The Franklin Woman's Club is committed to providing community service through volunteer work and/or organizing donation opportunities with local, national or international impact. See below for a description of projects and ways you can get involved.
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The Franklin Woman's Club has been involved in the Shot@Life initiative since 2013 and as of November 2018, have raised $1,065.78! If you would like to make a donation, please send a check made payable to Franklin Woman's Club PO Box 5793, Somerset, NJ 08875 noting "Shot@Life" in the subject line of your check.
This year, 1.7 million children will die from diseases that have all but disappeared in the U.S. Why? Because one in five children around the world does not have access to the life-saving immunizations needed to survive.
What's the solution? It’s simple; vaccines save lives. Millions of children could be spared from measles, pneumonia, diarrhea, polio and other preventable diseases if we could simply get them the vaccines they need. When a child begins life with the protection of vaccines, the door is opened to more developmental firsts — first steps, first words, a first day of school. Immunized children are more likely to celebrate their fifth birthday, do well in school and go on to be productive, healthy adults. Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and keep our families healthy here at home, while improving economic stability around the world.
The UN Foundation's Shot@Life campaign educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. A national call to action for this global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together, we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines. By encouraging Americans to learn about, advocate for, and donate vaccines, the United Nations Foundation's Shot@Life campaign will decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give children a shot at a healthy life.
• $20 Will protect 20 children from measles
• $100 Helps vaccinate 100 children from measles
• $250 Helps vaccinate 250 children from measles
Total raised by the Franklin Woman's Club to date: $1,065.78/November 2018
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Every year, almost 700,000 children suffer abuse or neglect in the US (according to the National Children’s Alliance) and the NJ State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC) wants to help them through a two - year partnership (2018-2020) with CASA of NJ (Court Appointed Special Advocates).
“If you were a child who experienced abuse or neglect, you would be facing a life likely defined by physical, psychological or emotional trauma and their long-term consequences. Chances are, by the time you turn 21, you will have spent two years or more in a constant state of toxic stress while you waited to go home, be adopted or simply see what happens next. You will have moved three times, had several caseworkers and caregivers, and attended nine different schools. You are 900 percent more likely to be involved in criminal activities. And if you never find a permanent home and age out of the child welfare system altogether, you have a 20 percent chance of being homeless before age 19.” (Source)
Grim scenarios and statistics such as these moved the NJ State Federation of Women's Clubs to create a special statewide project to support CASA of NJ, in which all 193 NJ’s Woman’s Clubs will organize events and initiatives to help ease the traumatic transitions faced by innocent victims of child abuse and neglect. In all 21 counties, CASA of NJ is approved by state statute to advocate for abused and neglected children in Family Court thereby giving them “a voice to ensure their safety and well-being, and ultimately, their placement in nurturing, permanent homes with loving families.” Last year approximately 1,900 specially trained NJ CASA volunteer advocates worked with 3,866 children in foster care.
The challenge is that CASA’s budget only covers 50% of their expenses. The other half needs to come from donations and initiatives such as those being organized by NJ’s Women’s Clubs. The Franklin Woman's Club is in the process of organizing donation opportunities. Please return to this website's home page for updates in the coming weeks.
At the club's October 2018 meeting, the Franklin Woman's Club's first collection was made, that generated $107.00.
IN THE NEWS:
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Personally Yours Lingerie (315 Main St., Bedminster, NJ) has partnered with the Franklin Woman's Club by donating bras for the FREE THE GIRLS initiative. In this 3rd donation made in September 2018, the club was able to ship 275 bras that will be used by women in developing countries to build their own businesses selling second-hand clothing while going to school, thereby allowing them to financially maintain their homes and care for their families.The Free the Girls organization collects new and gently used bras, which according to the organizations’ founders, (missionaries Dave and Amy Terpstra), are considered a luxury item and command top dollar in the used clothing markets of developing countries. Free the Girls is currently in place in El Salvador and Mozambique. Personally Yours also donated $100 to cover shipping costs.The Franklin Woman’s Club greatly appreciates the generosity of Personally Yours to help fight human trafficking. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation to help cover shipping costs. Please make check payable to: Franklin Woman’s Club; indicate “Free the Girls” in the memo space of your check. Mail to: Franklin Woman’s Club, PO Box 5793, Somerset, NJ 08875.
