About Our Committees
As part of our outreach, we have various Committees in different areas of interest that help us serve our local community.
GFWC’s Signature Project
Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention
The goal of the GFWC Signature Program is to increase awareness of and help prevent the widespread occurrence of domestic abuse in communities across the nation by working with national domestic violence networks, supporting existing activities, working with various established programs, and initiating educational opportunities for club members and local citizens. GFWC aims to be a powerful voice for those who have no voice.
As approved at the 2019 Board of Directors Meeting in Austin, Texas, the Program has been expanded to include eight areas: Intimate Partner Violence, Child Abuse, Teen Dating Violence, Campus Sexual Assault, Elder Abuse, Violence Against Native American Women, Military Sexual Assault, and Human Trafficking for Sexual Purposes.
For more information: https://www.gfwc.org/what-we-do/community-service-programs/
Pinwheels for Prevention®
Prevent Child Abuse America is implementing Pinwheels for Prevention®, a national campaign introducing the pinwheel as the symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention in the United States. With more than 3.5 million pinwheels distributed since April 2008, we invite GFWC members to help continue this growth.
Each year GFWC Dominion Woman’s Club plants pinwheels locally to raise awareness of Prevent Child Abuse.
Arts and Culture Community Service Program
The DWC Arts and Culture Community Service Program encourages members to promote and support art and cultural programs in our club and our community.
We are proud supporters of the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas VA and encourage our members to attend performances there, as well as at our local Fauquier Community Theater in Warrenton VA.
There have been fewer opportunities in the last months for our typical gathering for crafting and sewing projects, where members would sew masks for local hospitals and nursing homes, create crafts to be sold at fundraisers for our club, and make favors for our fundraisers. Hopefully, this coming year will see us return to sharing our love of art through similar creative activities.
We are also excited to explore the newly added component of this committee, the study of cultures from around the world. Our GFWC manual states: “Culture consists of the characteristics and knowledge of a group of people, encompassing their art, beliefs, customs, food, language, literature, music, social habits, religion, and other interpersonal connections……Cultural awareness promotes effective communication and profoundly increases the ability to appreciate and enjoy a variety of new people and experiences.” Our committee is currently exploring ways to incorporate this component into our yearly planned activities.
The CIVIC ENGAGEMENT and OUTREACH Committee endeavors to educate our members about “issues that affect the well-being of individuals, families, and communities by providing opportunities and resources to meet and address needs through volunteering”. Many opportunities to volunteer are provided by the following DWC projects:
TOWN OF Haymarket: DWC members offer their services and their gardening expertise to create an eye-catching garden to surround the Town of Haymarket sign outside the Town Hall. DWC members create and maintain the “Pinwheel Garden”, which calls attention to domestic abuse, on the Town’s Main Street. DWC also participates in “Haymarket Day”, the Town’s celebration of community and goodwill. DWC members help decorate the Town Hall for the holiday season as well as the Haymarket Museum, which has been repurposed as a trendy new art gallery and crafting venue.
Holiday Baskets for Home-bound Seniors: During December, DWC members donate items and prepare baskets of treats and practical items to two home-bound senior citizens.
Outreach to the Homeless in Partnership with “Feeding Friends” of Gainesville United Methodist Church: DWC members collect gloves, scarves, socks, and hats to donate to GUMC ministry. Other items donated include batteries and blankets. Members also participate in the weekly preparation of the bag lunches brought to the residents of the homeless camps in our area.
Knitting For the Homeless: members meet informally weekly to knit scarves to donate to residents of local homeless camps. This project will expand to crocheting shawls and lap afghans to be donated to the Cancer Center in Gainesville.
Haymarket Regional Food Pantry: DWC members support the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry by participating in their fundraising events and by volunteering to work at the facility.
Carried To Full Term: DWC members provide funding and volunteer support to Carried To Full Term, a local non-profit that provides safe, long-term residence and life skills instruction for mothers in crisis as a result of pregnancy.
Gainesville Health and Rehabilitation Center: DWC members sponsor and attend the monthly Bunco at Gainesville Health and Rehabilitation Center in Gainesville.
