Living the Volunteer Spirit

Women's History Month


March is Women's History Month

Women’s History Month is a month-long celebration of women’s contributions to society and history that is observed during the month of March in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and is observed during the month of October in Canada. In the U.S., it’s been officially celebrated since March of 1987. 

March 07, 2019

The Women’s History and Resource Center’s annual Women’s History Month Event will be held on March 7 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Please join us at GFWC’s Headquarters; located at 1734 N St, NW, Washington DC; for an evening of history, education, and mingling! Our featured speaker will be Marci Reaven, VP for History Exhibitions at the New York Historical Society. Marci will speak about the NYHS’s upcoming exhibit Hudson Rising: 1825–2025. The exhibit will detail the ecological changes along the Hudson River, as well as the hard-fought efforts of clubwomen to preserve it. The event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

RSVP to WHRC Manager Alyssa Constad at

From NJSFWC Historian Carol A. Niemiec

The month of March is designated as “Women’s History Month”, but how did this recognition come about? In the United States, Women’s History Month traces its roots to the first International Women’s Day in 1911. From then, in 1978, the school district of Sonoma California took part in Women’s History Week, designated around the week of March 8, International Women’s Day. In 1979, a 15-day conference about women’s history was held at Sarah Lawrence College, in Yonkers, New York, and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress passed Publication 100-9 which designated the month of March as Women’s History Month. Between 1988- 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month and since 1988, US Presidents have issued annual Proclamations. 

Now, some more history about NJSFWC Past Presidents

The thirteenth President of the NJSFWC was Sara Proal, 1920-1923, from the WC of Nutley. World War I was over, and clubs organized with one another to promote social welfare with 34 committees aiding 51 institutions. The NJ Legislature passed the Port Authority Bill, actively supported by club women. This Bill concerned the issue of food raised in NJ and shipped to NY, then back to NJ, with deterioration of quality and increase in price. The NJ Federation joined the Port Authority to secure better distribution of food, better pricing and quality. The NJ Federation was also responsible for the passage of the Pure Milk and Pure Ice Cream Bills. The highlight of Mrs. Proal’s administration was the first graduation held at the NJ College for Women in 1922

Etta Gould Lee was the fourteenth President of the Federation, 1923-1926, from the WC of Maplewood. After many fundraising events started in her administration, $100,000 was raised in five years, and a new Music Building was dedicated at the NJ College for Women in 1928, the tenth anniversary of the College. The idea of “Junior” Women’s Clubs was explored, and by the end of Mrs. Lee’s administration, 61 Junior Clubs were organized. Outdoor beautification was of great interest to clubwomen, and working through the Art Department, 53 clubs took part in the “Protest by Letter Campaign”, against Sign Boards, better known as Billboards, destroying the beauty of the country. As a result of a massive letter writing campaign by clubwomen, 25 firms agreed to stop advertising along rural highways and in residential districts, another victory for the NJSFWC. 

Membership Open House - March 30

Membership Open House Invitation (pdf)




What is CASA?

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is authorized by State Statute and Federal Law to help the Court and Child Welfare systems make “best interest” decisions on behalf of children removed from home because of abuse or neglect. CASA volunteer advocates help to ensure that abused and neglected children who are placed in foster care and other out-of-home placements are safe and receive the services they need to achieve well-being. CASA advocates reduce the number of moves between placements, help shorten the overall time a child remains in placement, and serve as a consistent person in the child’s life until that child achieves permanency in a safe home with a loving family. 

CASA of New Jersey

CASA Affiliates recruit and train community volunteers to be a "voice in court" for children removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect. These advocates "speak up" for these children, helping them get the services they need and ensuring that they find safe, permanent homes. CASA programs operate in all 21 counties in New Jersey.   During fiscal year 2018, 1,896 CASA volunteers provided services and advocacy for 3,877 children placed in the state's care. We are pleased to publish the CASA of New Jersey  FY 2018 Annual Report, which includes fiscal and statistical information gathered from the New Jersey CASA Affiliate network.


 The following are the steps in the process of becoming a volunteer advocate for children in the foster care system

  1. Sign-up to identify the location of your local CASA office and have someone contact you
  2. Attend an Information Session to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer.
  3. Complete and submit an application including references. Applications are distributed at the Information Sessions.
  4. Attend an interview with 2 CASA staff members.
  5. Complete fingerprinting and background checks.
  6. If all of the above are completed and you are accepted into the volunteer training, you will complete 36 hours of training (1/2 online and 1/2 in-person).
  7. At the completion of the training you will be sworn in by one of our judges and then you will be assigned to a case as a CASA volunteer.

For additional information, visit: or contact Helen Davis, CASA Statewide Volunteer Sourcing Coordinator at - (973) 975-8050

"The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Programs have a record of public service protecting the safety and well-being of New Jersey's abused and neglected children, defending them from harm and ensuring that they are provided with the court-ordered services they need."
~ Philip D. Murphy, Governor of the State of New Jersey CASA Child Advocate Day Proclamation, April 6, 2018 

From the February 2019 State Federation Almanac


Sustainable Seafood 

The world’s supply of seafood is seriously threatened by overfishing and the destruction of marine environments. Continued decline can only be averted by better management of fisheries, and using practices that are sustainable. In addition, fish farming, or aquaculture, has become increasingly necessary as human population growth creates demand that cannot be met by wild-caught fish. 