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“Imagine a group of people, picking up a drum or some percussion, and the next thing you know, everyone is jamming! The air is filled with motivating sound and movement. You are floating and really feeling the beat! The sound is healing! You are part of the drumming and rhythm.” This was the image that Dave Miller created in an interactive drumming circle program he recently presented with Dana McCurdy at the Quail Brook Senior Center (625 New Brunswick Rd., Somerset NJ). Dave and Dana are drum facilitators and members of the EarthMovers Drum Collective. This unique program was funded by the Franklin Woman’s Club, a nonprofit service organization committed to philanthropic initiatives to help the community.
Quail Brook Senior Center Manager, Allyson Toth, welcomed 38 guests including Franklin Woman’s Club members, to the event with a summary of the growing body of research on the health benefits of drumming, (i.e., relieving stress, lowering blood pressure, stimulating brainwave activity and positively benefiting one’s emotional wellbeing). Afterwards, Dave and Dana taught participants basic drumming techniques such as hand positioning to maximize drum resonance and how to achieve tonal variations. Attendees learned about the beautiful array of solid wood or fiberglass hand drums (djembes and ashikos from Mali, Ghana, the Ivory Coast of Africa, Indonesia and America). The drums, works of art themselves, featured beautiful carvings and goatskin heads stretched using special ropes that served a functional as well as decorative purpose.
The Quail Brook Senior Center, (located on the Quail Brook Golf Course, Somerset), is operated by the Somerset County Office on Aging and Disabilities Services and is one of six facilities with others located in Basking Ridge, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Montgomery and Warren. All centers offer a wide assortment of educational, recreational and wellness activities, volunteer and community service opportunities plus lunch in an uplifting, social atmosphere for people age 60+. Transportation is available for those unable to drive. For more information about Somerset County’s Senior Centers, visit www.co.somerset.nj.us.
IN THE NEWS:
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Never underestimate the power of an idea and a group of women. Back in 2005, one woman created the World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKPD) as a way to encourage knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Over time, it evolved into the largest knitter and volunteer–run event in the world with an opportunity for people to knit for a cause. Growing from a mere 25 events in 2005, hundreds of World Wide Knit in Public Day events are now celebrated in over 31 countries including Australia, China, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.
For the past two years, a WWKPD event has been held at the Franklin Township Branch library in Franklin Park, NJ, as a result of a collaboration between the library, Pam MacKenzie, Courier News Reporter and journalist for the Blog “In Stitches,” and the Franklin Woman’s Club (FWC), chaired by Bonnie Martin and Irene Fisler. This year, approximately 15 women gathered inside and outside the library on Saturday, June 9th. Their mission? To make purple baby hats.
As a result of community partners such as Pam MacKenzie’s knitters, the Knitting Club at Somerville Senior Housing, local knitters who created hats in advance, plus hats made at the actual event, 388 purple baby hats were made, which will be donated to Prevent Child Abuse NJ. The hats will be used as part of their educational initiative, The Period of PURPLE Crying® developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS). Currently, 14 NJ hospitals participate in this initiative by educating parents and caregivers about the characteristics of infant crying (previously referred to as colic) by using the acronym PURPLE and giving the baby a purple hat. It is hoped that the purple hat each baby receives, will serve as a visual reminder of the important message delivered during the pre – discharge classes. Educators emphasize that when this crying occurs, it is a temporary developmental phase and babies should never be shaken in frustration as this can damage the baby’s brain and lead to other severe injuries including death.
