Juniors’ Special Project:
Advocates For Children
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Everything the organization does is centered on finding cures and saving children. And families never receive a bill from St. Jude.
GFWC Juniors’ Special Program:
Advocates for Children
GFWC Juniors’ Special Program: Advocates for Children is designed to encourage all Women’s, Junior, Juniorette, and International Affiliate clubs to make a difference in our world by becoming advocates for children. Members may choose to organize projects that benefit children in their community, state, or the world.
While project ideas are numerous, clubs are encouraged to educate themselves regarding current issues facing our children:
Teen dating violence
Texting while driving
Depression and suicide
Foster care and adoption
Limits on screen time
Childhood safety issues
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering hand-made twin beds to children and families in need. They give kids dignity, comfort, and peace of mind. With so many great charities providing clothing, meals and toys, little help goes to something as permanent as providing suitable beds and bedding. SHP is a group of volunteers dedicated to finding those young children living without the luxury of sleeping on a bed or even laying their heads on a pillow. SHP’s mission is to partner with organizations, businesses, and individuals to build beds and deliver to kids in need!
Since 2012 SHP has provided 60,448 beds made by 94,620 volunteers in 242 chapters across the United States. There are two locations in PA. One at Harvey’s Lake in Luzerne Co. and the other in Mars in Butler Co.
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs Pennsylvania will be collecting NEW twin size pillows, blankets and comforters for those beds. SHP already receives sheet sets from another organization but they are in need of the pillows, blankets and comforters. They can accept only new packaged goods. This chairman is asking that you collect these items throughout the year. Then bring them to the convention in 2023 at the Marriott in Cranberry Township. We will present our donation to the Officers of Sleep in Heavenly Peace then. This chairman will prepare a report form and have it posted on our website. This will give me an idea of how many items to expect at convention. You will report December 1st and March 1st. The thought of a child trying to sleep without a bed or even a pillow is heartbreaking. Won’t you please go back to your club members and ask them to support this worthwhile project?
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
— Harriet Tubman
SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE is a nonprofit organization that partners with the community to build twin beds for kids from raw materials complete with mattresses and bedding. Local chapters include volunteers dedicated to building, assembling, and delivering top-notch beds to children and families in need. There are 200 chapters nationwide and thousands of volunteers dedicated to sharing awareness of this national problem. In addition to working at the local level, this national organization has provided disaster relief in the Nashville area tornados and the California fires.
There are four chapters in Pennsylvania: PA-Elizabethtown 17022, 844-432-2337 Ext 5921; PA-Luzerne County, Harvey’s Lake 18618, 844-432-2337 Ext 5932; PA-Mars 16046 844-432-2337 Ext 5954; PA-North Central, Lock Haven 17745, Ext 5922.
How can your club get involved? Host a bedding drive for new mattresses, pads, fitted sheets, pillows, blankets and comforters. Monetary donations to local chapters are welcome with 80% of donations going to bed building and the delivery process and 20% going to tools and fundraising.
In reading club reports for Advocacy for Children, many clubs provide Christmas gifts of toys and clothing for children. Nationwide, few organizations provide for beds and bedding. Give it some thought!
Please share information with this chairman about your volunteer efforts, projects, and programs supporting the Juniors’ Special Project: Advocates for Children via phone, email, or postal mail.
Remember to keep track of your volunteer hours, financial and in kind donations, and your projects for reporting. Take credit for your work!
GFWC Advocates for Children Week
Sunday, October 23, to Saturday, October 29, 2022
The emphasis from GFWC for this week under this Program will be to promote a collection of personal hygiene items, clothing, and blankets to local organization for children removed from homes due to unsafe conditions. Contact your local shelters, children’s homes, etc. Work with your city or county to have the fourth week of October recognized as Advocates for Children Week. One of the ways to promote Advocates for Children Week is to contact your local chapter of the Children’s Advocacy Centers. Established in 2007, PennCAC is a statewide nonprofit membership association of over 40 individual Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) in our Keystone State.
It is their mission to promote and support the development and growth of Pennsylvania’s children. They are promoting a Juice Box Challenge: challenge each member to donate a juice box to their local Child Advocacy Center. Juice Boxes help CAC staff build rapport with children as they discuss difficult issues.
“Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”
— Fred Rogers
The March of Dimes promotes “prematurity awareness” month during November. A March of Dimes tool kit for baby hats and blankets can be found under the GFWC website resources. www.marchofdimes.org
Directions for creating a fundraiser for St Jude include a run/walk, virtual game night, designer purse or basket raffle. www.stjude.org
The PEAL Center, Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership Center has offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and serves families across the state. The mission of the PEAL Center is to educate and empower families to ensure that children, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives as full members of their schools and communities. https://pealcenter.org
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM Foundation) supports programs, research, and activities that promote music making across the lifespan through its signature programs. They provide a promotional tool kit for award promotion to raise the visibility of local music education programs at elementary and high school levels. www.NAMMFoundation.org
The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind has various programs supporting and educating visually impaired children. Call individual county agencies for their needs and for volunteer opportunities. www.pablind.org www.theblindassociation.org
The Ronald McDonald House offers many opportunities to support and volunteer such as Projects of Passion, pop tab collection, toy and food collection, ad “give a stay” providing housing for families during the child’s hospitalization. Various Ronald McDonald houses are located throughout the state. www.rmbc.org/otherwaystohelp
“Children are one-third of our population and all of our future.”
— Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981
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