Civic Engagement & Outreach CSP

CHAIRMAN

Karen Stauffer          401 Reservoir Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6147

717.697.2546 (c) 717.802.2047

karendee44@hotmail.com

Affiliates

Shot at Life mission is to vaccinate children in developing countries to stop the spread of diseases largely eradicated in the developed world such as measles. 

Since 1944, Heifer International’s mission has been to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.  They have set a goal to help 4 million families, within the communities where they work, achieve living incomes by 2020.

Operation Smile provides safe, effective, and free cleft lip and cleft palate repair surgery for children born all over the world. Operation Smile and the GFWC have a wonderful partnership that dates back to 1988.

The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families. It is not part of the U.S. government but recognized by the Department of Defense. There are more than 160 center locations around the world.

UNICEF advocates for the protection of children’s rights to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.  The focus of the partnership between GFWC and UNICEF is to support and end human trafficking. 

The Mission of Sew Much Comfort is to provide free adaptive (Velcro closures) clothing to support our wounded service members from all branches of the Military and National Guard. Many injuries require large fixators, prosthetics, cast too bulky to fit under ordinary clothing. Without our adaptive clothing wounded service members are limited to wearing hospital gowns during their recovery.  Sew Much Comfort is the only military support charity providing free adaptive clothing.

The missions of Final Salute Inc. is to provide homeless women Veterans with safe and suitable housing. Some female Veterans receive VA compensation, however, in most cases, the compensation received from the VA does not cover all associated costs of living. Final Salute Inc, is the only non=profit organization that offers housing assistance exclusively to homeless female Veterans.

This program encompasses many aspects of community involvement both at home and abroad.  The areas of concentration are those relating to veterans, promotion of patriotism in schools and the general society, community disaster preparedness, encouraging women in politics, promotion of financial programs for women, support of local emergency departments, promotion of vehicular safety, support of the homeless and food banks, and promotion of canine companion programs. Other organizations to partner with include Heifer International, March of Dimes, HOBY, PCAA, St. Jude, United Nations Shot@Life Campaign, UNICEF USA, and Operation Smile. The women of GFWC Pennsylvania are great supporters of their communities and are to be commended for their creative and generous efforts on behalf of those in need.

 

Perhaps some of the following sites will be useful resources for your club:

Civic Engagement & Outreach

HOW CAN YOU AFFECT CHANGE IN & FOR OUR GLOBAL FRIENDS & THEIR COMMUNITIES

Through the Civic Engagement & Outreach CSP, GFWC encourages clubs to reach beyond their own communities and consider how they can make a global impact.  The Civic Engagement & Outreach CSP is designed to enable members to become better world citizens through advocacy, education, and action.

Download Instructions for Smile Bags from Operation Smile.

Galaxy Goal: Operation Smile Project 

This year we are inviting clubs to make Smile Splints and Smile Bags.

Dr. William and Kathy Magee founded Operation Smile in 1982.  After a mission trip to the Philippines, they realized the need to address children suffering with cleft lips, cleft palates, and other facial differences.  Today this is one of the largest medical volunteer based non-profit organizations with 6,000 volunteers from 60 countries.  31 centers are maintained in 19 countries. It engages in public-private partnerships to advance health care, train local medical professionals, and donates crucial medical equipment and supplies.  Even through the pandemic, Operation Smile was able to continue doing surgeries due to the local centers they had established.

A person suffering from these problems can have difficulty eating, breathing, speaking, and being accepted by their peers.  Patients also receive free nutritional support, speech therapies, dentistry, psychosocial care, and a hope for a brighter future. Just imagine for $240, a 45-minute operation can change the life of a child as well as their family.  Operation Smile has the ability to perform surgery for 19,000 plus children a year along with dental care.

Download Instructions for Smile Splints from Operation Smile.

Smile Splints

Community volunteers can help create comfortable splints to prevent children from bending their arms and touching their face. These simple arm bands help keep the surgical incision clean and promote healing of a child’s new smile. Smile Splint use tongue depressors to create the splint. Donations of boxes of tongue depressors are needed and can be sent along with the arm bands. 

INSTRUCTIONS AND PATTERN FOR SEWING SMILE SPLINT

Materials

  • ½ yard of light weight fabric
  • 66″ of hem tape or grosgrain ribbon
  • Shears or scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Tongue depressors (to insert as splint)

Note: Please use cotton, cotton/blend materials in fun bright colors and prints. Do not use religious, war or gun themed prints. Ship donations of tongue depressors separate from the arm band. 

