2014-2016 GFWC of Missouri, Inc. President’s Message
What an honor it is to serve GFWC of Missouri as the 2014-2016 President! I am thrilled to be surrounded by a talented Executive Committee composed of Deb Bastian, Janet Ryan, Trish Shelton, Pat Mertens, Susan Gettys, and Donna Calvin! Thank you to the State Chairmen who graciously said “yes” when I asked them to serve and to the district and club officers who also said “yes.” Women like these have been leading GFWC for 124 years as we have been changing history. Because of our amazing accomplishments, I have selected as my theme “Standing Tall for GFWC, Our Communities, Our World.”
There’s no creature that stands taller than the 17-foot giraffe, so the giraffe will be my symbol. Besides being tallest in the animal kingdom, the giraffe also has the keenest vision. During 2014-2016, we need to have the giraffe’s vision to reach for new heights while pursuing four goals. We hear on the news about the S&P 500, so let’s use S&P to help us remember these four goals—S&P and S&P.
1. Support Our Youth: Our clubs must do whatever we can to help our youth grow up safe and strong. We do so much with the Reading Awards Program (RAP) at MGT, the Sophomore Pilgrimage, and the Missouri Leadership Seminar, but we can do more. Sponsor a GFWC Youth Writing Contest for your school; get involved with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates); plan a party at a nursing home and invite kids to entertain; volunteer in a classroom. The possibilities are endless.
2. Protect Our Environment: This is our second goal and it is also my state project. With all 1,726 of us in GFWC MO doing something for the environment, we will make an impact. As a start, GFWC MO has joined the Scotch Tape Brigade, so save empty plastic tape dispensers and cores and bring them to district and state conventions; we’ll send to 3M for recycling. Please check out “Protecting Our Environment” on this website to read what else you and your club can do to help protect this precious land for future generations. I’m challenging each club to select at least one project from those listed on the “Protecting Our Environment” document. Perhaps it’s collecting aluminum pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House or working with the kids in your community to plant trees. Thank you to Karla Kincaid for all her work on preparing these environmental resources and to GFWC Iowa for sharing ideas with us.
3. Support Our Veterans: Because they have served our country, we must support our soldiers and veterans. Sponsor a children’s book drive for the USO “United through Reading Military Program.” Check with your VA Hospital or Veterans Home to find out their needs. Organize a “Valentines for Veterans” after-school work party. There’s so much we can do to let them know we care.
4. Protect Women: At our fantastic state convention that 2012-2014 GFWC MO President Lisa Cook planned, we learned about the horrors of human trafficking. Through our GFWC Signature Project of Domestic Violence Prevention, we will continue to protect women. By supporting Heifer International, we’re helping women in 125 countries and Appalachia in their quest to end a life of poverty. We also need to protect ourselves financially. At our Summer Conference, we will announce two new award programs which give clubs the opportunity to win cash prizes in 2016 for their projects to protect women financially and their projects to support youth.
I challenge you and your club to focus on S&P and S&P during the next two years with the vision to make our communities and our world even better places to live. Thank you all for joining me as we continue to make our GFWC dreams a reality while “Standing Tall for GFWC, Our Communities, Our World.”
Kathy Palermo, 2014-2016 GFWC MO President