Volunteers in Action: GFWC Greater West Palm Beach Women’s Club and GFWC North Central Junior Alumnae Club
October 19, 2021
GFWC Greater West Palm Beach Women’s Club
The GFWC Greater West Palm Beach Women’s Club (Florida) donated 51 purses to Harmony House, a local domestic violence shelter, as part of their “Purses with a Purpose” project during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The 28-member club also donated six wallets to the shelter. Harmony House provides emergency shelter for survivors and their children, including a 24-hour hotline, basic needs, counseling, advocacy, economic empowerment, children’s services, case management, and more.
The club’s Public Relations Chairman Linda Ferris said the club has done the “Purses with a Purpose” project in the past, but this year’s donation was a new record.
“When a woman leaves an abusive relationship at home, she may not take a purse, this way she has one,” she said.
Linda added the GFWC Greater West Palm Beach Women’s Club has supported Harmony House for decades, and that they try to find unique ways to give back, such as with purses and wallets.
“We seek out those who really need help,” she said. “It’s been a longtime project of ours to help the domestic violence shelters in town.”
Along with “Purses with a Purpose,” Linda said the club donated 15 black purses to the local Dress for Success affiliate, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing support, professional attire, and development tools.
GFWC North Central Junior Alumnae Club
Members of the GFWC North Central Junior Alumnae Club (West Virginia) helped children in local schools enjoy National Coloring Day on September 14 by collecting and donating new crayons and coloring books. The club’s Project Chairman Tressa Wolfe said 66 boxes of crayons and 66 coloring books were distributed to kindergarten students at Terra Alta Elementary, first-grade students at Johnson Elementary, pre-school students at the Methodists Church, and the WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.
In addition to donating the coloring materials, Tressa said members also hosted a coloring contest for fifth-grade students at Fairview Middle School, and three students were awarded first, second, and third place. The selected winners won a prize basket filled with snacks.
“The members were very excited to do this,” Tressa said. “We love children and any time we can do something to help children in the community, they are excited.”
She said all of the students and teachers were excited to receive the coloring books.
“They were overwhelmed and they were thrilled we were giving them brand new crayons that the kids could take home,” she said.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for some projects, Tressa said this was a good way to make a positive impact while staying safe.
“We are trying to keep our members included in doing community service projects during the pandemic because we are still meeting remotely,” she said.
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Lauren Smith said she loves being able to give back to her community and local school district as a member of GFWC Eupora New Century Club in Mississippi.
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.
GFWC Millington Junior Women's Club
Each year April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Kathleen Sweeney, Executive Director/Forensic Interviewer of The Child Advocacy Center of Tuscola County (CACTC), spoke at GFWC Millington Junior Women's Club (Michigan) monthly meeting and told members that 10% of the 235 reported cases of child abuse in 2017 in Tuscola County were from Millington Township, including Millington. It inspired them to take action with the "Color Me Blue" Project.