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Inspiring Women February 2023

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Club newsletter, ChitChat and excerpts from old issues<br />

a survey out to all members; an<br />

important piece of feedback is<br />

the need to have evening events<br />

(meetings, speakers, etc.) to make<br />

provision for working members.<br />

This is something that we will<br />

start planning in <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

information on the internet, newcomers<br />

no longer see the club as a “lifeline” in a<br />

foreign environment.<br />

How does the club run?<br />

The Club has a board that is elected yearly.<br />

There is a nominating committee that works<br />

their magic on members, asking individuals to<br />

serve on the board. A new development is that<br />

some positions are now shared, lessening the<br />

workload on already busy individuals. And a<br />

number of positions/activities are handled as<br />

a committee.<br />

Does your club have a signature event?<br />

The Club has several signature events – a<br />

Christmas market, Founders Day celebration<br />

and the Christmas lunch. The pandemic<br />

interrupted all these activities, but we are<br />

almost back in full force! A very exciting event<br />

will be the 95th birthday celebration of the Club,<br />

which will take place in 2024.<br />

What other kinds of events do you have in<br />

your club?<br />

There are monthly meetings and, where<br />

possible, this is alternated between a city and<br />

suburb location. There is a small fee payable<br />

for refreshments. Members often have the<br />

opportunity to stay for lunch. We recently sent<br />

Do you raise money for any<br />

particular cause?<br />

The most important fundraiser<br />

for the Club is for Caring Hearts,<br />

the group that supports people<br />

with breast cancer. The heartshaped<br />

pillow project was<br />

introduced to the Club in 2008,<br />

and in 2012 the project was<br />

named, "Caring Hearts.” The<br />

members make and deliver<br />

800 -1,000 pillows a year to<br />

seven hospitals throughout<br />

Antwerp. The pillow is<br />

designed to fit comfortably<br />

under the arm to relieve the<br />

pain from the incision area and<br />

site of surgery. The pillow<br />

is also a symbol to<br />

patients that they are not<br />

alone and that there are<br />

other people thinking<br />

about them during this<br />

difficult time. In addition<br />

to the pillows, volunteers<br />

from Caring Hearts make<br />

breast prostheses. These<br />

are soft, washable, and<br />

available in every bra<br />

size. The knitted or<br />

crocheted breast<br />

prosthesis offers a welcome<br />

alternative or variation to the<br />

silicone prosthesis.<br />

The Club has also raised funds<br />

to sponsor refurbishing hospital<br />

rooms into breast care lounges<br />

for cancer patients. These rooms<br />

serve as oases, quiet and<br />

comfortable places away from<br />

the hospital atmosphere where<br />

patients and their families can<br />

talk with doctors and nurses<br />

about their prognoses and<br />

therapies. Four hospitals in the<br />

greater Antwerp area have<br />

received donations for breast<br />

care lounges.<br />

(Caring hearts) The AWCA tent<br />

at Race for the Cure (above)<br />

Summer get-together (right)<br />

Antwerp Cathedral tour (left)<br />

Members of the Caring Hearts<br />

group (below)<br />

54 INSPIRING WOMEN INSPIRING WOMEN 55

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