I recently attended the NFRW Spring Board meeting held in Washington, D.C. September 16 – 19.  This coincides with the NFRW Legislative Day each spring.  This year, a special tour of the Library of Congress was included, which I attended, as well as a “day on the ‘Hill’”.  We heard from several Congressmen/women, and Senators.  Of special interest was Senator McConnell who spoke to us.  It was definitely clear that the Senator commands the room when he enters.  It made me especially proud to be from Kentucky and to have Senator McConnell thank me for all of the work you do.

The NFRW typically chooses one or two special interest areas to track legislation and lobby for these.  This year they have selected H.R. 2646 – Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.  I am proud to say that Congressmen Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie, and Ed Whitfield all were co-sponsors of this legislation.  This bill will also affect services in Kentucky, so we should be watching what happens.  Please contact your Congressman and thank him for his support, but also ask how you can help with this legislation.

The second area that the NFRW is celebrating is Senate Bill 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which was signed into law on May 29, 2015.  This, of course, is an area that the KFRW has a great interest, as the NFRW has been promoting this legislation for the last two years.  There is a program led by Mr. Ked Frank, the Executive Director of Refuge for Women, that assists women to escape from human trafficking, and the sex trade.  The program is headquartered in Lexington, but has homes in surrounding counties as well as Reno, Chicago and Atlanta.  For more information on this program, please contact Barb Ellerbrook.

Another good reason to attend these meetings is learning from other clubs what works for them in fundraising, membership, outreach, etc.  Each of you, as members of your local club, the KFRW, and the NFRW are eligible to be a member of a working committee at the NFRW level.  Standing Committees are:  Membership, Program, Public Relations, Bylaws, Campaign, Fundraising, and Legislative.  Some Special Committees are: Americanism, Leadership, Caring for America, Literacy & Education, and Support our Troops.  You can join any of these committees by sending a request to President Carrie Almond asking to join a specific one.   

The next NFRW Fall Board Meeting will be held in Cleveland, during the July convention.  This meeting will serve as the “fall” meeting.  Arrangements have not been completely finalized yet, but possibly, we could have a group of us attend.  More information will follow.  

And, of course, in 2017, the NFRW Convention will be held in Philadelphia, September 13—16, 2017.   These meetings are open to any NFRW member, with some voting limitations, but I sincerely hope that some of you will consider attending one of these meetings in the future.  

Barb Ellerbrook, President, KFRW