The acronym PURPLE represents:
• When to expect Peak crying phases
• The Unexpected nature of crying
• The baby’s Resistance to being comforted
• The Pained facial expression commonly seen
• The Long-lasting duration of the episode
• Crying episodes that tend to occur in the late afternoon or Evening.
The 2018 World Wide Day of Public Knitting provided the reason to get together. The women saw it as an opportunity to contribute to an important educational and child safety initiative.
An idea, a group of women and a mission…..great things happen when women work together!
If you would like to help, here’s how:
• Become a partner with the Franklin Woman’s Club (FWC) by knitting or crocheting a purple baby cap. For guidelines and patterns for knitted/crocheted baby caps, visit: www.clickforbabies.org/stitchers-club.
• Make a donation for the purchase of yarn. Please make check payable to the Franklin Woman’s Club, indicating “Click for Babies Campaign” in the subject line of your check and mail to: Franklin Woman's Club, P O Box 5793, Somerset, NJ 08875.
• Donate newly purchased skeins of (soft-to-the-touch) yarn in any shade of purple to the Franklin Woman’s Club. Call (732) 844-9002 and leave a message requesting that your donation of yarn or hats be picked up. A FWC member will contact you to make these arrangements.
IN THE NEWS:
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The Franklin Woman’s Club (FWC) is committed to improving the local and international community through volunteerism. Knowing of the horrors of human trafficking around the world, the club wanted to find a way to make a difference. After learning about the Free the Girls initiative, the club realized they could expand the impact of this international project by reaching out to local businesses for help.
Free the Girls is an international non-profit organization devoted to providing survivors of human trafficking with a path to freedom and financial stability. The organization helps women in developing countries build their own businesses selling second-hand clothing while going to school, thereby allowing them to financially maintain their homes and care for their families. To achieve this goal, the Free the Girls organization collects new and gently used bras, which according to the organizations’ founders, (missionaries Dave and Amy Terpstra), are considered a luxury item and command top dollar in the used clothing markets of developing countries. Free the Girls is currently in place in El Salvador and Mozambique.
After receiving an invitation from the Franklin Woman's Club to participate in this initiative, Personally Yours Lingerie, Bedminster and Lace Silhouettes Lingerie, located in Peddlers Village, Lahaska PA, Cape May NJ and Princeton NJ agreed to partner with them, each reaching out to employees and/or customers whose donations were added to the stores’ own contributions of beautiful, brand new merchandise. Julia Klein, Associate Buyer, Foundations & Lingerie, Lace Silhouettes reached out to several of her vendors for their support, asking if the vendors had donations to make in any way they could. Wacoal America Inc., Dana-Co LLC, Simone Perele and Van de Velde N.V. all donated product to support the initiative.
This partnership resulted in a total collection of 585 bras plus a cash donation of $280 to help cover shipping costs. The Franklin Woman’s Club greatly appreciates the generosity of these two businesses in helping them participate in the fight against human trafficking.
If you would like to help, please consider making a donation to help cover shipping costs.
Please make check payable to: Franklin Woman’s Club,
Indicate “Free the Girls”
in the memo space of your check.
Mail to: Franklin Woman’s Club, PO Box 5793, Somerset, NJ 08875
IN THE NEWS:
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Somerville Senior Housing Knitting Club (SSHKC) has been collaborating with the Franklin Woman's Club (FWC) since 2017 to help support various charitable organizations. After receiving an invitation to knit purple baby hats for the Click for Babies Campaign, (a Prevent Child Abuse NJ initiative), building director Denise Kilgallen,(in photo below), promoted the opportunity to the facility's Knitting Club. Club members enthusiastically responded, immediately knitting a wide variety of purple baby hats which were donated to hospitals that distribute them to new parents.
