Our Fall Conference was full of great ideas and information from all our GFWC-NC Program Chairmen. The Community Service Program Chairmen highlighted the latest project ideas and contests, so we wanted to share the latest with you.
Arts & Culture
A donation to the Arts & Culture CSP has provided us with the opportunity to hold a special arts contest for clubs this year at the State Arts Festival. We would like to see your original designs painted, drawn, or colored for a Little Free Library for your community. What would you do if you could paint anything you wanted, to make your Library “special” for your neighbors to see and use? We want to find out!
The entry will be a three-sided design on paper (one page for each of the sides and the top) sent to the Chairmen by March 1, 2022. Judging will be at the State Arts Festival in March. At that time, the club winner, chosen by the GFWC-NC Arts Festival visual arts judges, will take home their own “Free Little Library,” valued at $300. A contest entry form is available. There will not be any specific criteria so use your creativity and imagination. We hope to receive a lot of entries and cannot wait to see what kind of designs you come up with!
Civic Engagement & Outreach
“When you are homeless, you don’t have time to think about goals and dreams and schemes. Every day becomes another battle for simple survival,” says Alyce Knaflich, a NC woman Veteran who was homeless for ten years. She has since escaped that life and founded Aura Home Women Vets headquartered in Asheville. They serve women Veterans in nine western NC counties. We collected over $235 and some groceries for the Aura Home Women which will assist with rent, car payments to prevent job-loss, and the food pantry. A Note – They are building a home in Hendersonville to house 125 homeless women vets.
At the conference we made 100 luminarias for the NC State Home for Veterans at Black Mountain, one of 5 such homes in NC. Our goal was to make a luminaria for each veteran to have in their room. Many thanks to Barbara Sawyer, Mary Hart, and the Forrest Woman’s Club for their support on this project. Click here for instructions on how to make luminarias.
Education & Libraries
Education and Libraries CSP’s across the state have been supporting schools, promoting literacy through mentoring, supporting libraries through encouraging and participating in library card sign-ups, and in promoting a lifetime of learning. Our Clubwomen have created Story Walks and pursued Reach Out & Read (ROR). This is an initiative in North Carolina to increase child literacy skills for children from birth to age five. Clubs and members partner with physicians to provide books in their offices for young children to read. Thank you so much to all who brought books to the Conference. Over 60 books were donated and presented to the ROR Western Area Manager who will take them to one of the five locations in Asheville. Our Challenge Project this administration is to support STEM activities for disabled children. This has been a fun and enlightening endeavor. The handouts for Jars of Sunshine and STEM project ideas are available on the GFWC-NC Education & Libraries page under project tools.
Hilda hopes to get at least one report from every pledge and member, including those who have been dormant for years, before the end of the year! If you have not submitted a report in a while, you will be surprised with a copy of your own spreadsheet when you send one. If you have trouble reading it, just let Hilda know and she will be happy to explain. One report will allow your club to count you as an active member and give you a copy of your spreadsheet, so take advantage of this simple step. Reports may be hard copies or electronic.
Thanks to all who brought books for ESO members! Over 35 books were swapped at the Conference The few that were leftover will be donated to the Arts & Culture Design a Little Free Library Contest so the winner will have a few books to start their new library!
The Challenge Project is “Reduce Plastics Use, Refuse, Reuse, Re-purpose, and Recycle.” Mary sent out the October Plastic Counting Project to each Environment Chairman and hopes that all clubs participated. One club already collected 500 pounds of plastic bags and was having them recycled into an item for the community. The workshop included ideas for recycling. For instruction on making a gift box from a recycled greeting card and other upcycle projects, go to project tools on the Environment CSP page.
One national affiliate is Heifer International. You can look them up online to see the wonderful things that they are doing, and this would be an excellent place to put your environment funds. They are currently helping farmers and conserving rainforest land.
Speakers are a fantastic way to educate your fellow Clubwomen and encourage innovative ideas. Several organizations with speakers willing to come to your club are the local landfill or recycle center, local animal shelters or zoos, thrift shops to encourage reusing items, and local farmers market associates.
Health & Wellness
The GFWC-NC Chairman provided valuable information on Mental Health Awareness. Recently, John Broderick, former Chief Justice of New Hampshire Supreme Court, was the keynote speaker at the GFWC Convention in Atlanta. He shared his personal story and his lack of knowledge about mental illness that devastated his family. He is the GFWC Honorary Chairman; and he has been reaching out to students, educators, parents, and professionals to change the conversation on mental health and help to reduce stigma. Click here for the information and the link to watch his podcast. “Taking Care of Your Emotional Well-Being” by recognizing the signs of emotional suffering in yourself or others, and learning the healthy habits of emotional well-being are the focus of his message. We encourage you to take the time to review so you can R.E.A.C.T!
Enjoy the holidays and Happy New Year 2022! We look forward to your award entries and reports.
Karen & Pam