September 23, 2021
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By Marian St.Clair, International President
I’m continually inspired by the clubs and projects highlighted on the GFWC Blog. Even during the summer months, when many clubs have suspended regular meetings, clubwomen stay engaged with their communities and continue their efforts to make life happier, healthier, and more fulfilling for others.
This month’s “President’s Pick” distinguishes a club that shows how resourceful and resilient GFWC clubwomen truly are. Nine years ago, the Collinsville Woman’s Club (Illinois) established an event to support the Collinsville Food Pantry. Due to the pandemic, however, the club was unable to hold their annual fundraiser, the “Empty Bowl,” which provides patrons with an opportunity to make a small contribution to sample a variety of soups donated by local restaurants.
Refusing to be stymied, the club regrouped and came up with an alternate plan. In April, the club partnered with Denny’s for an “Every Bite Counts” night, receiving 20% of the proceeds for each guest who presented the club’s advertising flier, and they also held a local donation drive by reaching out to local businesses and individuals through a letter campaign for monetary support of the pantry. Then, in June, the clubwomen held a summer garage sale and later that month presented a check for $10,153.35 to the Collinsville Food Pantry. What an incredible result!
The club’s Facebook page notes that the club “is open to all ages and promotes fellowship, develops talent, and stimulates learning among members.” Hmmm…perhaps they should add “encourages creative thinking” to their list.
Congratulations to the Collinsville Woman’s Club for their tenacity, ingenuity, and a job well done!
Register for Shot@Life’s first Mobilize to Immunize Conference
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to support GFWC Affiliate Organization Shot@Life by attending their upcoming remote Mobilize to Immunize Conference! Registering for the conference will give you access to content and various live remote events taking place from Sunday, October 3, through Thursday, October 7. During the week, you will learn how to be an effective advocate for lifesaving vaccines prior to the kickoff of the nonprofit’s Mobilize to Immunize campaign. Shot@Life advocates across the country will rally together for six weeks to raise awareness in their communities for World Polio Day, World Pneumonia Day, and global vaccine programs in the U.S. budget.
Programming for the conference will include how to connect with other advocates around the country, information from global health experts, hands-on workshops, and more. You do not need to be a Shot@Life Champion to register for this event; everyone who cares about global childhood immunization is welcome to join! A more detailed schedule and links will be sent to attendees after registration closes.
In addition to the Mobilize to Immunize Conference, you can also join Shot@Life for a night of laughter fundraiser featuring Whose Line Is It Anyway actor and comedian Wayne Brady on Friday, November 5. All proceeds during Shot@Life’s first online fundraising event will go toward advocating for vaccines for children around the world.
Cares & Concerns
GFWC Fundraising Chairman Sandy Phillips suffered a recent fall that resulted in surgery for a broken arm and other care at the University of Iowa Hospital. Good wishes for recovery can be sent to Sandy at her home address: 3012 Tiperary Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.
Volunteers in Action
This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC Illinois and GFWC Women’s Club of Holden Beach (North Carolina). Read how clubwomen donated more than $12,000 worth of baby items to a veteran’s hospital, and how members worked with a local wildlife shelter to rescue wild birds.
Have a success story to tell? Email PR@GFWC.org to have you club project considered for the GFWC Blog.
One Week Away: Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October 1 is next Friday! If you haven’t already, start planning your club’s service project for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There are many easy-to-do projects that can raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence in your community, such as displaying purple-painted pumpkins in front of each club member’s house. Together, we can help prevent domestic and sexual violence. And sharing your project success stories with PR@GFWC.org is one way to help promote awareness.
GFWC Headquarters Update
Please join us in welcoming Sayde Harb as GFWC’s new Finance Manager. Sayde comes to us with extensive experience in international corporate finance, and she is very excited to make the transition to nonprofits. Sayde’s email is SHarb@GFWC.org.
Operation Smile Shares Inspirational Patient Stories
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, GFWC Affiliate Organization Operation Smile has continued to uphold its promise of improving health and dignity by providing surgery and in-person care while taking stringent measures to keep families safe. Many of Operation Smile’s inspiring patient stories are available on their Stories You Make Possible blog.
One of these stories is that of Heydi, who received cleft surgery in Bolivia. Heydi’s mother and grandparents worked hard to overcome many obstacles to get her the care she needed to repair her cleft lip and live a happy life without the fear or stigma that is often associated with having a cleft condition. Learn more about Heydi and her family in Operation Smile’s blog.
Operation Smile works with patients around the world to ensure that they have access to safe surgeries for cleft lip and cleft palate. For additional information, reach out to the Operation Smile team at GFWC@operationsmile.org.
Office Depot Savings Program
Restock your office supplies by taking advantage of GFWC member savings with $15, $25, and $50 off coupons from Office Depot to ease expenses throughout the last few months of the year. The coupons will be valid through October 4. Take advantage of this great deal before it’s gone!
Visit Officediscounts.org/GFWC to shop online through their Office Depot Savings Program.
Join UNICEF for Remote Global Forum for Children and Youth
Save the date to join GFWC Affiliate Organization UNICEF USA for their inaugural Global Forum for Children and Youth this December. This remote event will be held from December 7-9, and will gather leaders from the United Nations, government, business, philanthropy, and civil society to meet alongside authors, artists, and others to focus the world’s attention on the urgent needs of children and young people, commit to advancing child rights, and mobilize resources required to turn vision into reality. This opportunity to collaborate will offer various interactive workshops, networking opportunities, and meetings. The Global Forum for Children and Youth is also a chance to recognize UNICEF USA’s 75th anniversary of being dedicated to serving and protecting children.
The years 2020 and 2021 have presented enormous challenges around the world, but UNICEF USA is encouraging anyone with a stake in the future of childhood to join them at this critical moment in history to work together to make progress toward advancing child rights goals, recommit to the promise the world made to children and young people 75 years ago, encourage others to join in that promise, and more. Additional information about participating in this remote event to support children around the world will be shared as it becomes available.
State President’s Project: Kimberly Meyer, Indiana
GFWC Indiana State President Kimberly Meyer’s theme is Color Our World with Kindness. Kimberly believes that, individually and collectively, people have the ability to bring color and kindness into the lives of those around them. What people do affects others, both in word and deed. Indiana clubwomen have a rich history of demonstrating care and kindness to their communities and the world beyond them. Collections and donations to local libraries, food pantries, local shelters, animal shelters, and a local furniture bank; the assembly and donation of Easter baskets and Halloween goodies for local children and long-term care residents; and the making and distribution of fabric masks for local residents are all examples of how Indiana clubs have been able to show their love of community. There were different projects for many different groups of people–and many colors of kindness. The only shortcoming Indiana clubs have is that they forget to tell others about the kindness they show to others.
During this Administration, clubs are encouraged to continue their acts of kindness and create new ones, as well. While this has been more difficult the past 18 months, clubs continue to do projects in their communities. The GFWC Indiana Kindness Recognition monetary award will be presented annually to a club that goes the extra mile to bring kindness to their community, making a difference to a group of people, large or small, young or old, local or far away. Clubs are asked to be creative in their expression of kindness in their community or beyond. While the monetary award is small, the impact is huge. It will be exciting to share with all members how other clubs are Coloring Our World with Kindness.
GFWC Marketplace: Hanger Pin with Grosgrain Ribbon
Display all your GFWC pins with the perfect matching hanger pin with the GFWC emblem on gold plating. The hanger pin includes a safety pin back, and grosgrain ribbon for you to add any pins to your collection. It measures 2.25 inches wide by 6.5 inches long. Order yours today.
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.