November celebrates family caregivers
In recognition of November as National Family Caregivers Month, the GFWC Book Lovers Study Club’s program focused on the importance of caregivers to raise the awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities and increase support for caregivers. Cheri McCain, who has served as a caregiver for her parents, in-laws, friends, children and others, presented the program.
“Caregiving is considered a selfless act of providing support, assistance and comfort to someone in need, whether by a family member, a friend or a stranger,” McCain said.
There are four types of caregivers–family, professional, volunteer and informal.
Despite the caregivers’ different backgrounds and circumstances, they all face common challenges including managing their physical and emotional stress, balancing work and caregiving responsibilities, lack of support and resources, guilt and loss of identity, legal and financial issues.
In our country today, more than 53 million family caregivers provide unpaid care. McCain shared some of her challenges as a caregiver. She stressed that a caregiver must have empathy, compassion and commitment.
The meeting was held at the Russellville First Baptist Church’s Green Room. President Brenda Oliver presided over the meeting. The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of “God Bless America” and the Reading of the Collect.
Debbie Beason and Lela Ray served delicious refreshments. Julie McKinney attended as a guest. The business session included the treasurer report, review and approval of the Book Lovers’ Budget for the year.
Treasurer Leah Masterson reported the club donated $75 to the Shot@Life and $75 to UNICEF. Members have donated more than $150 this year for Canine Companions for Independence.
In other business, club members approved $140 to participate in the Russellville Hospital Christmas tree fundraiser. The money raised from this project will be used for the hospital’s new emergency room. Patricia Cox, Joshlyn Bowen and Nancy Foster make up the committee that will decorate the tree at City Lake Park.
Attendees listen to a report on the GFWC Southern Region Conference held in Biloxi, Miss. Members congratulated Susie Hovater Malone as the GFWC Southern Region finalist for the GFWC Jennie Award.
Members were reminded to support the Veteran’s Day parade in downtown Russellville. Other reminders for December were for the Walk Through Bethlehem, Every Light a Prayer for Peace, Christmas Tree Lighting, Christmas Parade and the Roxy’s Christmas Spectacular.
By Susie Hovater Malone