Each child has a Smile Splint placed on both arms.  Thus, the child cannot place fingers on the surgical area.  Following a surgery, the child receives a Smile Bag which contains the following items:

  • A small screw top bottle of shampoo (.85-1.4 ounces)
  • A small comb (not a rat tail)
  • New wash cloth
  • Hotel size bar of soap
  • Travel size tube of toothpaste
  • Single package of a child’s size toothbrush
  • Small stuffed animal (beanie bag size)
  • Box of 8 nontoxic crayons
  • Thin 8 ½ x 11” coloring book
  • Small square shaped mirror about 3” x 3” (to see their new smile)

This is our project for our next club year.  Teaming together, some members might donate cloth, others sew, while others purchase items for the bags and tongue depressors.  Please place the items in the bags, that way we will have the necessary items to fill the number of bags made.  The Smile Splints and Smile Bags will be collected at the Spring District Meetings in 2022.  All directions for these items can be found at www.operationsmile.org .  Once on the site, type in either item in the search box for directions.

PLEASE RECORD – hours spent, monetary donations, In-Kind donations, and the number of Smile Splint and Smile Bags donated.   It has been said, “a smile is a powerful way to communicate”.  May the women of GFWC Pennsylvania help many children smile.

Please record the number of calendars donated to veterans in 2021 and report this in your annual report.

Other Ways to Support Civic Engagement & Outreach CSP

Nancy Greenberg, National Chairman of this Service Program, reminds GFWC members “that we are each a part of a larger society and is responsible for undertaking actions that will create a better quality of life and foster a sense of community – locally, regionally, nationally, and globally”.  Volunteering is an excellent way to engage in civic duty, in addition to fundraising or donating, advocating, and problem solving.  GFWC members are challenged to support and aid women veterans in our communities.

The four broad strokes of Civic Engagement and Outreach are:

  • Citizenship
  • Crime Prevention, Safety, and Disaster Preparedness
  • The Needy, Hungry, and Homeless
  • Our Military Personnel and Veterans

Citizenship

  • GFWC Pennsylvania members can foster good citizenship by sponsoring a Meet the Candidates night, reminding members and local citizens of registration deadlines, helping to sign up new voters, relating when to apply for and submit an absentee ballot, and driving citizens to the polls.  Members can join the League of Women Voters(www.lwv.org), sign up to work at the polls, and work for their respective party or favorite candidate.  Invite a speaker from the League of Women Voters to attend a club meeting.

  • Clubs can sponsor celebrations for various national holidays and/or host speakers for a celebration.  Invite a person portraying a historical figure to enlighten your club and the public.  Host programs appropriate for children relating to local, state, or national history.  Sponsor such a program for a local school. Either by individual transportation or by bus, clubs can arrange for trips to historical state sites or events.

  • Members can volunteer at local historical sites or events.

  • Has your club joined the local Chamber of Commerce?  Through such a membership, clubs can spread information of their activities, as well as, take advantage of networking.

  • Read interesting American history stories to children and grandchildren.  Donate American History books for children to the local library.

Crime Prevention & Disaster Preparedness

  • In addition to writing thank you notes to local Police and Fire Departments, members can prepare gift bags of snacks, gift cards, beverages, or other small treats for emergency personnel. 

  • Invite certified instructors to teach club members and/or the public in CPR. 

  • Encourage club members to have carbon monoxide detectors as well as functioning fire detectors in their homes.  

  • Go to the National Council of the Aging for information about scams against seniors.  Compose a fact sheet for members and friends containing “The Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Senior” and “Eight Tips How Seniors Can Protect Themselves from Money Scams”.  (www.ncoa.org)  

  • Have club members been instructed on making a Disaster Preparedness Toolkit?  Visit www.ready.gov for instructions on how to prepare for a disaster or emergency.  During a club meeting, help members start constructing a Disaster Preparedness Toolkit. 

  • Create a pamphlet and/or email for members and friends containing local emergency response numbers and other important crisis information. 

The Needy, Hungry, & Homeless

  • Encourage members to volunteer serving Habitat for Humanity in their local area.  Ways to serve are with time spent working, donating items, and serving food to volunteers. 

  • Contact the local food pantry to ascertain how best to assist their efforts and needs.

  • Members are strongly encouraged to work with local programs or establish new ones for feeding needy children on weekends and during the summer months.

  • Clubs can work with other organizations to collect during the fall items to keep children warm during the winter months.  Distribution could be through the schools.

