Hopatcong Women’s Club kicks off Season and New State Project

The Hopatcong Women’s Club held its first meeting and luncheon of the fall season on Wed., Sept. 21, at The Black River Barn in Randolph. In attendance were two special guests: Barbara McCloskey, New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs Highlands District Vice President, and Cynthia Randina, Hopatcong Superintendent of Schools. Both women shared their respective roles within the community and how their organizations’ visions are aligned with our own in the area of betterment of the community as a whole.

The club’s new State Project is Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ). Founded in 1979 as a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect in all forms for all NJ children, it is part of the national Prevent Child Abuse America network of 50 chapters.

Studies show that three risk factors – substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence issues – significantly increase the risk of child maltreatment. One part of the program is called NJ HELP, which focuses on helping home visitors identify these risk factors sooner and more effectively so families can access treatment and counseling more quickly.

Another program focuses on preventing shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma. Trademarked phrase “Period of Purple Crying” identifies the period between ages two weeks and four to five months, where healthy babies’ crying will increase and peak. While this period will eventually come to a natural end, some parents may shake the baby to stop the crying – causing abusive head trauma, or shaken baby syndrome. In partnership with local hospital nurses and social workers, the program teaches new parents about the normal crying by a baby that causes the most frustration and hope to cope.

In an effort to bring attention to this infant program, community members including the Hopatcong Woman’s Club volunteer by knitting/crocheting purple newborn baby caps for distribution to participating PURPLE hospitals. Each baby receives a cap as a reminder to caregivers to keep babies safe, after viewing a DVD, reading a booklet, and learning more about the subject.

Donate all shades of light purple baby yarn, weight/size three or four. A perfect quantity for a cap is called “A Pound of Love” can be found locally. This will be an ongoing program from 2016 to 2018. Contact Karen G. at 973-810-3611 to make a donation.

The next meeting, Oct. 19, will feature a program by Membership Chair Selma Reichert and her life-long love of dolls, specifically caring for and repairing them. She will share her passion by showing a variety of dolls from the 1930’s to the 1960’s.

Food pantry items are always in need, and HWC has collection bins throughout the town for non-perishable donation. Current collection sites include: The Hopatcong Post Office, Borough Hall, Skylands Medical Group, The Medicine Shoppe, and Santander Bank; no glass accepted. Provided will be those in need throughout the 2016/2017 winter months by way of the West Side Methodist Church. As of Sept. 1, 2,717 lbs. of food had been collected.

The Hopatcong Woman’s Club meet on the third Wednesday of each month from October through April, typically at the Hopatcong Senior Center and some local restaurants. Check ahead by calling Reichert at 973-770-4989.

To learn more about the NJSFWC (New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs), visit the Federation website at HYPERLINK “https://www.njsfwc.org” www.njsfwc.org and to learn more about the GFWC (General Federation of Women’s Clubs), visit HYPERLINK “https://www.gfwc.org” www.gfwc.org

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