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Club Chronicles: GFWC 2020 holds virtual convention

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs made history this week by holding its first virtual Annual Convention, “Remember the Rose.”

The 2020 Convention was initially planned for June 27 through July 1 in Atlanta, Ga., but because of the coronavirus, it was cancelled. However, the GFWC executive board  and board of directors decided to hold this convention in another way – virtually, using GFWC’s website and Facebook page.

Hours and hours of work went into the production of the virtual GFWC Annual Convention.

GFWC club members are from different parts of the country and have different stages of restrictions.  Because of this, many clubwomen held Zoom watch parties and conference call watch parties as they  listened together and shared excitement in the work honoring the achievements of clubwomen across the nation.

GFWC Alabama received the following awards:

  • Home Life Community Service Project – GFWC Alabama Jubilee Woman’s Club
  • Heifer International Outreach Top Donor – GFWC duMidi Woman’s Club
  • Operation Smile State Award – GFWC Alabama
  • Website State Award – GFWC Alabama
  • Membership Increase Award – GFWC Alabama
  • Charlotte Emerson Brown Courage Award – GFWC Alabama President Christine Steele

All proceedings of the convention and awards and accolades book were made available through the GFWC website for special remembrances for clubs’ scrapbooks. All award certificates and checks will be mailed to the 2018–2020 state presidents by July 8 so they can be distributed at summer/fall state events.

International President Mary Ellen Brock’s farewell address included the accomplishments of the even Grand Initiatives, each with a goal of 1,000:

  • Martin Luther King Day – 1,461 projects completed
  • Women in the Military – 1,989 projects accomplished
  • Legislative Action Center  – 2,776 new members joined
  • Million Dollar Club – $236,134.34 collected for the capital campaign
  • Arbor Day – 28,783 trees planted
  • Dr. Seuss Books – 74,736 donated to local/state schools, DC schools and childcare centers
  • Soles4Souls/Nike Program – 117,360 pairs of shoes donated

To make the GFWC name more visible, the Three Brand Initiatives were established, each with a goal of 1,000:

  • 1,007 celebratory projects are planned to celebrate the100th Anniversary of the Right to Vote this August
  • 8,947 contacts were made to legislators in support of Miranda’s Law
  • 7,633 contacts were made to legislators in support of the 3D Gun Safety Act

April 24, Federation Day, a GFWC Legislative Blitz resulted in 8,261 contacts to U.S. senators and representatives urging passage of Miranda’s Law and the 3D Gun Safety Act. Because of the impeachment hearings and pandemic legislation, these bills did not pass; however, GFWC made an impact, and the name became more recognizable.

President Brock praised clubwomen for their enthusiasm, capabilities, openness to new ideas and commitment. As she stated, “I apologize for setting the goals so low at 1,000.”

As GFWC member Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the things you think that you cannot do.”

As clubwomen, we gather strength and confidence from every volunteer experience. When we work together, no dream is too big. GFWC Book Lovers Study Club is honored to be a small part of the GFWC International organization.