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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Minnie Bell Johnson
Minnie Bell Johnson is described by her fellow clubwomen as the happiest person they know, with a smile that brightens the whole room. Having just celebrated her 100th birthday, she has many reasons to smile. During her time with the Portland Woman’s Club (Oregon), she has served as both the club treasurer and club president. She’s still an active member to this day, voting on issues and club elections, and participating in projects like handing out personal care products to homeless women at the Rose Haven Women and Children’s Day Shelter.
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.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!