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Volunteers in Action: GFWC Appalachian Leading Ladies Junior Woman’s Club (Virginia), GFWC Newington/Wethersfield Women’s Club (Connecticut),and GFWC Waurika Sorosis Club,

May 19, 2020

The GFWC Appalachian Leading Ladies Junior Woman’s Club (Virginia) was officially federated in February at GFWC Virginia’s Mid-Winter Executive Board Meeting. Just ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced all clubs into quarantine, GFWC Appalachian Leading Ladies Junior Woman’s Club was unable to get started the way they envisioned. Instead, the club utilized group messages and video chatting on Facebook Messenger to adopt a mask-making project. Members donated supplies, monetary donations via PayPal, got started sewing, and distributed masks to those in need throughout the community at no charge.

GFWC Newington/Wethersfield Women’s Club (Connecticut) distributed nearly 300 free masks to community hospitals, clinics, first responders, pharmacies, police, correctional officers, those with health complications, and more. GFWC Appalachian Leading Ladies Junior Woman’s Club has donated 646 masks, 79 bands, and 8 hospital gowns. Masks were donated to Newington Rapid Recovery, Prudence Crandell, Newington Town Hall, and Senior & Disabled Center. They were also donated to co-workers, friends, and family. They have spent 387 hours making these items and donated over $700 in in-kind donations.

Clubs across Oklahoma had to be creative with celebrations as club years ended with sheltering-in-place and social distancing. GFWC Waurika Sorosis Club has sponsored a Tea for graduating seniors for more than 25 years. This year, club members had to be creative in honoring the class of 2020 graduates. On May 6, club members delivered each Waurika High School graduating senior yard signs, pizza, a rose, a gift from the club, and balloons. Club members drove separate cars and were careful to socially distance as the deliveries were made.

The group also gives each Kindergarten graduate a copy of “Oh the Places You Will Go,” a favorite by Dr. Seuss. This year, the books were distributed by school superintendent, Cody Simmons, as the students had their graduation in individual family groups with no more than two family members present. The kindergarten book program was started in 2011.

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Despite the restrictions of COVID-19, the GFWC Woman’s Club of Linthicum Heights (Maryland) members have also been working behind the scenes sewing cloth face masks. As of mid-May, members donated 494 masks. University of Maryland Medical Center has received 378 for staff to wear in non-patient areas to save their medical-grade masks. The club gave St. John Lutheran Church 25 masks to include in treat bags delivered to senior members of their congregation. The remaining 91 were distributed to family and friends in the community.

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