Wreaths Across America: DWC members participate in the laying of holiday wreaths on the graves of veterans at local national cemeteries.
The CIVIC ENGAGEMENT and OUTREACH Committee also supports the March of Dimes “Marching For Babies”, children’s fitness as a supporter of the “Ellis Striders”, Easter Seals, and Canine Companions for Independence.
The DWC Education and Libraries Committee is committed to promoting lifelong learning, focusing on literacy development, helping children grow in their learning skills, supporting educational programs and recognizing staff within our community schools, and supporting our local libraries. The club supports:
BUY-A-KID-A-BOOK: This program originated as a DWC President’s project for the administration years 2016-2018. It now remains a yearly goal of DWC to provide each student at Suella Gilbert Ellis Elementary School, located in Manassas Virginia, with a book from their fall book fair. Ellis Elementary is considered a Title I school where over 40% of the students come from families at or below the poverty level. Each child in grades Pre-K through 5 chooses a personal book from a selection of grade-appropriate books. Faces shine with huge smiles as students realize that the books they choose are theirs to keep.
Our club funds this literacy outreach and members volunteer at the annual Scholastic Book Fair. In the words of Kathy Calvin, “Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” We truly believe that this program touches the hearts of the children receiving our gift of literature and makes a difference in their lives.
Fellowship, good conversations, and interesting discussions are the hallmark features of this group. Members share reflections, opinions, and the author’s biographical information on a variety of literary genres read during the course of the year. Meetings are held monthly, eight months of the year, and members take turns hosting at their homes. The group uses Bookclubs, an organizer site accessed on a desktop or via an app. We keep track of books we have read or are going to read, meeting locations, and utilize a polling feature to vote on books to read. Anyone in the club is welcome to join at any time.
SUELLA GILBERT ELLIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: DWC members have “adopted” the staff of this Title I school. The staff of Ellis is very hard-working and committed to ensuring that each student has an opportunity to succeed academically. Our members decorate the staff lounge seasonally and provide sweet, salty, and savory treats along with beverages for staff to enjoy. Our DWC ladies collect children’s books to supplement classroom libraries. With limited resources, teachers are thrilled to receive these books. The wide variety of genres represented in these books provides an interesting selection of materials to capture students’ interests, spark their desire to read, and help build their reading fluency and comprehension. As part of our DWC activities with Ellis Elementary School, and with help from RESET, a non-profit organization that places volunteer scientists in classrooms, we conduct hands-on physics experiments with fifth-grade students.
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY: DWC is part of the Friends of the Library Program at the Bull Run Regional Library in Manassas and the Haymarket Gainesville Library.
GRAVELY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: DWC members support the second-grade students and teachers at Gravely Elementary. Club members volunteer to support the second-grade language arts program. They work with students on their reading, listening to them read aloud while encouraging their fluency, discussing vocabulary, and helping with decoding skills. Our volunteers also help students practice their phonetic skills, learn spelling rules and patterns and develop writing skills. Some club members volunteer to support the second-grade math program. They help students to develop their math number facts and problem-solving skills using a variety of mathematical games, manipulatives, and stimulating challenges. Each second-grade teacher receives funds from DWC to be used for classroom enhancement. Popsicles and bookmarks are given to the students at the end of the school year, as they begin their summer break.
HOBY (HUGH O’BRIEN YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM): This organization motivates and empowers youth to develop their leadership skills and then apply those skills in service to others. Our club donates funds to sponsor sophomore ambassadors to the Virginia HOBY Leadership Seminar each year. The discussions, presentations, and interactive activities in these training seminars center around three perspectives of leadership: individual, group, and community. HOBY’s core values focus on volunteerism, integrity, excellence, diversity, effective and compassionate leadership, and community partnerships. We feel honored to support this program which inspires youth to make a positive difference in the world and to be a light of leadership for the future.
