Volunteers in Action: GFWC California’s Southern District; Olympia Woman’s Club; Farmingdale Women’s Club
May 6, 2019
Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month for the past nineteen years. The campaign was originally prompted by a ruling of the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the survivor was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the survivor. Peace Over Violence developed the Denim Day campaign in response to this case and the activism surrounding it. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against inaccurate and destructive attitudes about sexual assault. This year’s Denim Day was April 24, 2019, also Federation Day, and the executive board of GFWC California’s Southern District showed their support by wearing jeans.
In January, Olympia Woman’s Club president Linda Wolfe, vice-president Sandra Groves, and member Pat Keith met with Senator Sam Hunt to review procedures and processes for potential funds from the Washington State Legislature for the Abigail Stuart House. The upkeep and maintenance of the house is a considerable cost to the club, and they’ve been searching for assistance. At the prompting of Senator Hunt, The Woman’s Club of Olympia prepared an application to their Washington State Legislature House and Senate representatives, Senator Hunt and Representative Beth Doglio, to apply for an appropriation of funds from the Capital Budget for upgrades and maintenance of the historic Abigail Stuart House by making it more ADA accessible, upgrading the electrical wiring system, installing a new roof, refinishing floors, painting, and overall maintaining of the House. The application made it through the offices to be included as an application to the Financial Committee. Since March 1, the club periodically checked in with Hunt and Doglio’s offices to review the progress of their application. The final vote on the Washington State Operating and Capital Budgets was held just moments before the close of the legislative session and both budgets passed with revisions. One revision that was not removed was the Abigail Stuart House and the final Capital Budget awarded an appropriation in the amount of $250,000. The Woman’s Club of Olympia is thrilled with this outcome and will be setting up a committee to set priorities for the use of the funds within the guidelines of the application.
To show support for the GFWC-New York President’s Project, the Farmingdale Women’s Club held their Pinwheel Prevention Event in April and donated $150 to child abuse shelters for Lond Island children. In the fountain there are memory and tribute boards and Tina Diamond added the Floral Park Juniors to it.
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An eight-year Air Force veteran, Penny has been a GFWC member since 2008, and is currently serving as the club president of GFWC Helena Woman’s Club (Montana).
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!