Our motto: May we never be hasty in judgement and always generous.
Purpose: Our purpose is to create a center of social, cultural, and philanthropic activities for women in the greater Antwerp area.
The AWCA is a club committed to raise funds and assist in the local communities that help women and children in the area of education and a better quality of life. The AWCA gives philanthropically to support, De Kleine Vos, the Royal Ballet school of Antwerp, Bednet and many other projects over the years. The Caring Hearts pillow project is our signature project. Over several years we have been fundraising with holiday markets, bake sales and books sales (because that’s what our women like to do), we also organize gala events, and host tombola’s and auctions at all our events in order to successfully raise funds. We have been very fortunate with our efforts as we gain support from our members, local enterprises and members of the communities who attend our events.
Caring Hearts Pillow Project
Celebrating 10 years!
The pillow project originated in Washington D.C., and was brought over to Europe by a member of our club, first to the American Women’s club of Denmark and then was shared and adopted by the Antwerp club. In 2008, the members of the AWCA began hand stitching pillows for breast cancer patients in the province of Antwerp. It has become an intrinsic part of the club and our philanthropic outreach. With pillow parties hosted 2 times per month during the year.
Many of the women in our club have had breast cancer themselves or have family members or friends who have been diagnosed so it became our star philanthropy project, a project by women for women. Men also get breast cancer and we make special pillows for them too.
In addition to making heart shaped pillows, we have raised funds to sponsor rooms in hospitals that are made into nice reception rooms or lounges for cancer patients. It is a room which serves as an oasis from the hospital atmosphere where patients and their families can be comfortable to be able to talk with the Drs. and nurses about their prognosis. To this point we have raised funds for three rooms. The first is in St. Augustinus and is called “The Breast Lounge”, the second in UZA “A Room 4 You”, and the third lounge “Caring Hearts Room” Borstkliniek ZNA Middelheim, opened in October 2017. We are excited to announce our 4th lounge will be in collaboration with Klina hospital in Brasschaat. The women of the AWCA are very dedicated to making as many pillows a possible to be able to provide them for as many patients as possible.
Pillows are given to 9 hospitals: St Augustinus, Middelheim, University Hospital of Antwerp, Klina Braaschaat, Malle, Bonheiden and Sint Nikolaas Hospital in Sint Niklaas, University Hospital of Gent, and Jan Palfijn Hospital, Merksem.
As a club we make 500 pillows per year. We work with the Intercultureele Magneet School of Borgerhout, with the students there, in the mode curriculum over the past 3 years, they contribute up to 200 pillows per year. We have also been happy to work with the Antwerp Zorgbedrijf in the past 3 years as well. We have taken the project to several dienstencentrums. The total number of pillows with all of the efforts of volunteers is now between 800-900 pillows.
All of our work is done by volunteers and materials are donated. Pillows are never sold. This project is from the heart and we give our pillows away to help provide comfort for breast cancer patients after lymph node removal or mastectomy. The pillows lift the spirits of patients as we have received many emails from patients thanking us for the wonderful gift they received during a difficult time in their lives.
In 2017, we formalized a collaboration with Think-Pink Belgium. We have designed a pillow together. Think-pink have provided the donation that increases the amount of pillows to be made to total 1500. We will be distributing these pillows in other hospitals in Belgium starting with the University hospital, Leuven.
We are thankful for the opportunity to serve breast cancer patients. It reminds us that we are making a difference in the lives of women in our community.
Collaboration with Think-Pink Belgium.
On Thursday, December 14th at our Annual Christmas Luncheon, we were proud to announce the collaboration between the AWCA and Think-Pink, Belgium. The president of Think-Pink, Heide Vansevant, joined us for lunch in order to announce our collaboration and present us with the new pillow design. This collaboration was a year and a half in development.
Think-pink approached us to participate in this venture and stand behind the AWCA in making pillows. Over many meetings and several discussions about quality control which included the quality of the material and standards of how the pillows are made, we were able to come to an agreement to make our collaboration official. Our relationship will allow us together with Think-Pink and their efforts to increase our outreach to serve more patients in Belgium. Think-Pink will provide an additional supply, storage and delivery of pillows. They are supporting us monetarily in this venture. The additional commitment required will not be dipping into the pocket of the AWCA. Our club will continue to make our 700 pillows per year because it is an integral part of what we do-offering our care in hand-stitching these pillows every month. Think-pink in order to manage costs, created the fabric design as well which includes our AWCA logo imbedded in the fabric design.
We look forward to a positive and long lasting relationship with Think-Pink Belgium.
Organisations Supported in Our Community.
Moeders voor Moeders
Sisters of the Little Ones
Royal Ballet School of Antwerp
If you would like to know more about AWCA Philanthropy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to make donation to Caring Hearts (or any other AWCA fund-raising activity), please remit your donation
AWCA FUND RAISING