Volunteers in Action: GFWC Texas Alamo District, GFWC Paradise Valley Junior Woman’s Club, Junior Women’s Club of Lake Murray, McAlester Fortnightly Club, GFWC Rhinelander Woman’s Club, San Diego Woman’s Club, and GFWC Ossoli Circle
November 3, 2020
GFWC Texas Alamo District
For Advocates for Children Week, GFWC Texas Alamo District President Novella Byrd challenged clubs and the Alamo District Executive Committee to donate backpacks to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Texas. Children will often be removed from their homes carrying their belongings in a paper sack or plastic garbage bags; the backpacks are a convenient alternative for these children. Joni Garcia, Executive Director of CASA South Texas, was the guest speaker for the meeting. Joni presented information regarding volunteering for CASA. All clubs were given information to report the activity as part of the Juniors’ Challenge Project: “To Stick Out Your Neck for Children.” Alamo District Clubwomen donated 41 backpacks to CASA South Texas.
GFWC Paradise Valley Junior Woman’s Club (Arizona)
The GFWC Paradise Valley Junior Woman’s Club celebrated Advocates for Children Week by completing two projects.
Go With The Flow Period Pack Bags
Go With The Flow is an organization that provides menstrual hygiene products to schools across Arizona to distribute to girls whose families cannot afford to purchase them. Because of budget limitations, schools often do not have an adequate supply of feminine hygiene products each year. Girls are forced to make do with whatever they can find, many times risking the chance of infections. The GFWC Paradise Valley Junior Woman’s Club sewed 307 period pack bags and donated them to Demetra Presley, Executive Director of Go With The Flow. More than 60 yards of material was used to make the bags!
Arizona Helping Hands Duffle Bag Project
Arizona Helping Hands is the largest provider of essential needs for children in foster care in Arizona. Duffle bags, suitcases, and backpacks for children to carry their possessions are needed each year The GFWC Paradise Valley Junior Woman’s Club allocated purchased duffle bags and suitcases and donated items. On October 27, 2020 the club delivered 21 duffle bags, two suitcases, and five backpacks to Arizona Helping Hands. The retail value of the donation was more than $900.
Junior Women’s Club of Lake Murray (South Carolina)
The Junior Women’s Club of Lake Murray created a social media campaign in support of Advocates for Children Week. This two part virtual campaign was designed to engage and inform the community of the benefits of art therapy for children in a safe, socially-distanced way. A youth coloring contest was announced on the club’s Facebook page and ran October 11-24. There was a coloring page for ages 6 and under and ages 7-12, both illustrating a theme of kindness. Winners were announced October 26 and the winning artwork was displayed at the Starbucks in Lexington.
McAlester Fortnightly Club (Oklahoma)
For Advocates for Children Week, members of the McAlester Fortnightly Club created and sewed twelve hospital gowns for children having surgery with Operation Smile. The club also created four additional therapy vests with weighted pockets for Easter Seals of North Texas. This is the second time the club has supported these programs.
Shown in photo taken by James Sellmeyer, GFWC Booster: Bottom row, left to right; Megan Ciolli, Club President; Linda Navratil, Cornerstone Director; Vicky Bolte, Fortnightly Vice President; Back row: Nancy Gates, Fortnightly Treasurer; Angie Sellmeyer, Fortnightly Secretary; Cynthia Henrichs
GFWC Rhinelander Woman’s Club (Wisconsin)
GFWC Rhinelander Woman’s Club assembled 300 art kits for children. There were various types of art kits: teen journals, coloring, masks, collages, bead making, shell painting, garland making, and much more. On October 26, the kits were distributed to both the Oneida County Social Services Department and Lily’s House, part of Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Inc. These art kits will be used for children during home visits and during long wait times at the office. The kits will also be available for children who seek shelter with their families at Lily’s House in Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties.
San Diego Woman’s Club (California)
For the second time, San Diego Woman’s Club packed welcome bags for Ronald McDonald House San Diego. The bags included 18 items that had been requested: toddler-size blankets, stuffed animals, decks of playing cards, card games, journals, coloring and activity books, puzzles, masks, and various other items.
GFWC Ossoli Circle (Tennessee)
Ossoli Circle ladies prepared a weeks’ worth of casseroles for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Knoxville, TN. Fourteen casseroles (seven breakfast and seven dinner) were delivered to Ronald McDonald House to observe Child Advocacy Week.
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If there is time in the day to lend a helping hand, Irene Iverson will do it. A member of two GFWC clubs and recent honoree of the One OC Spirit of Volunteerism Award for 2014, Irene has been an active leader in her community since she joined the Red Cross as a volunteer at 15.
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.
Mesquite Club, Inc.
The Mesquite Club, Inc., located in Las Vegas, Nevada, started out the club year with 120 members and now has 132 members. How has the club gained a dozen new members over such a short time? One reason is Club President Cherie Williams’ commitment to raising public awareness of the club in any way possible.