Volunteers In Action: MLK Day of Service Pt. 1
January 28, 2020
MLK Day of Service was a huge success for our GFWC Clubs all over the globe! Clubs and Federations all over have truly made this MLK Day a day on and not a day off. Read and comment on the first grouping of many great projects that our GFWC Clubs have participated in below.
The GFWC Pea Ridge Woman’s Club (West Virginia) had a very rewarding day at the City Mission of Huntington. Kyle Bryant, a local barber, wanted to give back to the community by giving free haircuts to the men at the Mission. Home Life Community Service Program Chairman Stephanie Carter arranged for Kyle to visit Mission and provide free haircuts in honor of the MLK Day of Service. Members went and served doughnuts and coffee to the gentlemen waiting to get their hair cut. Kyle cut more than a dozen heads and beard trims. The men were so happy and you could tell it was a real boost to their self-esteem. The smiles on their faces were priceless. Local television stations came out to cover this great event and spread the word.
GFWC Jubilee Woman’s Club (Alabama) chose to participate in MLK Day of Service by making no-sew fleece blankets. Club members completed 17 blankets to be donated to Lighthouse of Baldwin County, a shelter and crisis center for survivors of rape and domestic violence. The fleece fabric was donated by a group of women from a local church. It was an honor to serve with all the other clubs in the country on such a meaningful day!
In observance of MLK Day of Service, GFWC Murray Woman’s Club (Kentucky) members donated snacks to Main Street Youth Center. The snacks were provided for Main Street Youth Center’s their after school program.
GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Walpole (Massachusetts) hosted, cooked, and served a “soul-satisfying” meal for Breaking Bread. Breaking Bread is a program offered by Walpole Families of Faith, which invites local individuals, businesses, and organizations to serve a free, hot meal to individuals and families every Monday evening. GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Walpole has been participating in Breaking Bread for years. A member is in charge of securing dates (typically 2–3 times per year), another member takes on the role of head chef, and additional members serve as kitchen helpers, servers, and bakers. It’s a wonderful opportunity for club members to come together and support their local community in a special way that “feeds the soul” of all who participate.
GFWC Arlington Juniorettes (New Jersey) joined GFWC Clubs across the country in completing a service project on MLK Day of Service. With the help of local business partners, The Observer Newspaper, Arlington Pharmacy & Surgical, and Midtown Pharmacy, members placed boxes out to collect feminine hygiene products (pads, tampons, and feminine wipes). The products will be placed in smaller discreet packages that will soon be made available in local schools, food pantries, and community centers for easy access.
GFWC Georgia joined together to make donations to Georgia Cares. Georgia Cares is a state organization helping survivors of sex trafficking. Monetary and in kind donations were made.
GFWC Greater West Palm Beach Women’s Club (Florida) observed MLK Day of Service by donating more than $500 worth of food, diapers, wipes, formula, children’s clothing, backpacks with school supplies, and hygiene items to the Guatemalan-Maya Center. The Guatemalan-Maya Center is a local organization that helps migrants and their families. President Mary Evelyn Mitchell and Jeff Anne Pike met with the director the week before and obtained a list of items they needed. Members donated $20.20 each. In addition to money, some members donated children’s clothes and food.
GFWC Woman’s Club of Smithfield (Virginia) organized books and cleaned the community room at the Jersey Park Complex. Every Wednesday afternoon, GFWC Woman’s Club of Smithfield host an after school tutoring program for at-risk students at the Jersey Park Complex. Club members volunteer their time to teach and assist with homework for students who need extra help. They also provide an after school snack. Members cleaned, mopped, and helped make the room a little bit brighter. Students entering the room commented on how nice it looked and smelled!
GFWC Woman’s Club of Cayce (South Carolina) created cancer care caps for local cancer patients out of fleece. This is the second year that GFWC Woman’s Club of Cayce did a cut and sew session as their MLK Day of Service project. This year they cut 137 caps and sewed 11.
GFWC Meadowlarks had a “Little Free Pantry” donated to them from St. Mark’s Church. Many of these boxes sit outside churches throughout Cheyenne to enable community and church members to fill them with nonperishable goods, toiletries, and other items. Community members in need can take from these boxes for their families. The box that GFWC Meadowlarks received was placed in the local AMVETS Post 10 building, with whom GFWC Meadowlarks partner. AMVETS painted the pantry, and GFWC Meadowlarks filled it with goods for community members.
GFWC High Springs New Century Woman’s Club (Florida) filled bags with snack items and water for the homeless and others that just needed an extra boost. The care bags will be donated to the High Springs Police Department to be carried in their patrol cars. The bags are greatly appreciated and will be put to good use. Several of them are used when officers encounter people without any food.
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Melanie Carriker understands GFWC tradition and legacy. Daughter of GFWC Communications and PR Chairman Wendy Carriker, Melanie was inspired to form the GFWC Legacy Woman's Club, which celebrates the dedication of grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins. The GFWC Legacy Club received its charter at the 2015 GFWC Annual Convention in Memphis.
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.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!