News & Notes – October 18, 2018

Women in the U.S. Military

Since the United States first declared itself an independent nation, American women have found ways to serve their country despite resistance from men, sometimes going as far as impersonating male soldiers to join the fight at the front lines. Women have long been an important part of the military, with 33,000 women serving in World War II and 7,000 serving in the Vietnam War. Let’s acknowledge the women who have paved the road!

  • Deborah Sampson served in General Washington’s army disguised as a man. When she was wounded in battle, she dug out the musket ball in her thigh rather than seek treatment for fear her sex would be discovered.
  • Harriet Tubman served as an armed scout and spy scout in the Union Army, leading an expedition which liberated 700 enslaved people.
  • Dr. Mary Walker was an abolitionist, prisoner of war, and Civil War surgeon in the Union Army. She’s the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor.
  • Cmdr. Elizabeth Barrett was the first woman to hold a command in a combat zone during the Vietnam War.
  • Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester was the first woman awarded the Silver Star for combat action during the “War on Terror.”
  • Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody was the first woman to achieve four-star officer rank in 2008.
  • Capt. Kristen Griest, Maj. Lisa Jaster and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver were the first female soldiers to graduate from Ranger school in 2015.
  • Delphine Metcalf-Foster was injured serving in a support role during Desert Storm/ Desert Shield. She was elected in 2017 as the first female African American National Commander for the one million members of the Disabled American Veterans of America (DAVA).

In every case, these were historic firsts for women in the armed forces! Today, women make up 18% of the military. This Veterans Day, honor female veterans for their sacrifices, hard work, and for the challenges they’ve faced along the way.

Cares & Concerns

We are all concerned about the devastation that the hurricanes wrought on several states. GFWC has received several requests for information about relief donations, both monetary and in-kind. For the most current information, please contact the State President of the State Federation, or go to the State Federation website. Please keep the members of the states devastated by the hurricanes in your prayers.

Volunteers in Action

GFWC Illinois, GFWC Florida, and the Manchester CT Women’s Club (Connecticut) are featured on GFWC’s Blog.

Have a success story to tell? Email

Coming Up: Advocates for Children Week

Next week is Advocated for Children Week! If you haven’t already planned how you can help children, it’s not too late. GFWC Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children Partners, March of Dimes and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, are perfect resources. Check for events, volunteer opportunities, and fundraising possibilities that will give you a chance to change the life of a child.

Use our Press Release Template to spread the news in your community about how your project or event made a difference in the lives of children!

State President Project: Maryland, Dottie Gregg

Military families are the focus for GFWC Maryland’s President’s Project. Regardless of the status of military personnel, active or veterans, their families are dealing with the effect of their sacrifice of service. Maryland is near airports with USO stations, recruiting stations, and military bases around the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.

This proximity creates many opportunities for Maryland clubwomen to support activities that will help Veterans and alleviate the stress on a family with a service member being deployed. GFWC Maryland recognizes that the cost of war or military service doesn’t end when the troops come home, and instead, is often paid out over years. Many times, an encouraging act of support is so welcomed by those who are either currently serving or have served in the past.

Already, GFWC Maryland clubwomen have participated a Veterans Night out at a ball game (five female Veterans and their families attended), as well as service projects for Angels for the Troops. The speaker at the September Board of Directors meeting was Ms. Susan Cleveland from the USO Headquarters in Arlington, VA. She spoke about the USO’s efforts supporting Veterans and families to bring a sense of normalcy to service members at USO locations around the world.

Visit GFWC on Pinterest for more photos.

Getting Spoofed

You just received an email from GFWC staff, a GFWC sister, or another trusted source asking you to do something strange or unexpected. It might be an urgent request to talk, share private information, or purchase something for them. You’re most likely being baited (“spoofed”) for a response from someone trying to take advantage. Here is an example of a suspicious email you might receive:

The sender uses a signature that implies they are someone they are not, and even addresses you by name. In this example, the email says it is coming from “Mary Ellen Brock (GFWC International),” but the email next to it is not a recognizable email. If you receive a suspicious email, check the email address. The email address might be visible as pictured above, but often you must hover over the sender’s email address to check it. If the email is a different one than what your trusted contact gave you, do not engage with the email.

If your email needs to be posted on your club’s website for customer service reasons, you will need to more closely monitor for email spoofs. While GFWC cannot prevent your email account from receiving these emails, rest assured that your privacy is a priority. GFWC does not broadcast contact information to stay vigilant in the age of the Internet and technology!

Legislative Action Corner

Contact Your Senators Today!

GFWC supports the STOP School Violence Act, a bill that will help schools and communities stop violence before it happens by providing resources focused on early intervention and school safety infrastructure. The bill provides funding for technology and equipment to improve school safety, training of local law enforcement officers and school personnel, crisis intervention teams, and continued coordination with local law enforcement. Visit GFWC’s Legislative Action Center today to urge your Senator to support S2945, The STOP School Violence Act. Students, teachers, and law enforcement officers need our support and we must act NOW!

October 16: Your Site Marked Insecure

The next phase of Google’s stricter standards occurred last Tuesday, October 16. If your club website isn’t in compliance, that will reduce its visibility in Internet searches. It will also give a security warning that will drive away visitors trying to look at your site. Your website is the public face of your club, so make sure it gets seen! For more information, read our Summer Membership Quarterly.

MLK Day of Service Idea

Beautify with Bikes

The Woman’s Club of Madisonville (Kentucky) collected fourteen used bicycles, painted them in vibrant colors, and attached baskets filled with annuals. Bikes had signs that said, “Welcome to Madisonville, Have a Great Ride” and “Provided by the GFWC KY Woman’s Club of Madisonville.” The bikes were placed throughout downtown to bring color to the neighborhood. Newspaper coverage resulted in townspeople donating bicycles and paint, with additional bicycles placed by homeowners and businesses. The project was listed in the GFWC Top 10 Projects.

GFWC Marketplace: Signature Project Pin

This pin is the perfect purchase for Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. With your $10 purchase in the GFWC Marketplace, you can support the GFWC Success for Survivors Scholarship and proudly display your commitment to ending domestic violence at the same time!

Parliamentary Pointers

by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

Previous Question

One of the most misused parliamentary procedures is Previous Question. The use of this procedure is meant to end debate/discussion and bring the assembly to the vote on the question.  However, many members believe they can call out “Question” or “Previous Question” and the vote will start, but that is incorrect.

If a member feels that there has been enough discussion and/or doesn’t want any more amendments to the motion, he/she waits until no one else has the floor, stands, and waits to be recognized by the presiding officer. Once recognized, the member says, “I move the previous question” or “I call the question” or “I demand the previous question.” The motion must be seconded. The motion can be more specific, such as, “I move the previous question on the motion to ____ and the amendment.”

Once the motion is made and seconded, the presiding officer will state the motion and take the vote. The “Previous Question” cannot be debated and cannot be amended. A two-thirds vote in favor of calling the question is necessary. If the vote in favor of moving the previous question does not reach the two-thirds mark, the motion is lost and debate will continue as before.

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