GFWC Vernon Township Woman’s Club

General Federation of Women’s Clubs

Vernon, New Jersey


Highlands District

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VERNON — The Vernon Township Woman's Club gives both to the community and internationally. 

Truly, they have perfected the art of volunteering. 

During their general meeting, April 27, laughter and friendly teasing filled the room before Karen Rothstadt explained their current and upcoming work related to the special state project: “Prevent Child Abuse N.J.” 

The club will begin a purple hat project to help prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome and is currently completing a bra collection project. The bra collection helps women and girls escaping human trafficking to become self-sufficient through selling gently used, donated bras. Recently, the clubs bra collection project won an award for the best international outreach in the Highlands District.

Rothstadt said the VTWC will send the bras to “Free the Girls,” based in Indiana — an organization dedicated to rescuing women and girls from human trafficking. Free the Girls then ships the bras to Mosambique and El Salvador — with two more countries being added in the future. 

She added the project is beyond inspiring because VTWC has already collected over 1,200 bras, when they initially had hoped to collect 500. Rothstadt found it “so great” people wanted to donate. She said, “The most thrilling part is it is not us. It's just people being inspired to help other people. It's so nice to know that there is good there.” — with all the bad news everywhere. 

She concluded, “It is just people coming together to help other people.” Their project will continue through May 31.

Rothstadt also showed a purple baby hat made by 1st Vice President Lois Marples for their state project through clickforbabies.org — an international campaign to help prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome. She informed, many cute baby crochet and knit pattern hats can be found on the website. When babies wear purple hats, their parents are reminded of what they learned in parenting classes. Rothstadt added, Shaken Baby Syndrome can happen in only one frustrated shake, because the baby's skull is larger than the brain and can become dislodged. 

P stands for: period of purple crying – the peak of crying is from two weeks to five months; U: unexpected; R: the babies resist soothing; P: pain like face on the baby; L: long lasting — as much as 5 hours a day; E: evening — it happens more in the evening. 

Rothstadt shared, parents and babysitters are instructed to put the fed, dry, engaged baby in the crib and walk away, because the baby is fine. She said, they will mail the hats by September 30 to participating hospitals in N.J. 

Home Life Chair Elaine Kuntz reported on some local project deliveries: 20 hand made pillows – to ease safety belt pressure for breast cancer and gall bladder surgery patients, two cancer hats, and two baby hats to Newton Memorial Hospital; two “Just for you Packages” to Domestic Abuse Services (DASI) for when ladies leave the shelter — something new to start the new life: pillow, pillow case, towel set, hair spray, shampoo, conditioner, nail polish, nail polish remover, body wash, deodorant, socks, toothpaste, and toothbrush. During Easter, they also delivered eight Easter Baskets to children at DASI.

Some of the other many ongoing VTWC projects include: scholarships for high school students, an award for the most improved middle school student, birthday gifts for nursing home residents, Christmas gifts for children living in domestic abuse shelters, cell phones, Christmas stockings, crossword puzzles, and wool caps for soldiers, monetary awards for Eagle Scout and Gold Scout recipients, school clothes and hand-knitted hats/scarves/mittens for poverty stricken children, food pantry donations, hygiene bags to Family Promise, blanket donations, helping unwed mothers at Birth Haven, homemade cookies for domestic abuse victims and nursing home residents. 

The VTWC $750 scholarship applications for Vernon resident high school seniors going to college are due by May 10. 

President Lisa Mills explained they are a giving club.

“When this organization came, we gave them this," she said. "When this organization needed that, we gave them that. And that's what we do. We don't run giant fund raisers or golf outings, or gala affairs. We give, and that comes from our hearts. And I think that is what this club is all about.”

To be part of an exceptional group of women, meetings are usually the fourth Thursday of the month, 7:00p.m., at the Vernon Senior Center. For more information call: 973-764-1805 or see vtwc

Karen Rothstadt holds one of the purple baby hats which will be sent to N.J. hospitals in order to help prevent Shaken Baby

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