As the holidays approach, many take the time to volunteer or donate to their communities as a gesture for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mary Schneider, president of the Gloucester County Women’s Club, gives back all year long.
The club meets monthly throughout the year to serve the county’s communities. The nonprofit consists of women 18 and older, and Schneider encourages those interested to join in time for the club’s fall projects.
“We are currently collecting party items for the Box of Balloons organization, which donates themed party goods to underserved youth in the county,” Schneider said. “Our Look for a Book project will continue through the fall. This project has members leaving books in parks and playgrounds to encourage children to read and share the books.”
The club’s last meeting took place on Oct. 14 and included members stuffing Christmas stockings to be sent to troops.
Aside from the ongoing fundraisers, the club’s next project is the Clothing and More Drive on Thursday, Nov. 11, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Washington Township High School. The groups is also working on an Adopt a Family project for the holidays.
“Each year, the club sells raffle tickets which provide the funds for the club to adopt two or three families at Christmas,” Schneider noted.
The giving back nature of the women’s club is not just due to the holiday season, but is the club’s mission and purpose. Schneider reflected on past projects that the club accomplished.
“During the summer, the club put together and donated 75 backpacks filled with school supplies as well as lunch bags to schools in Gloucester County,” she explained. “The club recently participated in Washington Township’s Super Saturday.”
Members continuously support organizations such as Washington Township’s Mothers Cupboard, Mothers Matter and the Pitman Pantry with food, gift bags and monetary donations. The club also gives out yearly scholarships to high-school students at Gateway, Clearview and Washington Township high schools.
Even non-members of the club can help by donating items they collect for multiple collection drives.
“The club is currently collecting sneakers in any condition to recycle them, collecting aluminum can tabs for Ronald McDonald House and unused greeting cards and coupons for the troops,” Schneider said.
The club is a member of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC) and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC). For more information and membership registration, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the club’s website at www.glocowomensclub.org.