Civic Engagement and Outreach Community Service Program
Little Food Pantry
The Little Food Pantry project began with the acquisition of one Little Food Pantry by a Meadowlarks of Cheyenne (WY) club member. This was refurbished and set in place inside an AmVets Post. Club and AmVets members worked to fill it with non-perishable food and hygiene items. Clubwomen also manned another Little Food Pantry outside a local church, working in coordination with church members to keep the food inside the church and replenish when needed with a scheduled rotation.
Summer Sack Lunch Ministry
The Sorosis Club (OK) partnered with Methodist Women’s Lunch Ministries to help with their Summer Sack Lunch Ministry. Beginning in May and ending in August 2020, sack lunches were furnished for children and older adults. Club members volunteered time to make and deliver lunches. Sixty-five children were fed each day and approximately 1,887 meals were served over the summer.
The Salem Woman’s Service Club’s (OR) program, Saidie’s Cupboard, partners with local public health nurses and a teen parent program to create “family bags” of basic household items and “infant bags” for basic newborn needs such as clothing, blankets, diapers, toys, and books. The club supplies the bags whenever requested by the agencies, who then distribute them to needy families. Within the past year, 88 family bags, 15 infant bags, and 1,982 diapers were donated.
Teens in Transition
The Dover Area Woman’s Club (NH) supports the Teens in Transition Program by distributing donated items throughout the year. This program is for students who are homeless and spend their nights on the street, in a car, or moving from one friend’s house to another. Members collected and donated clothing, food, snacks, and personal care items to the Teen Closet at the local high school.
Purses for Homeless Women Veterans
The Woman’s Club of Hartland (WI) collected gently used purses and purchased toiletries to donate to Women’s Veterans Initiative, a part of Milwaukee Homeless Veterans. The club filled 100 purses with toiletries.
Ladies of Liberty
The Mary Stewart Woman’s Club (NC) members donated various items to deployed female service members through Ladies of Liberty, part of the Soldiers’ Angels organization that provides care packages to women serving overseas. Members donated snacks, medicines, personal health and hygiene items, and filled USPS military boxes to ship overseas. The first shipment was so popular, club members decided to repeat the project. Twenty-nine female service members were served by the second shipment.
Military Tree of Honor
A “Military Tree of Honor” was created by the GFWC Sylvania Junior Woman’s Club (GA) in partnership with the public library. A white tree was erected with an American flag topper, red and blue ornaments, an Americana tree skirt, and combat boots that were worn in Afghanistan around the base. One hundred photos of living, deceased, active, or retired service members were submitted. Photos were scanned onto cardstock and labelled with the service member’s name, rank, and branch.
Wreaths Across America
GFWC Lanier Club (MS), along with the city of Okolona and Carnegie Library, supported Wreaths Across America. Two hundred and eighty-five wreaths were sold in honor of or in memory of a veteran. Prior to the ceremony, flags were placed on each of the veterans’ graves. A ceremony was held on National Wreaths Across America Day in December at Okolona Cemetery with patriotic music playing. The names of all veterans were printed in the local newspaper for 11 weeks.
Civic Safety and Racism
The Franklin Woman’s Club (NJ) sponsored a program, “Civic Safety and Racism,” inviting the town’s director of public safety to speak on the timely topic. The director, who is also the first African-American and first woman to lead the local public safety department, spoke on community policing initiatives. To continue to broaden their awareness, some members attended workshops on systemic racism offered by Rutgers University.
The Right to Vote
The right to vote was celebrated by the Woman’s Club of Westminster, Inc. (MD) in a variety of ways. A member researched and presented a paper at a club meeting that highlighted the five main arguments used in opposition to suffrage. The motivation of those opposed was explored, as were the rebuttal arguments. Members wore period costumes and yellow roses. Another member wrote a play highlighting women’s suffrage events in Tennessee, read by club members.
Cherie Lee Williams
Cherie Lee Williams is a vibrant leader who has found GFWC to be a wonderful outlet for her love of community service and her can-do attitude. As both the President of the Mesquite Club (Nevada) for 2016-2017, as well as a 2016 LEADS candidate, she quickly learned the value of making connections in order to bring positive change to the world.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
Junior Woman's Club of State College
When Robbin Zirkle moved back to the area after grad school, she addressed the challenge many people face as adults—making new friends— by joining the Junior Woman’s Club of State College (Pennsylvania). GFWC provided her a place to connect with like-minded women who shared her passion for community service.