The writer is a Progress Club member and resident of Delmar.
Ever since joining the Delmar Progress Club a year ago, I have been in a state of awe of the expansive agenda covered at monthly meetings.
Each month, you enter the room of 100 women scurrying about, not socializing, but attending to the tasks that must be done before the actual meeting begins. The organization is 112 years old and has been an affiliate of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs since 1916. The members hurry about to deposit the donations of goods they brought with them. Books for soldiers here, toiletries for shelters there, canned goods for the food pantry over there, and then there is the scanning of various clipboards to sign up for further service. They volunteer to cook the main dish and make the centerpieces for the luncheon they will serve to senior citizens, offer to knit hats and mittens to keep children warm this winter, volunteer personal treasures for a silent auction to raise scholarship money, and sign up to make arm bands for children of Operation Smile. The armbands will prevent the children who have had surgery for a cleft palate or lip from touching the stitches.
Most of the members are retired, and if they chose to give to charity they could easily send a check in the mail. That would be easy; these ladies are not about what is easy. Their style is a hands-on, no nonsense approach to determining where there is a need, and then setting about meeting that need. They are doers and givers, servers and workers. The club supports both local charitable efforts as well as national and international charities.
In addition, there are smaller, meaningful acts of kindness like giving a pool membership to a family, volunteering for Jump Start in local schools and collecting change at meetings to pay heating bills for those in danger of having the heat turned off.