The Washington, Iowa Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) met Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at Building No. 1 of the Orchard Hill complex with 12 members and one guest in attendance. Alice Edgin was welcomed as a new member with Jennine Wolf, Lynn Fisher and Julia Gamon as hostesses for the evening.
The very informative program was presented by RenElla Crawford, Washington County operations manager for Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP). RenElla shared that HACAP has its headquarters in Hiawatha, and serves a six-county area: Washington, Johnson, Linn, Benton, Iowa and Jones. The local HACAP began in 1970, and currently has four project areas: Head Start, Food Pantry, Home Weatherization and a once-yearly Energy Payment Assistance Grant. The current Head Start program is a comprehensive preschool helping a total of 36 at-risk children. The food pantry provides food boxes for hungry families as well as providing the food for the elementary schools' Operation Backpack Program. RenElla added that Old Main currently has 16 transitional housing apartments, with there being a long waiting list. She concluded by saying that families trying to get “back on their feet” may stay at the apartments up to two years, paying a reduced rent but needing to either be working or going to school.
Highlights of the business meeting included an update on the Little Free Library and the 175th Celebration AAUW photo display at Curves: “Women Who Have or Are Making a Difference.” The group was reminded that it provides Camp Invention scholarships for elementary girls. Kitch Shatzer shared with the group about the applications thus far received for the AAUW Scholarship. Julia Gamon updated the group on the spring project of providing speakers to the WCSD Assure Center. The group made suggestions for the 2015 AAUW-hosted National Honor Society Reception. The meeting closed with members signing up for 2014-15 responsibilities. The next meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on May 17, for the annual brunch at Marde McConnell’s home.
Anyone interested in or wanting more information about AAUW, feel free to contact Marde McConnell at 653-3884 or Jennine Wolf at 461-1497.