

In 2022, the club looks forward to celebrating its 100th anniversary. Sara says the club also hopes to continue to attract new members to assist with the fundraising and community service that is essential to being a clubwoman.

Congratulations to The American Women’s Literacy Club in Lima for their dedication and the work they do to provide opportunities that will create long-lasting improvement and advancement in Peru.

Volunteers in Action

This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC Wewahitchka Woman’s Club (Florida), GFWC Iowa Solon Women’s Club (Iowa), and GFWC South Carolina. In recognition of America Recycles Day on November 15, clubwomen did their part to clean up their communities and find ways to recycle and upcycle plastic materials. Read how members are participating in recycling challenges, picking up trash around their cities, and donating clean pill bottles to an organization that helps other countries in need.

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

Canine Companions Puppy Sims Visits GFWC

GFWC Headquarters was filled with smiles on Friday, November 12, as GFWC International President Marian Simmons-St.Clair was visited by Sims, a female yellow Labrador named in her honor. Five-month-old Sims is learning to become a service dog from long-time puppy raiser Bryna Brennan, a volunteer with GFWC Affiliate Organization Canine Companions. Bryna is tasked with teaching Sims more than 30 obedience commands as well as giving her socialization, love, and play time.

After 18 months with her volunteer puppy raiser, Sims will return to Canine Companions for professional training in advanced commands such as picking up dropped items, turning on lights, and pulling a manual wheelchair. She will then hopefully graduate as a service dog and enhance the independence of a person with disabilities.

Puppies like Sims are on a very important journey to become a life-changing service dog for a person with a disability. Canine Companions service dogs are matched at no cost to recipients—adults, children, and veterans with disabilities—after an intensive two-week training class culminating in a joyous graduation ceremony that is open to the public.

To learn more about Canine Companions, visit

Happy Thanksgiving 

There will be no issue of News & Notes next week in observance of Thanksgiving, and GFWC Marketplace orders placed after today will not be shipped until the week of November 29. Enjoy the holiday and stay tuned for the December 2 issue of News & Notes.

Available Through November 30: Convention Workshop Webinars 

Don’t miss the Convention Workshop Webinars series, which features the top five workshops presented at the 2021 Convention in Atlanta! For just $25, you can learn how to create a club brand and website that makes your group stand out in the community, develop and encourage leadership, advocate in a nonpartisan way, grow a positive club culture, and educate youth about the early signs of an unhealthy relationship. Watch all five pre-recorded webinars from the comfort of your home:

  • Communications and PR: Let’s Talk About Branding…And Your Club Website!
  • Leadership: Tools for Developing and Encouraging Leaders
  • Legislation/Public Policy: Staying Nonpartisan in a Partisan Time
  • Membership: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
  • Signature Program: Planning and Implementing a Teen Healthy Relationship Forum

Register now so that you have as much time as possible to watch all five webinars. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with links to all webinars and handouts. Registration and viewing for this five-webinar package will close on November 30.

Register Now to Attend the 2021 GFWC Holiday Open House

Don’t miss your chance to register for a festive day of cheer at the 2021 GFWC Holiday Open House. On December 8, GFWC International President Marian St.Clair will welcome clubwomen to GFWC Headquarters at 1734 N St. NW, Washington D.C. for a fun and exciting opportunity to celebrate the giving season and experience a bit of holiday magic. Sign up to attend one of the two scheduled receptions—from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon ET or from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET. Attendance will be limited at the receptions and either a vaccination card or negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours is required for our guests’ safety.Registration will close at 12:00 noon ET on December 1. Register today through the GFWC Member Portal.Attendees of the 2021 GFWC Holiday Open House will have the opportunity to share success stories and mingle with their fellow clubwomen while enjoying this year’s theme, Good Tidings of Comfort and Joy. The holiday season is a wonderful reminder of the happiness we receive from encouraging and supporting those around us.If you are unable to attend the in-person events, but still want to experience the joy of the holidays at GFWC Headquarters, at 8 a.m. ET on December 1 you can register to receive a link to the remote Holiday Open House that will launch at 5 p.m. ET on December 15. Registration for viewing the remote event will close at 12:00 noon ET on December 31.

Avis and Budget Car Rental Savings Program

Enjoy the change in seasons and plan your next getaway with savings from your GFWC Avis and Budget Car Rental Savings Program. With the Pay Now feature, members can save up to 35% off base rates on every rental, plus receive additional offers like dollars off, a complimentary upgrade, or a free weekend day.

You can also skip the counter and paperwork at many locations. Go straight to your car for faster pick-up and drop off when you sign up by using your complimentary membership in the Avis Preferred® or Budget’s Fastbreak Rewards Program.

When making a reservation with Avis, be sure to use your Avis Worldwide Discount number B155149. When booking with Budget, use your Budget Customer Discount number R584749.

Legislative Corner


Congress finalized the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, H.R. 3684. This unique bill provides a five-year authorization for programs, and also provides significant funding for major infrastructure and economic development initiatives. The existing transportation infrastructure bill expired September 30, so those programs had to be reauthorized.

This new bipartisan bill passed the Senate in August, and passed the House of Representatives on November 5, by a vote of 228-206. The bill has $550 billion in new spending. Key funding provisions include $110 billion for roads and bridges, $73 billion to upgrade the electric grid, $66 billion for rail (passenger and freight), $65 billion for broadband with an emphasis on rural communities, $55 billion for water quality, $50 billion for climate change measures, $42 billion for ports and airports, $39 billion for public transit, $21 billion for environmental cleanup, and $15 billion for electric vehicles. Local government advocacy groups strongly supported the measure.

Family Safety Net

Next on its agenda, Congress will consider the proposed Build Back Better Act, H.R. 5376. Provisions such as universal pre-kindergarten for three- and four-year-olds, family and medical leave, and permanent extension of the Child Tax Credit due to expire December 2021 are still being negotiated.


In recognition of Veterans Day, the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees advanced bills to strengthen employment, education, housing, food security, and access to high-quality healthcare, including mental health and suicide prevention services. The Department of Veterans Affairs also has focused on ensuring community care providers are trained in key military cultural competencies, and improving electronic health records.

Sexual Harassment

In early November, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill, S. 2342, which would ban enforcement of mandatory arbitration agreements when an employee alleges sexual harassment or assault. Many workers in the U.S. are blocked from pursuing sexual harassment claims in court because of the inclusion of binding arbitration agreements in their employment contracts—one of the many issues highlighted by the #MeToo movement.

GFWC Marketplace: Gift Bag Set

The GFWC Gift Bag Set is the perfect package for any gift! The Federation Blue gift bag comes with two sheets of gorgeous white tissue paper featuring the GFWC logo and emblem for the perfect gift set. Pick up some for your newest members to celebrate a personal milestone or birthday, the installation of a new President, or when gifting items to your community.

The gift bags are 4″ x 8 1/2″ x 10 1/4″ and the GFWC emblem tissue paper is printed with soy-based ink on acid-free paper and are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. You can gift comfortably knowing that this GFWC purchase is sustainable. This item comes with three gift bags and tissue paper sets. Order yours today.

To help you celebrate the holidays in style, the GFWC Gift Bag Set (three bags and six pieces of monogramed tissue) will be on sale for $8 beginning today throughout the end of December. Don’t forget to place your orders early as there could be increased mail delays throughout the holidays.

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.