As of May 11, 2018, the SSHKC has created 60 hats for this project. When FWC club members received the donations, they were surprised to also receive seven beautifully designed and knitted baby ensembles complete with jacket, hat, booties and mittens in a variety of colors and styles! As these items could not be donated to the Click for Babies Campaign, the club is donating five sets to local non-profit, Center for Great Expectations, Somerset. According to their website, the Center for Great Expectations, "seeks to form a partnership with homeless pregnant women in creating a safe place, a safe presence and a safe path so that they may complete a healthy pregnancy, choose the next right step and follow through on their plan." The remaining 2 sets will be used as prizes in the 2019 annual Tricky Tray event that raises money for college scholarships.
The Franklin Woman's Club appreciates the ongoing generosity of time and talent of Somerville Senior Housing's Knitting Club members!!
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Franklin Woman's Club members donated $200 to honor the memory of Kim Thorne, who was a dear friend to club members and FWC Co - President. The mission of the Embrace Kids Foundation is "to ligthen the burden, maintain normalcy and improve the quality of life for families whose children are facing cancer, sickle cell and other serious health challenges. Embrace Kids addresses the spiritual, emotional and financial needs of patient families in the New Jersey/New York City metropolitan area."
If you would like to contribute to this wonderful organization, you can mail a donation to: Embrace Kids Foundation, 121 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 or visit:embracekids.org for more information.
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• First Aid/Rescue Squads (East Millstone, Kendall Park, Kingston and Rocky Hill) with a cash donation to help support operations
• Franklin Food Bank with a cash donation for the purchase of food & supplies to fight food insecurity
• The Promise Culinary School, New Brunswick with a cash donation to help fund scholarship awards for the school’s culinary arts students
• Quail Brook Senior Center with a cash donation to sponsor an educational or recreational activity for center participants age 60 and above
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Have you ever wondered how you could help victims of human sex trafficking? Here is what the Franklin Woman's Club is doing. The club's International Outreach Chairman, Valerie Buckner, learned about the Free the Girls Program and shared the information with fellow club members. Free the Girls is an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to providing survivors of sex trafficking with a path to freedom and financial stability. The organization assists women in building their own businesses selling second- hand clothing while going to school which allows them to create a home and care for their families. To achieve this goal, the Free the Girls organization collects new and gently used bras.
One of the more frequently asked questions about the program is: Why does Free the Girls collect bras and how does that help provide job opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking? In 2010, Free the Girls founders Dave and Amy Terpstra were preparing to move their family to Mozambique where they would serve as World Venture missionaries. While there, Dave identified business opportunities to help provide a stable income for survivors of sex trafficking. After learning that bras, considered a luxury item, command top dollar in the used clothing markets of developing countries, he incorporated this concept into business training to help women rebuild their lives after prostitution. Currently, Free the Girls is in place in El Salvador and Mozambique.
After receiving an invitation from the Franklin Woman's Club to participate in this initiative, Personally Yours Lingerie, Bedminster agreed to partner with them. This will greatly expand the impact of the program.
If you would like to help, please consider one or more of the following:
To date, the Franklin Woman's Club (in partnership with Personally Yours Lingerie), donated 142 bras + $142 toward this initiative.
Thank you to Personally Yours, Lingerie for their very generous donation of over 100 pieces of lingerie + $100 for the associated shipping and handling costs.
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Franklin Woman's Club members continued the tradition of donating and packaging festive bags of candy to brighten the holidays of residents at local facilities providing care for the elderly. On Friday, November 24, Marilyn Andrews,(Home Life/Social Services Chairman) delivered a total of 100 candy bags split between Willow Creek Rehabilitation and Care Center and Spring Hill Assisted Living, both in Somerset.
Pictured above left: Franklin Woman's Club Members Marilyn Andrews (left) and Mary Ann Savino package and decorate candy bags.
Pictured above right: Marilyn Andrews (left) and Sandi Cox display the completed bags. So sweet!!
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In 2017, the Franklin Woman's Club made a donation to The Pennies for Puppies Program (The Seeing Eye, Morristown, NJ) which will allow Xelda to become a Seeing Eye Dog.