Volunteers in Action: Women’s Club of Madison and Madeira Woman’s Club
April 19, 2022
GFWC Celebrates Volunteers in Action Week
In honor of Volunteers in Action Week from April 17-23, GFWC is pleased to call attention to the Federation’s long and inspirational history, filled with stories of women who have been and continue to be dedicated to making their communities and the world a better place. Through these efforts, GFWC clubs often form long-term partnerships and work with various local organizations to develop projects with a lasting impact. Now, in recognition of Volunteers in Action Week and Federation Day on April 24, the 132nd anniversary of the organization’s founding, GFWC is celebrating these projects and the volunteer spirit of clubwomen everywhere with a special three-part blog series. Although we are shining an extra light on volunteers this week, GFWC is proud to share the stories of clubwomen making a positive impact every week.
Women’s Club of Madison
For 22 years, members of the Women’s Club of Madison (Connecticut) have been bringing smiles to the faces of children at the Village for Families & Children by making and donating a blankets for their Afghan Project. As part of this project, members and friends of the club knit or crochet small rectangles and then get together once a year to combine these rectangles into a larger Afghan.
Club Treasurer Katherine DeBurra explained this project first began when the club donated one blanket to a local nursing home, but since then they have made more than 1,000 unique, child-sized Afghans for children who have been removed from their homes due to an accident or other incident. The Afghans have been provided to the children through the Madison Police Department and the Village for Families & Children. This organization provides a range of behavioral health, early childhood and youth development, substance use treatment, and other forms of support for children, adults, and families.
“This is one of my favorite projects,” Katherine said. “These kids have had tremendous trauma and they are often pulled out of their homes with nothing, but then they get a blanket that is unique to them and it’s really special.”
Throughout the years, clubwomen have also donated comfort items such as teddy bears, duffle bags, backpacks, and school and personal supplies.
Katherine said the members have all loved working with the Village for so many years and being able to provide a little joy to children in need.
“Our connection with them is wonderful,” she said.
Madeira Woman’s Club
The Madeira Woman’s Club (Ohio) has partnered with Joseph House in Cincinnati, Ohio, for six years to provide veterans without homes with a home-cooked meal. Sue Adams, the club’s recording secretary and co-chairman for the project, said the club provides meals for between 25 and 38 men each month. In addition to the meals, members have donated bedding, new underwear, T-shirts, and socks, as well as other gently-used clothing, and items such as books and art therapy materials.
Sue explained it is important to all of the clubwomen that they are able to help veterans in need in their community and that many have one or more family members who are veterans themselves.
“This seemed like a natural project that we would want to get involved with and stay involved with,” she said.
Joseph House is a shelter and treatment facility serving veterans who have been affected by addiction. The goal of the program is to help the veterans regain their lives, obtain jobs, and find new living arrangements. There is also out-patient counseling for women veterans.
Sue said being able to form a long-term partnership with this organization has allowed them to make more of an impact than they could have with just a one-time project.
“We’re trying to stand for the people who have stood for us,” she said.
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