  • Have an elementary school counselor provide the requests for a needy family.  The club can contribute purchased Christmas food items and a gift for each family member.  The school keeps the donor and recipients anonymous.

  • Sponsor a collection drive of bras, underwear, sanitary napkins and tampons for I Support the Girls organization.  Items can be donated to another local organization.  www.isupportthegirls.org

Our Miltary Personnel & Veterans

  • Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors is a 501(c)3 organization which can supply names of veterans in need and or families of the veteran.  Donations can be anonymously made through the organization or by the club directly to the family. Clubs could hold a fund raiser for PA WW or donate needed items.  They serve PA veterans who have returned home. www.pawoundedwarriors.org 

  • Clubs can sell wreaths to be placed on designated Military graves, as well as, help place the wreaths.  Help is also needed to remove the wreaths in January. www.wreathsacrossamerica.org 

  • Collect calendars received in the mail and contribute them to a local VA Medical Center along with all occasion cards, Christmas cards, and note pads.

  • Members can volunteer at the local USO facility. www.uso.org 

  • The Fisher House Foundation supplies housing for military families to be near their veteran, who is undergoing medical care.  Locate a house nearby and discuss how the club can assist the facility and/or families. www.fisherhouse.org 

  • Wishing to assist a female veteran, contact Women’s Program Manager at local VA Medical Center.  Through the local VA Medical Center, clubs can learn what items returning veterans might need to set up housekeeping.

GFWC 2020-2022 INITIATIVE

GFWC is asking every GFWC club to include one project devoted to women in the military, even if they are deployed or serving stateside. GFWC’s goal is participation from 1,000 clubs!

LET’S HELP THEM MAKE THIS GOAL

  • Conduct programs & projects to recognize and honor all veterans.

  • Volunteer at your local USO office

  • Provide resources to support military families.

  • Assist and advocate for severely wounded, ill or injured soldiers, veterans, and their families.

I want to bring Awareness, Assistance, and Aspiration for these lady Veterans.  Did you know that Women Veterans are more likely to be homeless than their male counterparts?  Over 2,000,000 women have served with honor since the Revolutionary War.  They have fulfilled their obligations to their country; we now need to support them during their time of need.  The following Web site (FINAL SALUTE, INC) is a wonderful site to help you understand what they go through. The web site is www.finalsaluteinc.org

Let’s work in our communities to see what we can do as Federation Woman to make it better for these Veterans.

FLY YOUR AMERICAN FLAG

Remember to fly your AMERICAN FLAG all year, and buy ones that are made in America.   Did you know that in June 1813, Major George Armistead took command of Fort McHenry in Baltimore?  Armistead ordered that a flag “so large that the British will have no difficulty in seeing it from a distance” be made for the fort.  On August 19, Mary Pickersgill of Baltimore delivered the flag.  It required 266 yards of red, white and blue English woolen bunting for the stripes and about 10 yards of white cotton for the stars, which measured 16 inches from tip to tip.  Pickersgill charged the U.S. Army $405.90 for the flag.

Between August and September of 1814, the British sent 16 ships to attack Fort McHenry. Francis Scott Key, a Georgetown lawyer and amateur poet, watched the attack from the British admiral’s flagship, where he had been detained by the enemy.  At dawn on September 14, the British tapered off their bombardment of the fort.  Key looked through a telescope and saw from eight miles away the U.S. Flag. He started to write the “The Deference of Fort McHenry,” which he later completed at the Baltimore hotel after he was released by the British.  He set it to music written for a 1778 English social club song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.”  Printers changed the title to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The flag remained flying at the fort for another two years.

“We are each a part of a larger society and is responsible for undertaking actions that will create a better quality of life and foster a sense of community – locally, regionally, nationally, and globally”

-Nancy Greenberg, National Chairman of this Service Program

Join a Club Near You

Reach out to our membership chairman for help finding a club near you.

For general inquiries, contact Headquarters below or the Chairman of a specific program or advancement area.

GFWC Pennsylvania Headquarters

4076 Market Street, Ste 211
Camp Hill, PA 17011-4200

T: 717-901-5095
gfwcpaclubs@comcast.net

Membership Chairman

Mary Fenstermacher
4348 Wendy Way
Schwenksville, PA 19473-2093

T: 610.489.2937  m80fenstermacher@gmail.com

GFWC Headquarters

1734 N Street, NW
Washington, DC  20036

T:  202-347-3168
F:  202-835-0246
www.gfwc.org