News & Notes – September 19, 2019

Support Miranda’s Law H.R. 2793 and S. 178

Last year, a New Jersey student and teacher were killed in a school bus accident. The bus driver’s license had been suspended fourteen times already. Miranda’s Law, named in honor of 10-year old Miranda Vargas who died in the crash that day, will ensure that schools receive those kind of records. Miranda’s Law will provide real-time notifications to schools and bus companies when one of their bus drivers receives a moving violation, allowing them to immediately take that driver off of the road.

Supporting legislation is an important means of making a difference not just in your community but for your country. One of GFWC’s Brand Initiatives is to make 1,000 contacts to Senators and Representatives in support of Miranda’s Law H.R. 2793 and S. 1787. Join GFWC in urging the passage of this bill on Monday, September 23 and make your voice heard until it passes. GFWC’s collective support will speak volumes about how critical this legislation is to make parents feel safer about who’s behind the wheel of school buses.

Encourage your friends, family, and community members to contact their Senators and Representatives, signing your correspondence in red and mentioning GFWC. Let’s get this legislation passed! Visit the Legislative Action Center to find your elected officials.

Plan for Advocates for Children Week
Join clubwomen around the world to celebrate GFWC Advocates for Children Week from October 20–26, 2019. By planning early, your club’s project can make an even larger difference in the lives of children. Here are just a few rewarding ideas that could be a huge success if you start organizing your club’s project now:

  • Host a screening of the impactful video “Not My Kid” at your next club meeting to help parents and grandparents watch for the signs of a teen in crisis.
  • Collect toiletry items such as lotion, toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, and create care packages for moms with babies in a neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Sponsor a Body Confidence Seminar for girls to help our younger generation look beyond appearance and increase self-esteem. Find resources here.

Still undecided? Read the Juniors’ Special Program section of the Club Manual for a wealth of ideas for how you can make a difference in a child’s life. Send your success stories to Volunteers in Action by emailing

September 29 is Gold Star Mother’s Day
On June 23, 1936, the 74th Congress of the United States declared that every last Sunday in September will be designated to honor our Nation’s Gold Star Mothers. However, the history of the day stretches nearly twenty years prior to the families who suffered losses at the end of WWI. At the suggestion of the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defenses, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that American women should wear a black band on their left arm with a gold star for each family member lost during the war. Ten years later, in June of 1928, 25 mothers officially began the organization that would become Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

An ocean often divided families from their deceased sons, as was the case of the founder of the American Gold Star Mother, Inc. organization, Grace Darling Seibold. While waiting confirmation of her son’s death, she visited the veteran’s affairs hospital almost daily and made herself useful in the process. Afterward, she continued to visit the hospital and formed the organization that unites gold star mothers still today.

Gold Star Mother’s Day is proclaimed annually by each president. In 2011, President Barack Obama amended the day to “Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.” As President Obama said in his September 23, 2011 presidential address: “Gold Star mothers and families know the immeasurable cost of fighting for the ideals we believe in, and they know the pride that comes with exemplary service to America.”

This Sunday is a prime opportunity for your club to honor Gold Star Mothers & Families. If you organize a related service project, please share your story with to be considered for the GFWC Blog.

Cares & Concerns
Our thoughts are with Legislation/Public Policy Committee Member Karen Kaler, whose husband has passed away. Cards may be sent to Karen at: 13036 Falcons Way Savage, MN 55378.

Volunteers in Action
The GFWC Northwest Suburban Woman’s Club (Illinois), Oregon City Woman’s Club (Oregon), and GFWC High Springs New Century Woman’s Club (Florida) are featured on the GFWC Blog.

Last Chance to Join GFWC’s Ireland Adventure
Join GFWC International President Mary Ellen Brock and your fellow clubwomen for an eight-day adventure in Ireland! With trips to the coastal landscape and an evening of canapes and cocktails in the Christ Church Cathedral crypt, you’ll take in the best that the Emerald Island has to offer.

Reservations must be made by September 23, so book now!

Staff Announcements
GFWC is pleased to announce that Nora Hoffman-White has joined the staff as Membership Services Coordinator. Join us in welcoming Nora to GFWC!

GFWC is announcing the departure of Communications and Public Relations Coordinator Sarah Fannon. We wish her all the best in her new position!

Johns Hopkins Health Fair

For all GFWC clubwomen in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area, join Johns Hopkins for their free health fair open to the whole family on September 28 from 10:00a.m. to 1:00p.m at the Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center: Greenspring Station in Pavilion III. Take advantage of health screenings, demonstrations, seminars, music, and food!

State President’s Project: Alaska, Susan Jensen
The theme of the Alaska State President Project is: Writing Our History Through Volunteer Service and My Symbol Is a Quill and Pen. This project suits Alaska well, a big state (the size of Texas, California, and Montana combined) with a small population. This information gives important context for an inspiring story from a tiny club perched on the Gulf of Alaska.

GFWC Haines Woman’s Club has only seven members. They live in a coastal village of 2,500 people. There is no air service; it can be reached by ferry from Juneau. To get there by road from Anchorage, you have to travel 850 miles and pass through Canada. It is “remote.” When the ladies learned that a high school student had three of her fingers cut off in woodshop class, they took on a fundraising project to replace one of the two 40+ year-old table saws at the school.

Their goal was $5,000. The fundraiser kicked off in March 2018 and included collection cans, a Go-Fund-Me page, and a cookie sale. Their annual July 4 pie sale netted more than $2,500, with the sale of 70 homemade pies and 155 root-beer floats. The whole community got involved: people helped make pies; the local grocery store donated ice cream; and the local brewery donated root beer. By August, they reached their goal of $5,000 but still needed to get the heavy table saw to Haines. Alaska Marine Lines provided free shipping from Seattle of the 1,100-pound box. And, the ladies didn’t stop there. They had their usual fundraising efforts that helped fund $2,000 in scholarships.

Parliamentary Pointers
by GFWC Parliamentarian Deen J. Meloro

While the information about a “quorum” has previously appeared in News & Notes, some reminders may be worthwhile.

  • A quorum is the number of members who must be present for business to be conducted, which should appear in the bylaws. A board meeting should have its own quorum.
  • The purpose of a quorum is to ensure that a small group of members does not conduct business while most of the members are not involved.
  • The quorum should be expressed as a numeral, not a percentage. The number of members that usually attend a meeting should be determined. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised: “The quorum should be as large as the number of members as can reasonably be expected on to be present at any meeting, except in very bad weather or other exceptionally unfavorable conditions.”
  • If you have a membership of 70, but usually only have 25–30 members at a meeting, your quorum should be no more than 25.
  • If you do not state a quorum in your bylaws, the quorum is a majority of all the members. In the example above, a majority of 70 would be 36. Since only 25–30 members can be counted on to attend a meeting, a quorum of 36 would prevent business being conducted at almost any meeting.
  • It is the president’s responsibility to determine whether or not a quorum is present before starting a meeting, but she can ask someone else to do this for her.
  • In the absence of a quorum, any business transacted is null and void. The only business that may be conducted is to adjourn or to recess (to try to get enough members at the meeting). The rules of needing a quorum are absolute and cannot be waived even by unanimous consent.

GFWC Marketplace: Folders

Stay organized this club year with GFWC folders! Available in red or navy blue, these $2 folders will make it easy to keep track of club materials. Get a few today in the GFWC Marketplace.