September 30, 2021
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Organize Your Advocates for Children Project
By Carrie Zimmerman, Juniors’ Special Program Chairman
It’s that time of year again for us to be thinking about projects and how we can advocate for children! We would love to see many more projects turned in this year for our “Stick Your Neck Out” Challenge that is held during Advocates for Children Week, October 24-30, 2021.
Our many GFWC Junior and Woman’s Clubs showed their dedication to children by supporting many programs in their community even though limitations were in place. Some of the different programs included:
- Providing safe Halloween candy trails
- Creating online Halloween costume contests
- Donating art supplies to children’s hospitals
- Giving books to schools that focus on impacts of domestic violence
- Offering online giraffe scavenger hunts, by collaborating with businesses
- Supporting CASA (court-appointed guardians for children)
- Distributing treat bags to children in domestic violence or homeless shelters
- Donating to school arts programs
The application for the “Stick Your Neck Out” award can be found in the Juniors’ Special Program section of Club Manual in the Member Portal Digital Library in the “C” Resources folder and the “Special Programs and CSPs” subfolder. These applications can be sent directly from your club to me, Carrie Zimmerman. We look forward to your entries!
Register Now: 2021 GFWC Holiday Open House
Celebrate the giving season this year by attending the 2021 GFWC Holiday Open House hosted by GFWC International President Marian St.Clair on December 8. Register to attend one of 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. During each reception, attendees will be welcomed into the historic GFWC Headquarters at 1734 N St. NW, Washington D.C., to experience a bit of holiday magic and this year’s theme, Good Tidings of Comfort and Joy.
Attendance will be limited at the receptions to allow for safe social distancing, and registration will close at 12:00 noon ET on December 1. Register today through the GFWC Member Portal.
Volunteers in Action
This week’s GFWC Blog features GFWC Woman’s League of the Lowcountry (South Carolina) and GFWC Woman’s Club of Laurel, Inc. (Maryland). Check out these stories of how clubwomen hosted a month-long fundraiser to support a facility that provides services to minor survivors of sex trafficking and collected trash along roadways to help keep their community clean.
Have a success story to tell? Email PR@GFWC.org to have you club project considered for the GFWC Blog.
Don’t Forget to Renew Your Club’s Directors & Officers Liability Insurance
November 1 is the deadline to renew your club’s D&O Liability Insurance for this club year. Some clubs still are not meeting as often or only remotely online, so members may not be focused on club financials. If your club has substantial assets, D&O Liability Insurance is important to protect your club’s finances.
GFWC is pleased to offer three types of club insurance plans through our insurance partner, AHT Insurance:
- Directors & Officers Liability Insurance, intended to cover a variety of claims that allege a wrongful act attributable to the management or governance of an organization.
- General Liability Insurance, which provides protection in the event of bodily injury or property damage to a third party due to your alleged negligence. The renewal deadline for most GFWC clubs is February 1.
- Event Insurance, which allows clubs to insure a single event.
General Liability Insurance premiums start at $375 annually, but may vary based on the number of club members and other special considerations. Directors & Officers Liability Insurance premiums are $463.50 annually for all GFWC clubs. Event Insurance varies according to the scale of the event being insured.
For additional information about AHT Insurance plans, contact Assistant Account Manager Carol Rohde at email@example.com or 703-737-2248.
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; some exclusions apply. Take advantage of this great deal before it’s gone!
Visit Officediscounts.org/GFWC to shop online through their Office Depot Savings Program.
Operation Smile Provides Critical Nutrition to Children in Need
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists and the Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads, it’s estimated that 270 million people will grapple with life-threatening food shortages in 2021, according to the United Nations’ World Food Program.
Many of the people living on the brink of famine are those in several of the countries that GFWC Affiliate Organization Operation Smile serves. This includes the La Guajira region of Colombia, one of the country’s most impoverished areas.
With resources already stretched by the mass displacement of Venezuelans due to socio-political crises that have lasted for years, La Guajira, which borders Venezuela, has also been hard hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Nonetheless, the Operation Smile Colombia team has been hard at work monitoring the needs of patients and their families.
