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GFWC partners with local libraries and bookstore for fundraiser | News

NARRAGANSETT, RI — A South County Women’s Club launched a special program this month to get books into children’s hands, support an area business and raise money to help local causes.

The General Federation Women’s Club of South County partnered with libraries in five nearby towns, as well as Wakefield Books, to make this happen.

Called “GFWC Loves Libraries, One Book at a Time,” it works like this: Libraries submitted a wish list of 100 books to the club. The club then forwarded this list to Wakefield Books owner Bob Ryan, who coordinated the shipment of desired titles to his store and posted them on the store’s website.

“Bob was very helpful in setting up the wishlists so they were easy to browse,” said GFWC Loves Libraries President Sue Amoruso. “He made our job so much easier. If you click on a book, it will tell you what it is about and give you a price. He did a lot of legwork for us.

Club members can visit the website or contact the bookstore to find out how to purchase a book or books to donate to libraries. Orders are taken in March.

It all culminates April 4-10, National Library Week, when Women’s Club members make book deliveries to libraries.

The program is not limited to club members, Amoruso said. Anyone can buy a book to donate to libraries.

“The goal is to get books into libraries that their budgets might not allow,” Amoruso said.

Additionally, 20% of the money raised from purchases will go to the Women’s Club to fund its scholarships and charity work, Amoruso said.

Anyone wishing to participate can go to wakefieldbooks.com and click on the Wishlists menu item at the top of the homepage. From there, simply type the word “library” into the “Find a wishlist” search engine and links to the wishlists of the six participating libraries will appear. Attendees can also call Wakefield Books for more information or to request a book to purchase.

Participating libraries are Cross Mills Public Library in Charlestown, Maury Loontjens Memorial Library in Narragansett, North Kingstown Free Library and Willett Free Library in North Kingstown, Peace Dale Library in South Kingstown and Westerly Library in Wilcox Park.

“Each library submitted a list of 20 books,” Amoruso said.

For the club, an important part of the project was choosing books that present diverse viewpoints and promote strong female role models, Amoruso said.

Many titles feature women or girls as central characters, or relate to key women in the story, such as “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks”, a selection on the Peace Dale Library list.

Each book entry on the library’s wishlist pages also includes a recommended reading age level. The lists include books for young children as well as pre-teens, teens, and older readers.

Once a book is purchased, it is marked as purchased to avoid duplicate orders.

The GFWC is trying out the program this year after having to cancel fundraisers last year due to COVID-19, Amoruso said.

GFWC is an international organization, with most chapters in the United States.

The club seeks to bring together women from all walks of life for philanthropic activities and community service. Its goal is to provide community support through volunteerism, providing grants to local non-profit organizations, and scholarships to women in need.

The Women’s Club of South County has been a member of the National GFWC since 1962. They have raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and donated thousands of volunteer hours.

“The charities and groups we support are based in South County,” Amoruso said.