LifeMoves and Haven Family House Celebrate The Woman's Club!

On Wednesday September 28, 2016, Haven Family House and LifeMoves (formerly Invasion Shelter Network) invited the Woman's Club of Palo Alto Outreach committee to afternoon tea and a celebration of our good work for Haven Family House these past 5 years.  The theme of the celebration was "It takes a village to provide a safe haven for homeless families in our community".  It is an honor for the Woman's Club to support Haven Family House and LifeMoves! A huge thank you to all members who donate items at our monthly lunches.

Members of the Outreach Committee were honored!  Our Outreach Committee and the Woman’s Club have supported Haven Family House for more than six years with twice-monthly volunteering, Mother’s Day and Family BBQ special events and luncheon collection donations. rough this partnership we have helped hundreds of families break the cycle of homelessness and move on to successful employment and perma- nent housing.

If you would like to be part of this effort, please contact Anne Ercolani, our Haven Family House liaison. Our volunteer days are the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9:45 a.m. to noon. 



An Armchair Tour of Historic Members Homes and Lives


The D.A.R. pin belonged to Ms. Rice's mother. The top bar is engraved with “Ex-Chapter Regent, Kaskaskia Chapter" from when she lived in Illinois. This is the name of a tribe of Native Americans in Illinois.  The three pins attached to the blue and white ribbon are each inscribed with the name of an ancestor who fought in the American Revolution. 

Here's a little bit about the

 Geo W. Welch & Son company.

Our September 2016 luncheon speaker, Joyce Rice, gave our members "An Armchair Tour of Historic Members Homes and Lives"  This was the final piece in The Woman's Club of Palo Alto Centennial Celebration series.  Ms Rice is a former Oak Park (Chicago) and PAST-Heritage docent and gave our members a very interesting perspective of historic homes.

Ms. Rice came in costume and wore a lovely period outfit, plus 2 pieces of jewelry of interest.  

The watch belonged to a great-great aunt. It was given to Ms Rice by her grandmother when she graduated from college. The watch was manufactured by Geo. W. Welsh's Son and is more than 125 years old.

Of course women did not wear watches on their wrists in those days. Watches were usually tucked into a pocket or cummerbund.



History Corner - Charles Dickens and The Woman's Club

Charles Dickens and the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto

Charles Dickens died in 1870. What then was his connection to our Club
which was founded in 1894? The
answer: Dickens provided the stimulus for the creation of our parent organization, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC). In 1869, Charles Dickens was invited to speak at a banquet given by the New York City Press Club. Tickets to this event were a hot item. Women, however, were not invited to attend. This infuriated female journalists.

It particularly infuriated Jane Cunningham Croly who had been a professional journalist for over 40 years, had served on the editorial boards of several New York City newspapers and was the first female journalist to be syndicated nationally. Her reaction to this snub was to form a club, called Sorosis, for female journalists only. Unfortunately, no one would rent meeting space to the group as it was deemed improper for women to appear in public without a male companion. A room above Delmonico’s Restaurant in the Village was finally secured and Sorosis met there for 21 years.

Croly realized that groups of women across the nation were forming clubs for suffrage, temperance, civic reform, gardening and literature. She invited 100 of them to a conference in New York City. In 1890, representatives of 63 clubs met and formed the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Their goal: To allow women of diverse interests to gather outside the home for self-education and personal development.

On June 20, 1894, 2,935.4 miles away from the Sorosis Club, twenty-four women met to form the Woman’s Club of Palo Alto. They adopted a constitution, elected o cers and dedicated themselves to “Self Improvement, Mutual Help and Community Work.” The Woman’s Club of Palo Alto joined the GFWC in 1898 and the California Federation of Women’s Clubs (CFWC) in 1900.

What would Charles Dickens have made of all this?

– Margaret R. Feuer



Outreach gets personal!

In October 2010, Chris Cantor, the director of Haven Family House, spoke at our monthly luncheon.  He explained to us Haven's residential program for families which includes not only a place to live but job search help and an on-site Child Development Center for homeless families.  Chris brought with him a woman who graduated from the Haven program and was employed at Trader Joe's in Palo Alto, living independently with her two boys.  Members of the Outreach committee wanted to thank this brave woman for her candor, and we purchased a gift card. 

We have continued our bond with this strong woman who occasionally needs a helping hand.   Sue Krumbein is the personal contact; the rest of us are anonymous donors.  When help is needed for --- that new pair of jeans because her boys are growing so quickly, an unexpected car repair so mom can get to work, soccer shoes so her son can play on the HS team --- members of Outreach have assisted with Safeway gift cards.  The requests for help are not often, but for someone living at the edge of financial stability, it is a lifeline.

Last week we received a card thanking us.  She remarks that, "I thought I was done asking for help, but everything keeps getting higher except my income.  My income doesn't cover my food and gas for me and my son.  You are all my Angels."  Her older boy is out on his own, while his younger brother is still in high school.

Today, Haven Family House is STILL supported by The Woman's Club membership with donations, collections, and volunteer hours in the housewares closet on-site.  Haven is now a part of InnVision Shelter Network.  This November we will collect twin and double sheets, blankets and bed sets for Haven Family house.



Family and Children Service Visit


On August 14th, four members of The Woman's Club visited four facilities operated by Family and Children Services (FCS).  FCS mission is "to build strong, safe, and self-sufficient individuals, families, and communities".  in 2014, over 11,000 children, teens, and adults participated in programs and services through FCS.

Last spring, The Woman's Club collected well over $2,000 in donations for the FCS organization "The Hub", a drop in center and Independent Living Skills program (ILP) for emancipated foster youth in Santa Clara County.  Our focus was to provide new items these young adults could take to their first-ever apartment.  These items were used to reward individuals who completed a series of independent living classes.

This trip was to revisit The Hub and introduce ourselves to other programs and services provided FCS:  The FCS main counseling offices on Cambridge St in Palo Alto, the Family Violence and Abuse Prevention center and the Substance Abuse center.  FCS also has centers LGBQT services and provides school-based counseling, on-campus, at many of the public schools in Santa Calra County.  

Our second collection for The Hub will be in March 2016.  In the meantime, there are many things we can do to support this valuable program.  Collections have been started for The Hub of backpack and school supplies, donations infant diapers for new mothers, full-size toiletries and cleaning supplies, laundry soap for the free washer and dryer available to these young people at The Hub, as they start a new life.  For more information, contact these ladies who attended the tour:  Sue Krumbein, Kathy McMahon, Mary Grace Bartsch and Donna Bohling.  



Woman's Club Members donate to ProjectWeHope

 May Outreach to We HOPE in East Palo Alto

May Outreach to We HOPE in East Palo Alto

The Woman's Club May Community Outreach collection of personal items for the Mobile Shower and Laundry Unit in East Palo Alto serving the mid-peninsula homeless has been a SUCCESS!  Individual bags of hygiene items were delivered today and Project WeHope publicly thanked us on our Facebook Page.  Congrats to our WC Community Outreach interest group and all club members for supporting this great need in our community.

Donated items included: Washcloths, toothbrushes, combs and travel size shampoos, toothpaste and deodorant.  

What a wonderful job we have accomplished  this year!  Well over $15,000 of donated in-kinds items to 10 organizations and close to 500 hours of volunteer time.  WE ROCK!