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.
Clubwomen can become advocates by working to:
Ensure that children are protected from harmful situations
Encourage healthy physical and emotional lifestyles
Impact policy to improve children's lives
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
GFWC has partnered with like-minded organizations that advocate on behalf of children everywhere. Refer to the Partnership section for activities designed especially for GFWC clubs.
Pediatric Unit Playtime: Ask members to donate items such as coloring books, small jigsaw and cube puzzles, Play-Doh, and other small toys for hospitalized pediatric patients to enjoy during their stay in your local pediatric unit.
Furniture Safety: Raise awareness in your community and help save a child's life by planning a program about the dangers of furniture tip overs and other hazards in the home. Distribute anchoring kits to help secure heavy furniture.
Screen Time Awareness: In this age of digital media, children are being exposed to cell phones, tablets, and electronic screens as early as infancy. Too much screen time for children can lead to issues such as obesity, irregular
In 1994 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January was declared a National Day of Service. Each and every club in GFWC is asked to do a service project on that day. It may be in any area, any type of project. OUR GOAL IS 1,000 CLUBS PARTCIPATING. 2
sleep schedules and shorter duration of sleep, behavioral problems, loss of social skills, violence, and less time for play. Educate the members of your club about the new guidelines for screen time use for young children.
Child Advocacy Ribbons: Create awareness ribbons in royal blue and attach them to bookmarks or business cards to be left at local libraries, businesses, or health care centers with information about your local Child Advocacy Center and the services they provide.
Children's Choking Awareness: Toilet Paper Roll Safety Project - consists of attaching a decorated toilet paper roll to cardstock paper with the following statement: "Any toy or toy part that can pass through is a choking hazard for children less than three years of age."
GFWC ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN WEEK
To raise awareness for GFWC's child advocacy efforts, GFWC has declared the fourth week in October as GFWC Advocates for Children Week. All GFWC Women's, Junior, and Juniorette clubs are invited to participate by planning events related to the Juniors' Special Program. Try a new project or a previously successful one. It's up to you! Consider your club's interests and community needs.
Blankets for Babies Project
March of Dimes hosts baby showers for military families through their mission: Healthy Baby Program. GFWC clubwomen can get involved by providing these families with baby blankets. Please help GFWC welcome these babies of military families with a special blanket of their own! Handmade blankets may be sewn or no-sew blankets, knitted, crocheted, or quilted, etc. For more information, please contact Meredith Repik at March of Dimes. Make sure to post and watch on Pinterest at "GFWC4Children."
Help to "LIGHT THE WORLD PURPLE," World Prematurity Day; November 17. Show your Purple Passion for Babies! Turn your Club House purple for preemies on November 17. Premature birth is birth that happens too soon, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Babies born this early are more likely to die before their first birthday; those who survive are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital or to suffer lifelong health problems. Each year in the United States, about 1 in 10 babies is born prematurely. Each club can "Go Purple" with these four easy steps during November to raise awareness of the crisis of preterm birth during March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Month:
Promote March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Month at a club meeting. Visit www.marchofdimes.org for current information.
Celebrate and bring awareness by wearing purple at a meeting or activity.
Invite a club member to share her March of Dimes mission story. Contact your local March of Dimes office to request a visit from an Ambassador Family or representative.
Give a brief presentation on prematurity to raise awareness
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
This year, parents of nearly 16,000 children in the U.S. will hear the words: "Your child has cancer." One in five of those children won't survive. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and as a leader in the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will focus on raising awareness and funds for this very important issue.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month provides St. Jude an opportunity to educate communities and supporters about what they can do to help these kids fighting for their lives.
Throughout the month of September supporters can join our movement and help support the little warriors at St. Jude in their big fight against childhood cancer. GFWC has a National Team so your club can support St. Jude and GFWC by participating in a Walk/Run near you. Not a Walk/ Run in your home town? Create a Virtual Walk team and join efforts with clubwomen around the country to help the kids of St. Jude.
Rally friends, family, and community members and register for St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer. Visit www.stjude.org/walkrun to find an event near you.
Volunteer at a St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer event near you by visiting www.stjude.org/walkrun and click on "volunteer."
Mention Childhood Cancer Awareness Month at your club meeting. Visit www.stjude.org/September for current information.
Join us on social media @StJude and use the Hashtag #ShowYourGold to show your support.
Through our St. Jude dinners, golf tournaments, and galas program, we are able to offer over 100 events across the country as a way for GFWC membership to engage with St. Jude. These events raise significant funds for St. Jude and allow us to continue our life-saving mission of finding cures and saving children. There are a variety of opportunities available:
Committee Leadership Roles - These roles drive our Sponsorship, Table and Ticket Sales, Auction Recruitment, Restaurant Recruitment, PR & Marketing, and Recruiting of Volunteers. Committee development is vital to the success of our events.
Office Help - Our Lead staff need help with mailings, follow-up calls, computer data entry, goodie bags, favors, and event set-up and teardown.
Day-of Event Support
Event Guests - Events are open for you and your friends to purchase a Sponsorship or Ticket.
Volunteer - During our events, volunteers are needed to assist as Greeters, Registration - Check-In, Auction and Auction Solicitation for Bids, Spotters for Live Auction & Give to Live, and Auction Check-Out. (All volunteers are trained on their specific role.)
The St. Jude Trike-A-Thon is a fun, service learning program for daycares and preschools that teaches trike and riding toy safety while helping the children of St. Jude. Any advocate for children can make a difference with the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon. If you sign up to become a coordinator, St. Jude will provide everything you need to have a great event at a preschool or daycare in your area. Log on to www.stjude. org/get-involved to find out more.
Mask Straps for St. Jude Patients
Do you have seamstresses in your club? Consider meeting to assemble bags with materials to make mask straps for the children at St. Jude and having seamstresses taking the bags home to complete the project with their personal sewing machines. Mask straps are used to improve the comfort level for patients required to wear masks to prevent the spread of infection or protect our patients from infection. These mask straps replace the elastic band that comes standard on the mask. Patients report the flannel and fleece material feel much better against their cheek and causes far less rubbing than the original elastic band. Patterns and specific information for this project can be found at https:// www.stjude.org/get-involved/other-ways/volunteer-at-the-hospital/how-to-become-a-volunteer/at-home-projects/ mask-straps.html.
Waiting Room Fun Bags
Fill a sealed zippered plastic bag with fun things a child or teen can do as they wait to visit the doctor. Make bags age-specific but generic enough for a boy or a girl. Include things such as: crayons, markers, colored pencils, paper, coloring books, and stickers. Items may be sent to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Attention Vilma Carnahan and Volunteer Services, 595 North Parkway, Memphis, TN 38105.