Volunteers in Action: GFWC Women’s Club of Farmingdale and GFWC Woman’s Club of Fairmont
August 24, 2021
GFWC Women’s Club of Farmingdale
In the interest of serving the Farmingdale community, the GFWC Women’s Club of Farmingdale (New York) is always looking for new and interesting ways to fundraise. One of the club’s newest members, Nancy Carman, had the perfect solution for a beautiful summer night – Night at the Movies.
Publicity Chairman Maria Ortolani said the club members set up outdoor canopies and offered popcorn, candy, and soft drinks to guests, who paid a small entry fee and could purchase raffle tickets. She said the goal of the outdoor movie event was to raise funds for the club to be able to help various community organizations.
“All the fundraising that we do ends up helping the community in different ways,” Maria said, adding the club aims to use the money they collect for scholarship awards for students, to make donations to soup kitchens and elder adult centers, and more.
One of these community programs helped by the club’s fundraising and donations is St. Kilian’s Outreach Program, which gives back to people in need in the community. In July, clubwomen collected 26 bags full of groceries, household goods, canned food, toiletries, and baby items to be donated to the outreach program.
“At every meeting and every function, we ask for donations,” Maria said. “It’s local and we are helping the community with their needs and they are so appreciative.”
GFWC Woman’s Club of Fairmont
GFWC Woman’s Club of Fairmont (West Virginia) had a busy year working on their Blessings from the Basement project. Club Vice President Marcella Yaremchuk said this project was started about five years ago when she worked to clean out the basement of the clubhouse so members would have a place to store donations that could go to homeless shelters.
The project has grown and Blessings from the Basement now helps many people in need in the area. Clubwomen work with facilities that help those with addition, veterans’ agencies, domestic violence shelters, hospitals, and more. Marcella said these agencies will refer people in need to the club, and they will help in any way they can. The club has donated items such as furniture, linens, household goods, pots and pans, boxes of food, and more.
In 2020, Marcella said the club was able to help about 125 people through their donation project, and have offered assistance to more than 140 people in 2021 already.
She said the members are always happy to help whoever they can in the community, regardless of their circumstances, and hope to encourage others to give back if they can as well.
“People will help people if they know there is a need and we have been making a lot of progress in making the need known,” Marcella said.
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For Sue O'Dell, GFWC and family have always gone hand-in-hand. As club president of the GFWC Southwest Region Woman’s Club, in Colorado, she continues to encourage members to invite their family and friends to join the Federation.
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 Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club
Founded in 1934, the GFWC Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club is perhaps best known for its Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence Benefit Day, which raised over $10,000 last year.