November 5, 2020
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Organize Projects to Honor Our Veterans
By Nancy Greenberg, GFWC Civic Engagement and Outreach Community Service Program Chairman
Veterans Day is next week! Has your club organized a project to honor all of the men and women who have served our country?
After returning home from deployments, soldiers and their families may continue to need our support. Here are ways to work with your state Veterans Administration to support veterans during the pandemic:
- Purchase gift cards for a supermarket, restaurant, or treat such as Dunkin’.
- Create “family fun night” baskets filled with games, puzzles, playing cards, DVDs, and snacks.
- Purchase gift cards to a spa for a relaxing day.
- Organize a baby shower, either in-person or remote. Diapers, wipes, and baby board books are perfect.
- Collect current best-selling books that may help veterans who are isolated in group residences or VA hospitals.
- Write notes of acknowledgement and thanks to bring to VA clinics. A “Thank you for your service!” note is always appreciated.
Last but not least, your club can participate in Wreaths Across America. Purchase Christmas wreaths to place on the headstones of veterans’ graves, either at state or local cemeteries. Alternatively, your club could donate to the national organization to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery. National Wreaths Across America Day will be observed on December 19, 2020. Adding small flags to your wreaths or placing flags next to veterans’ headstones would make an additional moving tribute. Let us make sure veterans know they are in our hearts.
For additional Civic Engagement and Outreach Program ideas, download the Club Manual—exclusively available in the Member Portal’s Digital Library. The “Club Manual” folder can be found under “C” Resources. To submit a project success story for the GFWC Blog, send your write up and action-packed photos to PR@GFWC.org.
Holiday Sale: GFWC Marketplace Special Discounts
Now that it’s November, it’s holiday shopping time! Check out the special holiday discounts in the GFWC Marketplace and get some shopping done early. You can find many t-shirts at 50%-75% off and books for just $5!
Look back fondly at past GFWC Annual Conventions with t-shirts from St. Louis and Palm Springs, celebrate the success of the Seven Grand Initiatives with a commemorative t-shirt and keychain, or curl up with a good book. All are available at deep discounts now!
There have been reports of significant mail service delays in many communities throughout the United States. GFWC staff is processing Marketplace orders as quickly as possible, but Headquarters is still operating with limited staff onsite daily. For details on mail service in your area, visit the USPS Service Alerts page.
Cares & Concerns
It is with sadness that GFWC announces that Dave T. Arnold, Sr., GFWC Boosters Past President, has passed away from COVID-19. Condolences can be sent to his wife Mary Ann at 7321 South Q Street Fort Smith, AR 72903.
Cathy Southwick, NJSFWC of GFWC Past State President, 1996-1998, passed away on October 24. During her tenure, state members enthusiastically embraced her Special Project in support of NJ Domestic Violence Shelters. Cards of condolence can be sent to her son John Southwick, 49 Claypoole Avenue, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
Volunteers in Action
What a successful Advocates for Children Week we had! This week’s GFWC Blog features just a sampling of the great work that clubwomen have done recently to stick their necks out for children. Read about the successful projects of GFWC Texas Alamo District, GFWC Paradise Valley Junior Woman’s Club (Arizona), Junior Women’s Club of Lake Murray (South Carolina), McAlester Fortnightly Club (Oklahoma), GFWC Rhinelander Woman’s Club (Wisconsin), San Diego Woman’s Club (California), and GFWC Ossoli Circle (Tennessee).
Have a Domestic Violence Awareness Month success story to tell? We want to continue breaking the silence about domestic violence by sharing your inspiring project write-ups and action packed photos. Email PR@GFWC.org to be considered for GFWC’s Blog.
Support March of Dimes for Prematurity Awareness Month
November is Prematurity Awareness Month! This month is an opportunity to reflect on the nearly 400,000 babies born preterm each year in the United States and what we can do to prevent it. Request your official toolkit from March of Dimes to help raise awareness about premature births throughout the month.
March of Dimes also has an exclusive online military community dedicated to supporting the needs of military moms-to-be with health information and a support network. Being an expecting military mother can be both a joyful and stressful experience. High levels of stress may contribute to premature birth or low birth weight in full-term babies. March of Dimes created a baby shower program, Mission: Healthy Baby®, specifically for military families. The program provides free pregnancy and newborn health information and free baby items.
Get involved with March of Dimes this month! Your club can make a difference in the lives of moms and babies, whether you put knitting skills to good use or organize a Beyond the Mission: Healthy Baby Shower.
New Products to Support the Success for Survivors Scholarship Fund
The Starfish Project teaches women escaping human trafficking and exploitation to make jewelry and apparel to provide them with holistic support to start a new life. Just in time for the holidays, they have launched a new necklace product line. Starfish Project’s Gifts of Hope necklaces make a great holiday gift for that Federation sister, family member, or friend who values key virtues such as hope, peace, and justice.
Twenty-five percent of the sales generated through GFWC’s dedicated link will directly support GFWC’s Success for Survivors Scholarship. This endorsed fundraiser will continue through June 28, 2022, helping survivors of intimate partner violence overcome financial challenges and invest in a brighter future.
Give the gift of hope this holiday season. Order your Starfish Project necklace today through this link (which is also on the Starfish Project GFWC web page)!
Thankful for Lifelong Learning
As Thanksgiving season begins, let’s be thankful for our GFWC membership! Initially, GFWC’s pilgrimage may have begun as a starting point for clubwomen to meet new friends and serve others. As the journey has continued, clubwomen have walked further down the path of lifelong learning and personal development.
Where has your journey with GFWC taken you? What do you know now that you did not know before GFWC?
During this time of reflection, consider the ways that you have grown and how GFWC resources have enriched this process: ESO, News & Notes, the Legislative Action Center, etc. Pay it forward; share what you know with your club members. Lifelong learning through leadership development and friendships are a gift.
By encouraging others to be lifelong learners, our membership will become stronger. Share your thoughts on the Membership Committee’s Facebook theme this month.
Time Running Out: Quilt Raffle Tickets
Purchase raffle tickets by November 30 for your chance to win the beautiful red maple leaf quilt crafted by New Hampshire clubwoman Anne Engelhardt. The winner will be drawn during the remote GFWC Holiday Open House observance on December 9. Tickets are three for $10 or 10 for $25. Order your tickets and get excited for the 2021 GFWC Annual Convention in Toronto where there are plenty of red maple trees to admire.
State President’s Project: Teresa Sanford-Shipplett, Illinois
“We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
–Native American proverb
The Earth is the only home we have. It is our obligation to protect the planet from air and water pollution, deforestation, and other concerns.
For this Administration, GFWC Illinois will focus on encouraging daily lifestyle changes and implementing service projects that teach communities how the environment is affected by their actions. The theme is Bees, Trees, and Seas:
- Bees and all pollinators are important for our existence. Every third bite of food can be linked to the bees. The Feed the Bee project encourages working with schools and communities to plant or revitalize pollinator gardens.
- Trees keep the environment cool, absorb carbon dioxide, provide food, and give us oxygen to breathe. The Plant More Trees program strives to have more trees in the ground to improve sanitation, absorb run off, and provide shade and wind-shelter.
- Seas are an integral part of the water cycle. Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink! Illinois’ fresh water is limited, and clubwomen will strive to protect the water supply by keeping it clean. Cleaning up waterways and protecting water through legislation is a focus to maintain today and in the future.