March 24, 2011
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) is one of the world’s oldest and largest women’s volunteer service organizations. Members include business owners, teachers, elected officials, homemakers, corporate executives, students and retirees. GFWC members are community leaders who work locally to create global change by supporting the arts, preserving natural resources, advancing education, promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging civic involvement and working toward peace and understanding. Although there is considerable diversity in the ages, interests and experiences of GFWC members, all are united by their desire to effect positive change.
Accomplishments during GFWC’s first century include: establishing 75 percent of the country’s public libraries, developing kindergartens in the public schools, and working for food and drug regulation.
During its second century, the Federation has pledged to maintain its commitment to working for a better world. With “Unity in Diversity” as its motto and a strong umbrella of programs that clubs may adapt to suit the needs of their communities, GFWC encourages the flexibility that has enabled it to expand its reach in a rapidly changing society.
Vicki Bechet is a third-generation clubwoman who left club work when she relocated to Spring Hill five years ago. “I was a member of a GFWC club in Dickson, TN for over 20 years, and actually served in local, district, state and national leadership positions, culminating as the state director of Junior Clubs (on the Board of Directors of the international organization). I have missed the fun, fellowship, friendships and personal satisfaction of volunteer service, and believe that the Spring Hill and Thompson’s Station communities have many women who might enjoy membership and participation in a new club.”
According to Ms. Bechet, one of the best aspects of GFWC membership is the diversified set of Community Service Programs available for club members to choose from: Arts, Education, Conservation, Home Life, International Outreach and Public Issues as well as special projects in domestic violence awareness and prevention and advocates for children – truly something to satisfy every member. GFWC members are true volunteers in action-its members annually raise an average of $40 million on behalf of more than 100,000 projects, and volunteer nearly five million hours.
We welcome the opportunity to tell you who the members of GFWC are, what we do, and why women join. An introductory meeting will be at the Spring Hill Public Library on Thursday, March 31st at 6:00 pm.
If you know of a friend or neighbor who also might like to be part of a club involved in the community, please invite her to come to the meeting too.