Nominated by Elaine McCormack
The General Federation of Women's Clubs of Connecticut (GFWC/CT)
Length of Service:
Hours per Month:
March 15, 2012
On behalf of Bethel Women's Club of the general federation of Women's Clubs of Connecticut (GFWC/CT), we wish to nominate Gloria, 86 years young, for the service award "Salute to Senior Service". Gloria has been a member of GFWC for 52 years. She routinely spends more than 40 hours a month volunteering. For this award, we choose to highlight her current project to honor our Military Service Members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan conflict with the GFWC/CT Vest OASIS Centers created on Connecticut Public College Campuses to welcome home our veterans, to thanks them for their service and to provide for them an area to meet and greet, to discuss their experiences, and to plan together how they may transition to civilian life. The The General Federation of Women's Clubs of Connecticut raised funds from CT Town residents via a unique fundraiser "Flags on the Green" to furnish eleven campus Vets OASIS centers with comfortable seating, computers, large screen TV, coffee maker, microwave, refrigerator and snack supplies.
In 2008, as president of the New England Business and Professional Women's Past State Presidents Association (NEBPWPSP), Gloria began preparing for the installation of her successor, Past State President of Rhode Islands BPW Denise Spink-Morin, who is a member of the RI National Guard. It seemed fitting to invite female veterans from each of the six New England states to attend the NEBPWPSP Installation Luncheon. Veterans were extremely difficult to find. Gloria was told that many Veterans were returning with injuries that the Military chose not to make public.
Further investigation with the CT VA and the Iraq0Afghanistan Veterans of America revealed the Military's secret injury to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, and that nearly 1000 Military service related suicide we being attempted each month.
The Business and Professional Women (BPW) interviewed 1500 Veterans and with Gloria brought the research to US Senators and Congressmen of Connecticut in DC during the 2008 Policy and Action Week. The Congressional Oversight Committee subsequently aired the issue publicly.
At about this time, Gloria and Members of The General Federation of Women's Clubs of Connecticut and BWC proposed the May 2008 Convention that Vets OASIS be voted in as the State Project. In June, Gloria also attended 2008 Conventions of the American Association of University Women of Connecticut and the Connecticut Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs to request support. The vote to support passes at all three conventions.
Gloria prepared the database contact information of the three organizations ans College Veterans Affairs Officers. A map of Connecticut depicting locations of the GFWC Women's Clubs, the AAUW Branches, the BPW Clubs and the Public College or University Campuses delineating seven GFWC/CT districts. As each Vets OASIS was setup and opened, a blue star was placed on the map. After four years, the 2012 map shows eleven blue stars.
This project would not have happened but for the perseverance of Gloria. She has worked tirelessly on internet research, set up the database, composed countless reports and paper and communicated with Veterans, colleges and project leaders. She has attended every opening and with the lead of Women's Club and VA Officers has gone shopping for supplies furniture and arranged for the delivery.
Is this you? If you were nominated by someone else and do not wish to take part in this contest, opt out here.