As State Project Chairman for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Connecticut for 2010 to 2012, I am proud to be working with such a terrific group of people on a very important mission. Our mission, like yours, is to stamp out hunger in Connecticut.
The GFWC is one of the world’s largest and oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational, women’s volunteer service organizations. It was founded in 1890 and chartered by the 56th United States Congress in 1901.
“I was very impressed. They are an energetic and enthusiastic and dedicated group of women. I can see that they will be effective because they are efficient, really taking the cause very seriously,” said Nancy L. Carrington, Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut Food Bank, who addressed GFWC recently this month to discuss the state project.
Over 10,000 members nationwide work in their own communities to support the arts, preserve natural resources, advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, encourage civic involvement, and work toward world peace and understanding.
Throughout our history, GFWC has made significant impacts on the world. For example, 75 percent of public libraries in the United States were established by GFWC clubs! And, GFWC furnished the reception room and gave visibility for the first hospice in the country. The organization had a part in the passage of women’s right to vote, child labor regulations, and more recently, the Violence Against Women Act and the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act. Members have supported Literacy Volunteers of America, the Paul and Lisa Foundation to help sexually abused children, and built the GFWC/CT Bluebird Therapeutic Park at the Alzheimer’s Resource Center.
GFWC has raised thousands of dollars for many causes, some of which include:
- The purchase of an ambulance for the New York City Fire Department after Sept. 11, 2001
- Nearly $60,000 for the Haiti earthquake relief
- The support and training of Fidelco Guide Dogs for the blind
- The creation of “safe havens” for battered women and their children
That’s just a small fraction of the accomplishments that are part of the GFWC legacy. Today’s members are writing the history of GFWC and are a part of GFWC’s future accomplishments!
Our 48 Connecticut clubs are currently working on projects and fundraisers to support Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare.
My goal for the state project for the next two years is to raise $25,000 and 25,000 pounds of food. One of my committee members, Florence, contacted a number of farmers in our town and was able to collect over 17,000 pounds of fresh produce. Already, we are nearly 75 percent to our goal of collecting the 25,000 lbs of food. It looks like I’m going to have to raise the bar a little higher on the food collection.
A famous author, Dorothea Brande, once said, “Act as if it were impossible to fail.”
As chairman, I pledge to do my best to provide assistance wherever needed so that the GFWC/CT can work towards the goal of stamping out hunger in our state in the most effective and efficient way possible.
We are going to set our sights high, “act as if it were impossible to fail,” and blast our way to end hunger!
Posted by Patty Meglio, guest blogger and State Project Chairman for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Connecticut for 2010 to 2012