PACE WEST SCHOOL: PACE West is a school for children in grades K through 12 who have special needs and face emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. DWC is a member of PACE’S Village, a group of businesses, churches, and community groups in the Gainesville/Haymarket/Manassas area that have joined together to form a unique partnership to support PACE West School. The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” has been the rallying point of this dynamic group. Throughout the school year, DWC ladies provide little treats to let the staff know that we recognize their efforts, care about them, and thank them for all they do. In May, during Teacher Appreciation Week, DWC members provide a special breakfast for the staff. Our ladies are busy in their kitchens preparing a variety of breakfast casseroles, complimented with juices, coffee, fruit, and a variety of pastries and baked goods. DWC members regularly stock the PROWL Pantry closet, an incentive program where students who earn points for good behavior can redeem them for prizes. Each Friday during the school year, a club member works in the PROWL Pantry for two hours, along with a Rotary Club volunteer, to open the Pantry closet for the students to shop for items on which to spend their points.
DWC members give generously of their time and gift items to help PACE West teachers set up a Holiday Bonanza. This bonanza features special items that students can purchase as gifts for their family members with the holiday dollars they have earned. These gifts are then beautifully wrapped by DWC volunteers with club-donated paper, ribbons, and bags for the students to give as presents to their loved ones.
PACE West School celebrates a variety of special daytime events during the school year, including a Fall Festival, an Awards Picnic for middle and high school students, a Field Day, and a Graduation Ceremony for high schoolers. DWC members provide food, items, and volunteer hours to participate in and support these varied activities.
SCHOLARSHIP: DWC offers scholarships to graduating senior girls from Battlefield High School, Haymarket’s local high school. The criterion for this scholarship is: GPA standing, extra-curricular activities, references, essay, and service to the community. The number of scholarships offered each year and their value varies according to the availability of club funds. Our members take pride in being able to financially support outstanding exceptional young women, the movers, and shakers of the future.
The Environment Committee is active in the community and has the following focus projects:
- Protect/Maintain local environmental preserved areas and promote native regional plants.
- Protect domesticated animals by sponsoring a rescue facility.
- Invite speakers to inform members of backyard birding and creative ways to identify and encourage bird-friendly communities.
- Schedule outings to promote awareness of native trees and plants versus invasive plants.
- Promote water conservation with low water flow heads and water-efficient machines and dishwashers.
- Visit gardens to observe conservation landscapes that encourage droughts-resistant plants and trees.
Join us for naturalist, ecology, and history hikes and lectures at Leopold’s Preserve hosted by BRMC. More information on the BRMC website calendar of events. Bull Run Mountain Conservancy: https://www.brmconservancy.org/calendar-of-events and at Leopold’s preserve: https://www.leopoldspreserve.com/ in Haymarket, Virginia.
Located in Aldie, Virginia, FOHA is a no-kill animal shelter that has been in operation since 1973. There are lots of ways to volunteer including cat and dog walks and snuggling, grounds clean-up, administrative work all the way to fundraising. Check out their new website for more information. Friends of Homeless Animals: https://foha.org/get-involved/
An all-volunteer animal rescue organization located in Delaplane, Virginia in beautiful rolling hills providing food, housing, and love to animals in need. Check out their website for opportunities to volunteer including fostering, feeding, walking, and transporting. Washington Area Animal Adoption: https://www.waaag.org/volunteer
Haymarket Food Pantry now accepts unopened dry and wet dog and cat food. COVID has taken a toll on families who are trying to keep their pets feed. Please help a hungry pet today. Haymarket Food Pantry: https://haymarketfoodpantry.org/
The human body, mind, and spirit comprise our health and wellness. To improve our well-being, we must address three key components: nutrition, disease prevention, and physical and emotional care. The Health and Wellness Community Service Program aims to explore the various opportunities for awareness and advancement of each of these vital areas:
1. Nutritious food choices support healthy body weight, meet nutritional needs, and lessen the risk for chronic disease.
2. Continued well-being depends on disease prevention, including immunizations and efforts that reduce the development and severity of chronic illnesses.
3. Physical and emotional care encourages actions to keep the body and mind healthy throughout life, plus ways to support family, friends, and community members in their efforts.