Volunteers in Action: GFWC Sisters of Service Woman’s Club, Inc. and GFWC Rhode Island
February 8, 2022
GFWC Sisters of Service Woman’s Club, Inc.
Members of GFWC Sisters of Service Woman’s Club, Inc. (Florida) have been hard at work organizing a program to teach at-risk youth between the ages of 7 and 10 in their community various basic life skills. These skills include dental and personal hygiene, laundry, cooking, budgeting, couponing, and grocery shopping.
Charter President Vanessa Moore explained this program was made possible due to a $20,000 grant the club was awarded through the Tallahassee-Leon Cares Group. She explained the club will be receiving the grant in increments throughout the next two years and will use those funds to purchase the supplies for the training, such as dental hygiene kits, cleaning and laundry supplies, grocery gift cards, and more. Vanessa said they also received a $250 Costco Gift Card and a $1,500 micro grant from Walmart to provide breakfast to the kids in the morning before the classes begin. The first training sessions will begin this month on Saturdays.
Vanessa explained the clubwomen are all excited about this program because they want to help children in the area learn these skills that they no longer learn in school and may not be learning at home.
“Now that schools don’t offer these types of programs, kids are struggling to become successful adults,” Vanessa said. “It’s our job to make sure younger generations don’t struggle. We want to empower them with this knowledge.”
Along with the clubwomen who are helping organize and make this program possible, Vanessa said they have received significant support from the community such as from the local charter school, which has offered the school to be used for the trainings, and from volunteers at local churches, who have agreed to help transport some of the children to and from the trainings. She said many local teachers, chefs, healthcare professionals, and others have agreed to assist with teaching the kids.
“We have a melting pot of volunteers from our club, our sister clubs, and other community professionals,” she said.
GFWC Rhode Island
GFWC Rhode Island clubwomen collaborated with friends, family, and neighbors throughout their state to deliver more than 20 large bags full of clothes and shoes to the Rhode Island Veterans Home Community Living Center. This organization provides nursing and residential care to Rhode Island veterans, including medical and rehabilitation services.
Karen Leach, member of the GFWC Cranston Community Women’s Club, said in addition to her club all of the other Rhode Island clubs participated in this donation project, including the GFWC Bristol Community Women’s Club, GFWC Warwick Women’s Club, GFWC Women’s Club of South County, and the GFWC Wampanoag Woman’s Club.
Along with the clubwomen who helped out, they received support or monetary donations for the project from several community organizations, such as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Bank Newport, and Fisher Bus.
Karen explained the veteran’s center provided them with a wish list that included items such as pajamas, blankets, medical underwear, socks, and shoes, and people from across the state rallied to deliver everything on the list.
“This was a very large project for a fairly small state membership,” she said. “It was really a community effort.”
Karen said many of the men and women at the living center do not have close family members who can provide them with these essentials, and it is important to the clubwomen to help them maintain their dignity through having access to new, comfortable clothing.
“Rhode Island has always been small, but generous,” she said.
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Growing up, Sandi Brill’s parents always demonstrated the importance of giving back to the community through volunteer work. Today, this dedication to serving others continues to be a significant part of Sandi’s life.
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