From the President’s Pen – February 2017

It has been said that November and January are the longest, darkest and loneliest months of the year for many who face mental health issues. The commercials for Bell Let’s Talk on the TV bring a ray of hope to those who are suffering. Reach out to family and friends every single day – they may need an encouraging word and your voice could be the ray of sunshine for the day.

President Linda Hoy holding a sign that reads "#We are WI"We have just had our Executive Officers participating in the second Skype call on Saturday, January 21st for 4 1/2 hours. They have come out of their comfort zone to hook up to modern technology and I think you are awesome!

Discussion included finances, moving forward with the Board Restructuring Ad Hoc Committee, IPG Scholarship, FWIC 100th Anniversary, WI Logo, rebranding and launches. As you can see, we have lots of exciting things being worked on. Our next Skype call will be March 4th.

President Linda Hoy holding a sign that reads "February WI Month"I declare February as WI Month. How will your branch celebrate February 19th, Founder’s Day or Adelaide’s Birthday on February 27th? Send us your photos and we will display them on our website and Facebook pages. Tie blue & gold ribbons to your mailbox or vehicle antenna for the month of February.

Linda Hoy
FWIC President

#IAmWI #Addie160

Stanstead Journal Profile of Linda Hoy, FWIC President

The following article is reprinted with permission by Victoria Vanier of the Stanstead Journal. The original was published in print on August 5th and will be available online at a later date.

Local woman begins FWIC presidency

DSC_0153Earlier this summer, Linda Hoy, of Sand Hill, took over the reins of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada (FWIC) , the national organization that ‘umbrellas’ the individual Women’s Institutes across the country. Ms. Hoy officially became the president at that organization’s Annual Convention, held in New Brunswick in June.

Asked what her priorities will be as the new president, Linda commented: “We will continue to work on the seeds of change that were planted in the last triennium by “Making Change Count”. That is the theme chosen by my new board at the Post Convention Board meeting.”

“We want to continue the partnership we have with Vesey’s Bulb fundraising program, the International Peace Garden and the Scholarship and a new award called the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Canadian Women of the Year Award. It is the premier national award of Women’s Institute celebrating the achievements of the most successful in this inspiring group. The award recognizes a woman for demonstrating excellence – from leadership to social change, from local to global reach, across multiple sectors. We are honored to shine a spotlight on her.
Plans to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary are being talked about with a year-long party.”

“The Strategic Plan for the next three years will be for the organization to be more visible by publicizing and promoting our organization in the local newspapers. The Stanstead Journal has always been a support to the WI in the area and we hope that it will continue for many years to come. By promoting and publicizing we are hoping to recruit new members. I have challenged each of our 9,000 members to recruit one new member a year. We have seen a new branch formed in Paris, Ontario, with 45 members. Social media (Facebook) played a big part in getting 100 interested ladies to come to an information night. The Women’s Institute is not just for the rural ladies – there is a need to bring the WI to the urban cities.”

Linda as Willie the Worm
Linda as Willie the Worm

As President, Linda has been invited to visit each province during her term. It could be for an annual convention, Anniversary or special event such as the Board in Quebec in 2017. Linda will be appearing in her Willie the Worm costume as she travels across the country to raise funds for the organization rather than raising the membership fees.

 

“I am proud to represent all Women’s Institute members from my branch here in the Eastern Townships to Quebec and all across Canada – from Coast to Coast to Coast,” concluded Ms. Hoy.

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About WI
Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.

Making Change Count!

Planting Seeds of Change - Looking Forward
Planting Seeds of Change – Looking Forward

Making Change Count! A letter of introduction from President Linda Hoy. Please share with your membership.

Hello WI,

Welcome to the new Triennium.

The FWIC Convention was a wonderful opportunity for WI to come together to share and plan for the future of this organization. We held a plenary session where we asked for input from all convention attendees on how to ensure the viability of our organization. These key words and phrases were repeated many times:

• Be more visible • Publicize • Promote • Recruit • Reach out

Many of our members at the branch level may not realize how uncertain the future of our organization is. We continue to lose members at a steady rate that even our most successful recruitment strategies at the provincial and national level have not been able to combat. In many branches, WI continues to function as it always has. It is perceived that there is no need to do anything differently or that change will come from above: the provinces or the national level. The truth is, we must all be proactive to revitalize this great organization for women. As a grassroots organization, the power to thrive lies is in the hands of the individual members and the WI branches themselves. The future of WI lies within you and must happen in your community first.

It is imperative that you understand that we need to do things differently. We need to market and promote and be more visible.

Here’s how you can help: if WI is to survive, we need to make ourselves available and open to attracting new members. We need to be visible to gain credibility among other nonprofits and for-profit agencies and funding bodies. This means we must be proud of our organization and promote ourselves.

Get into the habit of alerting the public of upcoming meetings and special WI events by writing press releases and reports before and after your events. Designate someone in your branch as Media Coordinator: it could be considered THE most important role if the WI is to succeed.

In most areas, the local newspapers are eager for content and will print your meeting and event reports in their entirety. Take pictures and include them. Remember to smile!

Once you’ve tackled print media, set your sights on social media. Facebook has been credited over and over for outstanding marketing success. It’s free, it’s fun. It’s folly to ignore it.

Let us all continue to work together, For Home & Country,
Linda Hoy, President
Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada

***

Find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About WI
Women’s Institute is a local, provincial, national and international organization that promotes women, families and communities. Our goal is to empower women to make a difference.

About FWIC

The idea to form a national group was first considered in 1912. In 1914, however, when the war began the idea was abandoned. At the war’s end, Miss Mary MacIsaac, Superintendent of Alberta Women’s Institute, revived the idea. She realized the importance of organizing the rural women of Canada so they might speak as one voice for needed reforms, and the value of co-ordinating provincial groups for a more consistent organization. In February 1919, representatives of the provinces met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to form the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada.