Giving Thanks During Difficult Times

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Southeast Texas Quotarians giving Buckets of Love – submitted by Carol Patin, IVP

Thanksgiving Message from USA Region 9, November 2017 – Life brings us so many surprises.  Some are delightful and others are disastrous!

In late August, Southeast Texas dealt with the disastrous.  Hurricane Harvey dumped as much as 50 inches of rain in some areas.  The City of Beaumont lost its water supplies because of flooding and went days without clean drinking water.  More than 100,000 customers lost electric power and lived in the dark and the heat.

Quota International and its amazing clubs were the rainbow after the storms.

Dozens of Quotarians were affected by Hurricane Harvey, and almost immediately, I started getting calls and emails from Quotarians around the world asking how they can help.

Since the Hurricane first made landfall on August 25, about $1,500 in cash and gift cards has been sent to Quota International of Southeast Texas.  For that, we are overwhelmed and thankful.

As the United States of America celebrates Thanksgiving on November 23rd, it is a time to give thanks for all that we have been given.  It is only appropriate for Region 9 to give thanks to Quotarians around the world for their thoughts, prayers and donations during our time of need.  Like other Quotarians, we will be there when others need our support.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Kacee Kirschvink – Director, Quota Region 9

It Began as a Dream – Message from the President

QI of DLF_Rita Ayyar Photo Contest 2010 Cropped
A school boy in India supported by Quota International of DLF City – Submitted by Rita Ayyar, PCP

“We are made to persist, that’s how we find out who we are.” Tobais Wolff

President’s Message, September 2017 – Finishing my first year as the President of Quota International, has really opened my eyes. I never thought I’d be here. What started as a simple request to join the Quota Club in Midland, Ontario, grew into a dream to open more doors for Quota. Over the years, many lives have been changed of women and children and people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and they’ve changed my life too. All this because of the continued persistence from the women of Quota.

Times have changed. Our help is needed more than ever. Everyone is affected no matter how young or old we are or where we live. Requests for humanitarian aid continues to grow. According to The Hunger Project, one in nine people around the world, nearly 800 million do not have enough to eat. In difficult times, it’s comforting to know that Quotarians are looking out for each other.

How can Quotarians help with Hurricane relief? We’ve heard from members in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean and although some have lost their homes, everyone has made it through okay. It will be a long recovery and any help you can give would be welcomed. Below are some of the ways you can open the doors to help. Please check Quota’s website for any updates.

  • The Quota Club of Southeast Texas has asked for Walmart gift cards so those who have lost their homes can begin to rebuild.
  • The Quota Club of Aruba in partnership with other service clubs, Lions, Rotary, and Kiwanis, is accepting cash relief donations. Contact staff@quota.org for banking information to make a donation.

Which Quota clubs gave award-winning service in their communities this year? The amount of time and donations given by Quota Club members last year was remarkable. More than $450,000 was donated by 52 clubs in six countries. To see the impact made in local communities, visit www.quotainternational.org. If your name has been missed, please let us know. We want to be sure you get the recognition you deserve.

What updates are there for the 2018 convention? The 2018 Convention will be one spectacular event celebrating the award-winning service by you, the most amazing women I know. Responding to your concerns, the Board worked nearly an entire day to consolidate the convention, keep the costs down, and create many new features for this convention. Many surprises are being planned from museum exhibits, to Ambassador invites, to interactive opportunities.

To share the excitement and keep you up to date, a Facebook Group was started to post updates and old photos. As of today there are 599 members. If you can’t find your invite to the QuotaCon2018 Group, click here to request to join. Any member may join, invite others, post comments, and upload their own photos. The next news will be about day trips and pre and post convention tours – with good prices. In addition to the website, the QuotaCon2018 Facebook Group is a fun place to keep you connected with your Quota friends around the world. 


Where will the installation of the Regional Directors be held? Many have asked if the installations for Regional Directors can happen at the Regional Meetings in April and May in front of their friends. Yes, they can. A special recognition ceremony will be held at Convention for all incoming Regional Directors. The new Regional Directors will also be included on a special Advisory Committee to the board. More details about this will be revealed at Regional Meetings.

When is the deadline for International Board Member nominations? If you aspire to serve on the international board, if someone has said you would be good for the board, or you’re simply curious, join us for a special informative conference call.

  • International Board Q & A conference call, Tuesday, October 17th. Applications for nomination and registration information will be on the website.
  • Nomination Deadline for International Board Positions, Thursday, November 30th.

The conference call is open to anyone interested in learning more about International Leadership. Any questions you have should be submitted with the registration or emailed to staff@quota.org.

When are the next leadership conference calls? The last week of the month will be busy with Ready to Grow and Club President Conference calls.

  • Ready to Grow Conference Calls – will be held on September 26th. The focus of the call will be Crafting a Personalize Message for Your Club.
  • Club Presidents will be connecting on September 27th, 28th, or 29th, to share and learn about How to Build Interest in your Members (and you). How can you get your members excited about Quota when you’re feeling burned out? You want to make a difference, but it seems too hard. Explore proven ways to build interest in your club.

Where can I find Quota International’s Governance documents; Bylaws, Rules of Procedure, and Regional Guidelines? The most recent version of the Bylaws approved at the last convention are available under Leader Resources on the website. Changes to the Rules of Procedure and the Regional Guidelines made by the Board are being reviewed and will be replacing the copies on the website.

The deadline for submitting any amendments to the Bylaws to be reviewed and voted on at Convention is December 30th, 2017. Questions should be addressed to staff@quota.org.

Has a decision been made regarding the change of the fiscal year? Working with the new accountants, the fiscal year will be changed to coincide with the Australian dues cycle, October 1st thru September 30th. This also aligns with the Government fiscal year in the United States which is an important step in our strategic plan. This change to the fiscal year will begin in September 2018. The steps for how this will affect clubs on the Atlantic side (Canada, Netherlands, Caribbean, South America, and United States) are in italics below.  More information will also be available at your Regional Meetings.

Dues notices were sent at the end of August 2017 for the Australian, New Zealand, Philippine and Malaysian clubs.  For the Atlantic clubs, dues notices will be sent in December 2017 for nine months and again in August 2018 for the new fiscal year.   

When will the financial reports be available? Financials reports have been prepared and are being reviewed very closely by the new accountants following generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). With the change to the software, creating a new, transparent chart of accounts for both organizations, Quota International and We Share Foundation, and the setting up of a separate set of Australian books for both organizations, it was found that there were several systems that needed to be updated at the same time.

The filing of this year’s 990 reports along with an amended 990 for 2016 are on schedule to be completed by the end of December. These numbers will be included in our Annual Report. Previous year’s 990s are public information and can be found on the Guidestar website.  

As a final note, some of you may have noticed that there has been a staffing change in Washington, DC. Our Office and Financial Manager is no longer with us. If you were working with Yamilee on something, please contact staff@quota.org. This change has caused extra work for our small staff. We’re proud of the work they are doing, stepping up and taking on added responsibilities, especially with IRS Tax deadlines, accounting work, and convention planning.

Your fellow Quotarian,

Marie Dobson-Dunlop

International President 2016-2018

Minute for Mission: Back to School

Indiana PA back to school supplies
Quotarians Katie Rescenete, Betsy Lauber and Taylor Jones went shopping for a cause to donate notebooks, underwear and socks!

Providing assistance in preparing children for learning is an activity for many Quota Members worldwide. Why is this effort such an important endeavor for Quota Members? It is the understanding that when students are supported with clothing and materials, they are more prepared to learn and that an educated citizenry leads to a ‘reduction in poverty, increased income and economic growth, improved health, lives saved, peace fostered, gender equality promoted,’ and much more. This important work is done by Quota International clubs individually and in partnership with other community organizations.

For families in the United States, the cost of preparing for school has risen on average from $483.28 in 2004 to $687.72 in 2017. Helping to defray initial school expenses for students is where Quota members from Candlewood Valley (Connecticut, United States) to Indiana (Pennsylvania, United States) to Cupertino (California, United States) to Kent Valley (Washington, United Sates) step in to assist those who are facing a financial challenge. Members can be found shopping, gathering donations, and stuffing backpacks with pencils, pens, notebooks and other items to help give students the tools they will need in the classroom.

Kent Valley school supplies
Kent Valley donation of school supplies ready for distribution.

In an acknowledgement that as the need for assistance grows so does the need to work in conjunction with communities as a whole, it does, in the words of the African proverb, ‘take a village to raise a child’. Quota Members in Cupertino working together with the ‘San Jose Mercury News Wish Book, Rotary Club of Cupertino, Inner Wheel, Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, Cupertino Auto Care, Saratoga Chamber of Commerce and individual donors’ allows for funds to reach further and in doing so makes the greatest difference in providing clothes and shoes for the largest number of children. While in Grey-Bruce (Ontario, Canada), members of Quota International of Owen Sound work with the United Way Backpack program to provide children from low income homes in that community with backpacks filled with age appropriate school supplies.

Ipswich School supply donation
Teachers accepting stationery to students in a Port Vila school from Quota International of Ipswich members.

Once the school year has begun, the need for materials and other items continues in regions with limited resources for wellness and education. Members of Quota International of Ipswich (Queensland, Australia) delivered stationery and school supplies to support a preschool in Port Vila (Republic of Vanuatu) built by the partnership between Live and Learn Vanuatu and ChildFund Australia. During their visit, they were able to spend time with the daycare children, kindergarten students and staff. Educational supplies were much appreciated as the country is still recovering from Cyclone Pam that devastated the island in 2015.

Quota International Cebu at the Sawang Celaro Daycare Center
Members of Quota International of Cebu and Sawang Celaro Daycare Center children.

In the Philippines, Quota Members of Cebu, in partnership with Gota de Leche Foundation, are lending ongoing support for wellness and education at the Sawang Salero Daycare Center by providing children with milk, nutritious rice meal packs and vitamins. An additional component of this program gives rice meal packs to breast feeding mothers to help improve nutrition. Together the partnerships that are formed between Quota International clubs and other organizations fulfills the needs of the community.

Providing back to school supplies and clothing is only one a few of the projects that Quota Members support annually throughout 14 countries worldwide. If you are interested in participating with a club with a back to school program or other project, please visit Quota International’s Where We Work page to find a location near you.

Aspire to Inspire: The Power of Community

Three hundred or so people squeezed into the local town hall a month or so ago. Laughter, music and the aroma of New Mexican food filled the air. Friends, family, co-workers, friends of friends and civic leaders mingled and chatted through the afternoon.

Four generations gathered to celebrate the successes of a young person boldly living with cancer, to share with each other the joy and vibrancy of life, of knowing each other while helping this young person and his family through a tough time. They are a community.

Medical Mission
Quota members from Manila South providing special medical mission clinics in remote villages to support healthier communities.

What is community? Community as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is: “the people with common interests living in a particular area”. That definition doesn’t quite hold the same spark as the group that was just mentioned so let’s look beyond this definition to the heart of it. Where does community begin? Does it begin when you are asked to do something or are placed in a situation that calls you to be part of a group?

Community starts with the inspiration of being touched by an experience you have had, by an event that someone you love has experienced, or by something you have witnessed. Community, my friends, starts with you and starts with me being open to saying, “Yes”. If you have some hesitancy in jumping in to a group, event or activity, take minute to let the following quote speak to that fear.

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
Michelle Obama

Rugs by Quotarians in Taree
In Taree, New South Wales, Quota members provide comfort and help rebuild lives by sending hand crocheted blankets, towels, and rugs to survivors of devastating floods.

Your participation in community is valuable.Whether it is spending time working at a medical mission as a volunteer, raising funds to ease a financial burden of a family facing a medical challenge, knitting blankets and rugs for flood survivors, or using organizational skills to plan an event, being courageous and willing to share your skills and talents makes a difference. When you say “Yes” to being in action with those around you, the world changes.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Feeding Program in Manila
Through the Philippines Feeding Program run by members of Quota in Manila, thousands of children living in poverty are nurtured and fed.

It is the association of willing individuals to step forward together to fill a need that is the essence and power of community. The power of community is what has children be fed, schools to be built and has families facing seemingly insurmountable challenges be supported.

Your community is waiting for you.

Be bold, be you, say “Yes”.

International Women’s Day 2017: #BeBoldForChange

International Women's Day logo

Today, March 8th, 2017, is International Women’s Day. Quotarians join in celebrating this day as an acknowledgement of the work that is being done in local communities around the world to improve the lives of women and those they support. We recognize that when women have access to education, health care, child care and employment opportunities in traditional and non-traditional careers, the entire community benefits.

Since the beginning of Quota International, Inc. in 1919, Quotarians have been working to improve the lives of women and children through community service projects. Our signature projects such as Buckets of Love which are made and distributed by Quotarians directly impact women who have experienced domestic violence or economic hardship.

We stand with the United Nations and the theme of their work: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” The status of women in the world and the steps towards equality is articulated by the United Nations Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in her message of February 28, 2017:

This International Women’s Day, and each day, we invite you to join us in stepping forward to #BeBoldForChange!

 

Minute for Mission: Dress A Girl Around The World

“New Zealanders are amazing and someone is always going somewhere and they willingly take the dresses and give them away to girls in need.” – Jo Dixey

Pillowcase Dresses from Whakatane 2016
From left: Nancy Neilson of Eastbay Quilters; and Jo Dixey and Yulene Watts of Quota International of Whakatane (New Zealand) with 150 dresses for girls in Uganda.

Eastbay Quilters Group and Quota International of Whakatane (New Zealand) recently donated 150 pillowcase dresses to Dress A Girl Around The World. Dress A Girl Around The World is a program of  Hope 4 Women International which is a charitable organization with the mission of empowering “women in Uganda who are suffering from poverty, disease, and low self-worth to become self-sufficient with businesses of their own”*.

Jo Dixey has been a champion collecting pillowcase dresses and shipping them from New Zealand to areas of the world in need. She has sent the dresses with missionaries and volunteers traveling to the South Pacific Islands and under developed countries for the Dress A Girl Around The World and Orphan Aid programs. The dresses are then distributed the to girls of all ages who have never owned a dress.

To learn more about this vibrant 54 member club that was founded in 1980, the good works they do and how you can participate with their projects, visit, Quota International of Whakatane.

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*About Hope 4 Women International

Minute for Mission: Signing Santa

Santa Claus

Our children look forward to this event every year, and appreciate what the Quota Club does for families like ours. – Kristin Noonan

This December marks the third year that Quota International of Ottawa has held a Signing Santa Christmas party for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. More than 75 children came to see Santa, share their Christmas wishes with the Jolly Ol’ Elf, enjoy holiday treats, receive a teddy bear and play various games.

“The Noonan family has attended the Quota Club of Ottawa’s Signing Santa party for three years now. What makes the event extra special — besides the hot chocolate, cookies, games and laser tag — is that Santa can communicate with both of the Noonan children.

Makiya, 10, was born deaf, and was implanted with bilateral cochlear implants at 13 months. She speaks and uses American sign language, while her eight-year-old brother Damon, who can hear, is still learning ASL.

Luckily for both kids, Santa speaks, uses sign language and has a cochlear implant, making every child feel comfortable while sharing their wish list. Makiya and Damon, along with their parents Craig and Kristin, anticipate the annual event.

‘Our children look forward to this event every year, and appreciate what the Quota Club does for families like ours,’ said Kristin Noonan.”

To read the complete article and see a photo of the event, visit ottawacitizen.com.  This article was submitted by Liz Revell, former Quota International Canada Area Director and Treasurer of the Quota Club of Ottawa.

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Signing Santa events are hosted by Quotarians in nearly 100 communities in four countries.  To find out if there’s a Signing Santa event near you, contact staff@quota.org.

 

Team Music Is Love

Christmas in July-Team Music Is Love
Region 16 members displaying their Stockings for Cancer

Country music singer Martina McBride started Team Music Is Love, a charitable initiative making the world a better place through music. For one day Quotarians joined Martina’s initiative at the Region 16 meeting, teaming up to fill stockings with gifts to relieve cancer patients going through treatment. The stockings will be donated to patients at Team Music Is Love’s Christmas in July celebration.

OrovilleQuota’s relationship with Team Music is Love was pioneered by the Oroville, California club. Members were invited to meet Martina at the California State Fair last August after their work in the community captured her attention. For more information about Team Music Is Love (formerly Team Martina), visit www.teammusicislove.com.

Buckets of Love

Buckets of Love
Members of Quota International Region 9 fill Buckets of Love with goods.

One in three women has experienced physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime according to UN Women. In most cases the abuser is an intimate partner-someone who has earned the victim’s trust. The Combined Women’s Refuge Group (CWRG) in Queensland, Australia has spent the last 30 years advocating for women and children victims of domestic violence, and for Convention 2016 Quota International will partner with CWRG to create Buckets of Love. Following in the footsteps of Quotarians in Region 9, Buckets of Love will be filled with lightweight pajamas, books, games, diaries, and gift cards to help empower the abused women and children of Queensland.

Quota Cares Bears Cincinnati
Quota Cares Teddy Bears

For many years International Convention has been a platform for Quotarians to spread generosity throughout communities around the world through Service-on-Site projects. Past projects include Quota Cares Teddy Bears donations to police officers to give to children in need in Cincinnati; funds to support the Hawaii State Women’s Correctional Center’s life rehabilitation program; bags of clothing and toiletries for foster children and their foster families in Vancouver; and helping women gain and retain employment with Career Closet.

To learn more about how you can fill a Bucket of Love, please click here.

#PledgeForParity on International Women’s Day

InternationalWomensDay

March 8th is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world. This year International Women’s Day honors the progress women have made over the years, and encourages us to take action to advance gender parity.

As the first international women-only service organization, Quota members have dedicated countless volunteer hours to support women around the world over the last 97 years. Many Quota clubs across Quota’s 12 countries are celebrating the achievements of women this year by hosting International Women’s Day breakfasts with guest speakers teaching empowerment, and using the proceeds to invest into the well-being of women in their local communities.

Join Quota International in making a ‪#‎PledgeForParity‬ to accelerate opportunities for women around the world on ‪#‎InternationalWomensDay‬, and every day.

IWD

Minute for Mission: Hear for Good

FIRST HEARING AID RECIPIENT ANNOUNCED

 

Monrovia Hearing Aid Fitting
Sharan Studavant is fitted for hearing aids donated by Quota International Grand Rapids

 

(Grand Rapids, MI, January 5, 2016) Quota International of Grands Rapids announces its first recipient of hearing aids from the Hear For Good program.

Sharan Sturdavant of Cedar Springs was fitted on December 29 at Kaczmarski Hearing Center with new hearing aids, at no cost to her. Ms. Sturdavant has suffered most of her life with hearing loss and there was never enough money for her to purchase new hearing aids. “I am so excited to tell my family and friends of this wonderful gift for Christmas!”

Ms. Sturdavant worked with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) to become eligible for the Hear for Good program developed by Martha Herman, President of Quota International of Grand Rapids. Quota collects used hearing aids and recycles them through Starkey, Inc. Starkey refurbishes the hearing aids and makes them available at lower cost for eligible individuals.

Hear For Good, a Quota program initiated in 2014, continues to receive donations of hearing aids for those who have limited resources to purchase them. The cost of new hearing aids can range from $1,000 to over $5,000. Quota’s donation sites for used hearing aids are set up throughout the Grand Rapids area. Reconditioned hearing devices are made available at no cost to the recipient through a partnership with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Kaczmarski Hearing Centers and Quota International of Grand Rapids.

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For Information Contact:
Martha Herman
Quotagr@gmail.com

Honoring Alice Paul

Alice Paul protesting

January 11 marks the 131’st birthday of the late Alice Paul – an American feminist who made it her life’s work to fight for women’s rights. Paul served as a key campaign strategist in passing the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in the United States in 1920, one year after Quota International was founded.

Quotarians in Indiana, Pennsylvania honor Paul’s legacy each year by holding a silent auction fundraiser with all proceeds donated to the Alice Paul House, which promotes awareness of domestic violence, sexual assault, and victimization. Over the last 12 years Quota members have donated $67 thousand to the Alice Paul House, providing a safe support system for victims in their community.

“There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it.” – Alice Paul