Volunteers in Action: Tempe Woman’s Club and GFWC Woman’s League of the Lowcountry
December 14, 2021
Tempe Woman’s Club
Members of the Tempe Woman’s Club (Arizona) have partnered with ARIS Foundation to help support people experiencing homelessness in their community. ARIS Foundation provides a hot meal, clothing, hygiene products, medical check-ups, veterinary services, and more for people of all ages. The organization meets once a week at a local park to provide these services. The club’s Vice President Sandy Haupt explained the women’s club attends these events once a month to provide peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so that people have extra food to eat throughout the week. Since April, clubwomen have provided more than 1,500 sandwiches.
“We wanted to provide consistent support,” Sandy said.
She explained the club first invited ARIS Foundation Founder Katherine Kouvelas-Edik to speak at their meeting in March, and after hearing about everything she was doing to support the community, they knew they wanted to help her.
“The homeless community has really come to rely on Katherine to be there for them,” Sandy said. “…It’s an honor to be a part of that.”
The clubwomen are planning to continue providing sandwiches throughout the next year with ARIS Foundation and are glad to be part of something that is bringing happiness and security to people’s lives.
“This lets them really know that people care about and love them,” Sandy said.
GFWC Woman’s League of the Lowcountry
The GFWC Woman’s League of the Lowcountry (South Carolina) opened the fourth Mr. Pig’s Book Nook in the Piggly Wiggly in Walterboro, South Carolina, on November 22. Three other Book Nooks have been established in Piggly Wiggly stores in Port Royal, Hardeeville, and Ridgeland.
The club’s Arts and Culture Community Service Program Chairman Jojo Hines explained this free lending library project was created to encourage and provide opportunities for children to read, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“All the children were home and didn’t have access to their libraries at school and the public library was closed, but the grocery stores were open,” Jojo said.
She explained the owner of the Piggly Wiggly stores was excited about the plan to set up these lending libraries in the grocery stores, and the community has been incredibly supportive as well. At any time, Jojo said there could be about 320 new or used books at each location. These books range in grade level from preschool to eighth grade and come in a variety of genres.
“We get so many donated books from our community,” she said. “We try to keep up-to-date books in there.”
Along with donations, Jojo said they received a $500 donation from the Sun City Book Exchange and a $1,000 grant from the Progress Foundation to make this project possible.
Jojo said this project has been very rewarding for the clubwomen and that ultimately they hope to see people of all ages enjoying reading and learning.
“Our goal is to give children an opportunity to get a book in their hand,” she said.
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Ashley Williams found an outlet for community service through joining the GFWC Ackerman Twentieth Century Club.
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