Taking care of their neighbors: Since 1957, the Arlington Woman’s Club has had a heart for service

For more than six decades, the Arlington Woman’s Club has been dedicated to promoting and developing the potential of its members through education and benefiting the community through philanthropic ventures.

The fruit of that dedication is represented by some remarkable numbers. Since 2005, the club has given $336,700 in scholarships to graduating seniors in each of the Arlington Independent School District’s high schools.

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In addition to scholarships to the graduating seniors who will continue their education at a college or trade school, the Woman’s Club of Arlington also presents a scholarship each year to a student whose parent/parents are first responders. Also, since 1997, the AWC has donated/raised a collective $329,314 for various local charities that serve the greater Arlington community.

Local entities that have benefited from the club’s members’ philanthropic efforts include the Mission Arlington Night Shelter, Arlington Charities, the Miracle League, Urban Ministries, Meals on Wheels, and New Day, among others.

In addition to traditional giving, AWC members also are involved in community service projects that benefit community residents through the likes of Arlington Life Shelter, the Open Arms Health Clinic, and Heritage and Oakwood nursing homes.

“We focus on education and charity,” says President Elouise Perry. “The women of this club have a heart for service and are very proud to be able to help our community.”

The objectives of the club are represented by the four sections of the organization’s crest: Science, Fine Arts, Religion, and Education. The AWC’s 400-plus members represent an array of life experiences and passions that are served when they become members by distinct departments.

The departments include Antiques & More, Art and Design, Bible/Joyful Living, Book Review, Bridge, Creative Living, Garden & Gourmet, Literature Study, Mah Jongg, Night, Performing Arts, Quilts Etc., Theory of Games Old and New, and Travel.

In essence, club members become part of a sub-group within the non-profit organization that meets monthly at the Arlington Woman’s Club building (1515 W. Abram St.), thus finding friends with like interests. The entire group meets quarterly.

Collectively, the club has five giving circles that fund scholarships. Each Giving Circle member pledges $50 per year. In addition, the club hosts an annual philanthropic event that raises money for charities.

However, the philanthropic event was canceled in the past year, due to the pandemic.

“You can call me the COVID president,” Perry says. “Because of the pandemic, we weren’t able to hold our annual event, so this year has been something of a challenge.”

In addition to losing their hallmark event, club members also had to forgo a lot of their service work, such as packaging meals for New Day, which provides meals to hungry children in the AISD schools.

While 2020 and the early part of its successor have been daunting, now that restrictions are easing statewide, Perry hopes the AWC will be able to fully return to its roots: local people helping other local people lead better lives. “These women truly enjoy being able to serve others,” she says. “We can’t wait to get back to doing that the way we did before.”

For more: awctx.org

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