Scores of Madison Heights Women’s Club Members joined by love of Community Service
(Drew Saunders, March 8, 2020)
Madison Heights, MI – Madison Heights’ General Federation of Women’s Club showcased generosity of time and charity over the past year, as they have for decades.
“We often get chosen for the club of the year for our southeastern district, for the 41 to 99 members category. Then we get judged against six districts in the state. So, it’s possible we could get club of the year for our level as well,” said member Laurie Geralds.
The group is regularly up for one of thirteen statewide awards, competing with 43 Michigan GFWC chapters. The nominees will be announced after their statewide convention in late April. If they win any state awards, they can be eligible for national awards this summer.
The organization’s 92 members each pitch in to help raise money for anti-homelessness, anti-domestic violence and fund raising causes, to name a few. The chapter supports about 80 charities for causes all around the community.
The group collectively spent 13,900 volunteer hours on 267 projects, according to their February newsletter. They also raised $20,530 and spent $20,209 total in the last fiscal year, according to Geralds.
The GFWC has always made a name for itself in supporting efforts to fight domestic violence. According to the club, they donated $1,883 to the HAVEN domestic violence shelter; as well as donations to support the Pinwheels for Prevention child abuse prevention program and anti-elder abuse programs. That includes $1,032 donated to Lighthouse of Michigan, a shelter for domestic violence victims, according to Geralds.
The group has a number of ongoing donations, such as supporting Madison Heights Youth Assistance. Additionally, they have a number of fundraising awards, which are brought up by members and decided upon every month, according to Madison Heights GFWC President Karen Barnes.
Donations can come in any form. But according to Beth Hall, the second Vice President of the chapter, most of their money is raised through a large formal tea party. They will celebrate their seventeenth annual tea next year.
“We have our big huge tea, every October or November, depending on when they get the venue. That is the money that we use all year to help these separate charities, unless we do a separate initiative for a specific charity,” Hall said. “And we’re always finding new ones.”
The GFWC also concerns itself with legislation. Its members write to legislators on laws concerning women, children and underprivileged communities.“One of the things that I am most proud of is …. these ladies range from [their] late 30s, up until their 80s. They have really formed friendships amongst themselves. So not only is this a social aspect amongst each other, but they also look out for each other,” Barnes said.
Despite originating as a women’s group, people of any gender are welcome. The GFWC meets once a month. For more information, visit their Facebook page.