COVID-19 Updates – During the pandemic, some interest groups have ceased to meet temporarily and others are able to meet on Zoom. For the 2021/22 season, if you are a returning member, please contact your interest group contact to confirm the group’s meeting decisions, which will be in accordance with public health measures. New Members, may contact the Interest Groups Coordinator (Susan Middleton) or the contact listed below.
Our Annual CFUW St. Catharines House Tour is held on the first Sunday in May. This is our Club’s main fundraising event for the year, and members help out in one or more ways:
•Join the House Tour Committee – this group of about 20 members meet several evenings during the year to organize the event. They find the houses, prepare and keep track of the tickets, promote the event, solicit corporate donations, arrange flowers & photos for the homes, organize members into teams, and do a myriad of other tasks involved in making the event a success!
•Sell tickets to people you know or liaise with a ticket outlet
•Volunteer as a Guide to work for a few hours in a house on Tour Day
•Make a donation to the House Tour charitable fund (tax receipts are issued).
The money raised is used to fund our scholarships and donations to support local Charities that benefit women and children.
Contact Barb Legg, Mary Jane Waszynski
United Way – CFUW HYGIENE KITS
In 2017, CFUW St Catharines started, in conjunction with the United Way, the CFUW Hygiene Kits initiative which provides kits for women in shelters and those moving out of crisis shelters. Hygiene products are often overlooked as donations to shelters, food banks and other organizations. For women living in poverty, affording every day essentials can be a real challenge, and for women who are experiencing homelessness, it is an even greater challenge. The United Way Hygiene Kits responds to some of the need that has been identified in our community. The hygiene kits include: shampoo, conditioner, soap, wash cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and other miscellaneous hygiene items. All members are invited to attend, throughout the year, packing parties to assemble the hygiene kits. If you are interested in assisting, please contact Karen or Heidi. Contact Karen MacKay, Heidi Burgess
CHIT-CHAT with NEWCOMERS
This group meets with 10-15 Newcomers every second Wednesday afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Folk Arts Centre at 85 Church Street. The newcomers will already have basic English skills but need a chance to practice speaking and understanding English in a friendly and informal setting. Each session will feature a “Topic of the Day” to structure the discussions in small groups. Contact Sharon Lawler
CFUW Children’s Nutrition Program
Through this volunteer group, CFUW members currently support Breakfast Programs at several St.Catharines schools both in the public and separate school boards – for example Harriet Tubman, Ferndale, Edith Cavell, St. Christopher and St. Theresa schools. In cooperation with Niagara Nutrition Partners and school staff our volunteers try to meet the needs of individual schools. Some prepare the food, some serve the food, all interact with the children to provide a warm, friendly, supportive breakfast experience. The Breakfast Programs may operate 7:30-9 a.m. each day from September to June. Volunteers commit to ONE DAY per week. Past volunteers were surprised how much they looked forward to seeing the children. They also noted that they left each day feeling energized. Contact Heather Sloan
Members of this group knit “Knockers” (bra inserts) for breast cancer patients and survivors. Commercially available breast prosthesis forms are expensive, heavy, and uncomfortable especially in the summertime. Through research the Knitted Knockers organization (www.knittedknockers.org) was discovered. They provide a free knitting pattern, and encourage women to help women by donating these soft, light and comfortable knitted knockers. Members knit knockers and bring them to a gathering before our regular monthly meetings to stuff and package the “Knockers” for donations to the Walker Family Cancer Centre and Wellspring Niagara. More knitting volunteers would be very welcome! Contact Jacquie Herman-Wing, Martha Abra
This is a key fundraiser that our Club runs at the Festive Dinner every December. The Silent Auction convener recruits volunteers to help her. Members donate items for the Silent Auction. The committee collects, logs, and labels items, and sets them up on the display tables before the Festive Dinner. Members bid on the items, and pay for whatever they’ve won at the end of the evening. Money raised from this effort is used by our Club to cover various expenses and may be donated to Community Giving projects. Contact Sue Hughes, Denise Bradden, Pat Paulin
CHARITABLE FUND COMMITTEE
This committee meets one evening a year in January to review, consider, and develop recommendations for the distribution of funds raised by the House Tour, Silent Auction, and any other fundraisers we’ve held in the last year. According to our Constitution, this committee includes the Charitable Fund Chair, Charitable Fund Treasurer, Education Liaison Officer, Club Vice-President, Club Past President and at least three other CFUW members-at-large who are not on the Executive. If you are interested in finding out more about the scholarships and charities we support, and are knowledgeable about local non-profit association needs, please join us. Contact Grace-Ann Cambray
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND OTHER CLUB COMMITTEES
The CFUW St.Catharines Executive meets approximately 5 evenings a year to review the Club’s operations and plan for the year. It consists of the President, Past President, Vice-President, Club Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and the Standing Committee Chairs. The Charitable Fund Chair also attends as a non-voting member. Within each Standing Committee, there are 1 or more sub-committees. Each Sub-Committee has a Chair and may also have members who help her, and they meet as needed during the year. Some of the Sub-Committees include:
- Membership – help new members to join the Club
- Interest Groups – liaise with Interest Group convenors and provide support as needed
- Membership Roster Administrator – maintain the member roster, process membership renewals, and prepare & distribute CFUW materials to members and the Executive
- Member Communications – prepare emails & mailings to members; work with press & media to promote the Club’s activities
- Programme – plan and provide support for speakers for the monthly General Meetings
- Social – organize catering for monthly meetings, and organize the New Member Reception in October-November
- Archives – keep our Club’s historical records
- Newsletter – prepare a monthly newsletter for distribution to the membership
- Website – update the Club’s website on an ongoing basis with events & materials
Please consider joining one of the Committees or putting your name in for next year’s Executive. Contact Gail Neff
Each year, the National level of CFUW collects and edits proposed Resolutions that have been prepared and submitted by CFUW Clubs across the country. If passed, these resolutions will be presented to those responsible for their implementation, mostly politicians, (e.g. Be It Resolved that the Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governments should take the following political action…).
Thee proposed Resolutions are circulated to all Clubs so they can consider if they want to support, modify, or oppose. The Clubs vote on the Resolutions at the CFUW National Annual General Meeting held in the summer each year. Those that are accepted by the members are added to the CFUW Policy Book (available online at cfuw.org), and Clubs use them to lobby local, provincial and federal politicians.
All CFUW members are encouraged to participate in the Resolutions process, which is an important part of CFUW’s mission. We need at least one volunteer per Resolution (there are usually 4-6 of them). The member reads the materials provided by CFUW National, researches the bibliography as needed, and develops these recommendations. The volunteers meet one evening in February or early March to review each others’ Resolutions and come to an agreement about recommending that our Club support, modify or oppose each Resolution. The Vice-President presents the recommendations about the Resolutions to the Club for a vote at the April monthly General Meeting. Our representative votes as directed at the CFUW National AGM held in the summer. Contact Gail Neff
IDEAS FOR NEW GROUPS
We have some terrific ideas for groups, but need leaders or organizers. Anyone interested?
- Lunch Bunch
- Child Study Group
- Walk and Talk
Just let Susan Middleton know you’re interested, and we’ll help you get an Interest Group started.