The fishing industry in the U.S. is regulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which tries to maintain or improve fishing stocks. However, this addresses only part of the worldwide problem. Consumers can help by avoiding seafood that comes from endangered fisheries, while supporting sustainable sources. Sustainable seafood has been described as seafood that is caught or farmed in ways that insure the long-term vitality of fish species and the well-being of the oceans. 

One organization that promotes sustainable seafood is Seafood Watch, a project of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which publishes guidelines on its website to assist consumers in making responsible choices in the market or when dining out. Seafood Watch can be accessed at Besides the type of fish, consumers generally will need to know the geographical source and method of catch in order to choose knowledgeably. 

Among the better choices cited by Seafood Watch in the Northeast U.S. are bass, bluefish, haddock, U.S. Mahi Mahi, Canadian and U.S swordfish, catfish, and farmed trout. Most tuna is a good choice (except Bluefin), unless caught with drifting longlines. Tilapia from the U.S. and South America is also a good choice (this is a fresh-water fish native to Africa which is extensively farmed). Crabs from the U.S., Canada, Australia and Norway are generally a good choice (except Atlantic rock crabs caught in pots). Most Pacific salmon from the U.S. and Canada is also a good choice. 

Fish to avoid include Atlantic cod (unless caught by handline), Atlantic halibut, imported Mahi Mahi, imported octopus, orange Roughy, shark, and most imported shrimp.  

From the January 2019 State Federation Almanac

Stockings for Troops

Cranbury wasn't the only club preparing stockings for the troops.  From   PUBLIC ISSUES COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM: The generosity of our clubs and members were amazing with the Boatsie’s Boxes project!! There was a total of 1,720 filled Christmas stockings for the Troops! We can only imagine when these were delivered to our fine military women and men, their hearts were filled with joy and love from home. You also have contributed over $5,400 which was used for delivery, shipping and any other additional needs for these honorable military personnel. THANK YOU!! 

National Blood Donor Month


Welcome, Federation Sisters, to 2019! January is National Blood Donor Month and what better way to kick off a new year and serve our communities than by donating lifesaving blood and platelets? According to the American Red Cross, “National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs”. The American Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood. In addition it feeds, shelters and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; teaches skills that save lives and supports military members and their families. Check with your town or county Board of Health to find a Blood Drive near you; or log onto to find a drive near you and schedule an appointment to give. Your club can contact the American Red Cross and sponsor a blood drive in your community. They are always looking for groups to host a blood drive. 

125th Year

From the President's Message:   On November 16th, NJSFWC celebrated its 124th Anniversary and we officially began our 125th year! At the same time, the Shining Future Endowment Campaign was launched to help insure the future success of our Federation. Please be sure to visit our website dedicated to this campaign at In addition to “how to donate” information, there are some wonderful pictures and information about our history. 

Past Presidents

Ida Dawson was the seventh president of the Federation, 1906-1909, from the Contemporary Club of Newark. The Federation was districted along the lines of the Congressional Election Districts, with ten leaders called District Vice Presidents. Clubs were urged to join GFWC, and dues were twenty-five cents per club. The first Federation pin and membership card was designed as a means of public identification. Home Economics and Domestic Science were recommended in high schools, and instruction for the blind, deaf, and impaired children was advocated. Libraries remained an important aspect of club work. Tuberculosis was on the rise, and the Federation acted in the formation of a State Sanitarium in Glen Gardner (College District), in 1907. 

Mary Pattison was the eighth president of the Federation, 1909-1911, a “Domestic Engineer” from the Colonia/Metuchen area, and founder of the Borough Improvement League of Metuchen. The major goal of her administration was to establish a Household Experimental Station in her own home, equipped with the latest cooking and cleaning devices. Thousands of women from NJ visited her home, and took away ideas to make their lives more efficient, and this project was recognized in 1912 in the Scientific American Magazine. The Pattison administration strived to improve living conditions for the poor, fewer working hours, prison reform, and abolishment of child labor. 

Catherine Warren, the ninth president of the Federation, 1911-1913, hailed from the Province Line Club of Princeton. The first time the “COLLECT” by Mary Stewart was read was at the semi-annual meeting in 1911, held at the Haddon Fortnightly in Haddonfield. Clubs worked for better food (The Pure Food Law), safer drinking water, and improved civic conditions in general. The vision of a State College for women was on the horizon and a committee was appointed in 1912 to work on this project.  

From the General Federation

 December's #ThankYouTuesday asked about the gift of membership. The volume of responses was certainly a gift for us! Some talked about the feeling of helping others, others the opportunity to grow in leadership. But above all, the gift on everyone's mind was friendship. We can't wait to see what gifts of membership next year brings you!