After learning about the high number of children who were either malnourished or undernourished in this region, Operation Smile decided to turn to a previously proven solution: ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). This peanut paste provides crucial nutrition that helps children grow healthy enough to undergo cleft lip and cleft palate surgery.
Once the Operation Smile team decided on RUTF as a viable way to help their patients, what followed was a tireless effort to provide children and families in Columbia with this lifeline. Read the complete story about this nonprofit’s historic shipment of RUTF from the U.S. to Columbia in their Stories You Make Possible 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 GFWC Operation Smile team
It is customary for Congress to face a challenging 4th quarter, but this year has been especially difficult. Although the Democratic Party controls the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, the margins are so thin that crafting comprehensive legislation with bipartisan support seems impossible. The end of the fiscal year, September 30, is looming and a Continuing Resolution needs to be approved or the federal government will shut down. Many communities are suffering from natural disasters of wildfires and floods, and supplemental funding for FEMA has been proposed. Afghanistan refugees resettled to the United States are being assisted, but those organizations need resources. And the debt ceiling will be hit by mid-October, so Congress must suspend or raise the debt ceiling to avoid default on our loans and crash the world economy. While Congressional leaders and the White House are working to resolve these critical issues, the members are moving forward to consider other important legislation.
Advocates for Children
While the American Rescue Plan Act enacted March 2021, provided significant COVID-19 emergency funding increases for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention program, essential unemployment benefits, rent and utility assistance, and expansion of the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child over 6 and to $3,600 for children under age 6, it is important to reauthorize the programs to make improvements and stabilize future funds. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 485, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) reauthorization, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has reported out S. 1927, making the bill ready for floor action. While the majority of federal funds for child abuse and neglect support foster care services, which intervene well after a problem has occurred, CAPTA also supports front-end prevention and intervention services.
There is a major effort to make the Child Tax Credit permanent, since it expires December 2021. GFWC attended a recent webinar hosted by the White House Gender Policy Council for organizations assisting families to secure the Child Tax Credit. Stakeholder advocacy discussion with the IRS focused on the difficulties that families living in a domestic violence shelter are having securing these critical funds due to lack of address, confidentiality, and joint filing of past tax returns of the now separated families. This discussion just pressed the need to make the program permanent and to revise IRS administration to assist vulnerable families.
Additional legislative initiatives to support families include a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, increasing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to offset child care costs, expanding access to free school meals nationwide, and lowering premiums for health insurance coverage. The proposed paid family and medical leave program would ensure workers receive assistance to take time to bond with a new child, care for a seriously-ill loved one, deal with a loved one’s military deployment, heal from their own serious illness, or find safety from sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence.
State President’s Project: Linda Kuwana, Utah
GFWC Utah State President Linda Kuwana has chosen the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City, Utah, as her special project. The original 20-bed hospital opened in 1925. Now, the Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital for Children specializes in pediatric orthopedic care. Linda wanted to focus on a project that serves not only Utah children, but any child who needs the care that Shriners offers. There are several GFWC sisters who have family members who have benefitted from the Shriners Hospital for Children.
Due to the generous donations of GFWC Utah members last year, clubwomen presented a check to the hospital totaling more than $3,000. This year’s funds will be raised during a silent auction, which will include a handmade quilt made by GFWC member Tonya Woodruff and other items, as well as sales of donated items at the State Convention meeting.
Linda hopes to tour the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City in the spring during her State Convention, giving the ladies a firsthand look at where their donations are being used. She is so thankful for such a magnificent facility that offers outstanding care free of charge to the families of patients. It’s comforting to know there are hospitals with a mission to do all they can for children–our legacy.
GFWC Marketplace: GFWC Portable Phone Charger
Never be without extra battery life with the GFWC portable phone charger. Whether you’re out at a volunteer project, traveling to a convention, or just going about your day, this charger is perfect to take along. It is small enough to fit in your pocket or purse, but sleek enough that you will want to show it off. Featuring the full name of GFWC, as well as a modified emblem, this Federation Blue phone charger only needs your cord to charge up any device. 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.