Volunteers in Action: GFWC Research Club of Limerick and GFWC Yucaipa Woman’s Club
August 10, 2021
GFWC Research Club of Limerick
Members of the GFWC Research Club of Limerick (Maine) spent their first in-person meeting since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic making fleece-tie blankets as part of the “Linus Blanket” project. Club Co-President Sally Manchester said all of the blankets clubwomen made were donated to Caring Unlimited, a local women’s domestic violence shelter.
“This is one of the projects that is near and dear to our hearts because at one time the shelter we support had a satellite office in our town,” Sally said.
In addition to making the tie blankets, Sally said the clubwomen have completed other donation projects for the shelter in the past, including a sock donation drive and more.
“We support them all year long, but we focus our support at Christmas time,” she said, noting members try to donate toiletries, personal care items, gas cards, gift cards, and other items during the holidays.
Sally said the club wanted to work on this project to help make a difference for and show their support to women who are survivors of domestic violence.
“We’re all women, and while I personally don’t know anyone who has needed the services of a domestic violence shelter, we know that it exists and is prevalent and not enough people talk about it,” she said.
Sally added their community is fortunate to have a local shelter.
“It is important to us to support it in whatever way we can,” she said.
GFWC Yucaipa Woman’s Club
For the fifth year in a row, members of the GFWC Yucaipa Woman’s Club (California) gathered for a “Christmas in July” event to socialize and gather donations. This year, clubwoman donated toys and snacks for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Club Trustee Virginia Cosby said this is the third year the club has raised donations for this nonprofit.
“We like what they do for families in need,” Virginia said. “We feel close to it and we know it’s well run. We know the things donated will be given and we like working with them because our efforts are appreciated and will be used the way we intended.”
Although Ronald McDonald House Charities helps children and teens of all ages, Virginia said this year members specifically brought in items for kids 0- to 2-years-old, including building blocks, teddy bears, and soft books.
“Children need toys more than just at Christmastime, so we donate during July,” she said.
Along with the members, the director of the facility attended the Christmas in July event and gave a short speech explaining how Ronald McDonald Houses work to help patients and families facing treatment for serious illnesses at the Loma Linda Hospital in Loma Linda, California.
Virginia said members plan to continue this gift-giving tradition as long as the organization needs their help.
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For more than 60 years, GFWC clubwoman and 2020 Jennie Award Winner Barbara Winingham has been making a difference in her community by volunteering with GFWC Texas and GFWC Amity Club of Bowie.
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.