Civic Engagement & Outreach CSP
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:
- American Legion www.legion.org
- Consumer Products Safety Commission www.concumerreports.org
- Days for Girls www.daysforgirls.org
- Fisher House Foundation www.fisherhouse.org
- Habitat for Humanity www.habitat.org
- I Support the Girls www.isupportthegirls.org
- National Alliance on Mental Illness www.nami.org
- For supporting military personnel and veteran go to www.nami.org/Find-Support/Veterans-and-Active-Duty
- National Safety Council www.nsc.org
- National Women Veterans United www.nwvu.org
- National Crime Prevention Council www.ncpc.org
- National Coalition for the Homeless www.nationalhomeless.org
- National Crime Prevention Council www.ncpc.org
- PA Wounded Warriors, Inc www.pswoundedwarriors.org
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs www.va.gov
- USO www.uso.org
- Wreaths Across America www.wreathsacrossamerica.org
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.
The GFWC Civic Engagement and Outreach Committee reminds GFWC Pennsylvania members that each of us is 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 one of the best ways to put civic duty into action and it is often the first step in building a stronger connection to community. There are other ways to contribute, such as advocating, fundraising or donating, and problem-solving. Locally, even supporting small businesses and keeping an eye on your neighbor can play a part in improving your community.
Civic Engagement and Outreach Projects are encouraged including: Citizenship, Crime Prevention, Safety, Disaster Preparedness, the Needy, Hungry, and Homeless and our Military Personnel and Veterans.
During this Administration, clubs are encouraged to do projects in seven general areas. One of each of these will be discussed in a Clubwoman Newsletter.
- Prevent crime and make communities safer by providing information on crime prevention strategies.
- Support your local police, fire departments and EMS units.
- The third area of consideration is help for the needy, hungry, and homeless. Consult your local welfare office, shelters, churches and other community assistance organizations to determine community need and help provide provisions for the needy.
- The fourth service area is support to our military personnel and veterans. Create awareness about the three primary health concerns of military personnel.
- The fifth and sixth areas of consideration on the “to do list” are Heifer International and UNICEF. Go international, learn about these organizations and support them as many ways as possible.
- Finally, the last two areas of community concern are St. Jude’s Hospital and Operation Smile. Children across the world can benefit from our help.
For more information about these projects and programs, check the GFWC website. Other resources which might interest your club are also listed there. Many of our local communities have handouts for these civic non-profit organizations.
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:
- Crime Prevention, Safety, and Disaster Preparedness
- The Needy, Hungry, and Homeless
- Our Military Personnel and Veterans
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.
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.
4076 Market Street, Ste 211
Camp Hill, PA 17011-4200
1734 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036