The best way to get to know fellow members is to get involved in projects, where you will be in a smaller group. This is just a sampling of our projects. Look for information in the newsletter for what is coming up during each upcoming month.
St. Pauly Shed WCOP partners with St. Pauly Textile Inc. to maintain a clean and well-monitored place where the community may donate gently used clothing and other textiles. WCOP volunteers visit the shed several times a week to ensure the donations are what is requested and remove other items. (Some items we remove are suitable for the WCOP Garage Sale). The volunteer removes hangers, boxes and makes sure items are bagged and tied securely. We then stack the bags near the large doors to make it easier for the St. Pauly drivers to retrieve them. WCOP is paid by the pound, and the money is used to support our mission.
Canal Clean Sweep In April to celebrate Earth Day, WCOP cleans up a stretch of the path and shore along the Erie Canal. Garbage bags are provided. Bring work gloves and wear weather appropriate clothing.
Garage Sale Fundraiser Each year, WCOP holds a garage sale. Items are donated by members and friends. They must be clean, usable/working. Groups are set up to set up, work the sale and clean up afterwards. We hold a bake sale at the same time. Baked items are donated by members and friends. This aspect of the garage sale is very popular with our customers.
Bunco Fundraiser (Under review) Some years the club holds a major fundraiser. For four years it was a Bunco themed evening. With a break of several years due to Covid-19, we hope to begin again. The funds raised go to our Endowment Fund, which is how we help out local charities. Charities send us applications for needed funds, the need must be specific, the charity must be a registered 501C3 organization. The Endowment committee reviews and chooses the charities we will support that year. We need a lot of help preparing for the fundraiser, and several committees address different aspects of the preparation, from getting corporate ads and donations, putting raffle baskets together, and decorating.
Federation Facts- The Short Version
MISSION STATEMENT: The General Federation of Women's Clubs is an international organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.
GFWC FOUNDING: GFWC's roots can be traced back to 1868, when professional journalist Jane Cunningham Croly of New York City, attempted to attend a lecture by novelist Charles Dickens at an all-male press club. Denied entrance on account of her gender, "Jennie June" formed a woman's club, naming it Sorosis, a Greek word meaning "an aggregation; a sweet flavor of many fruits." In celebration of its 21st anniversary in 1889, Sorosis members proposed a conference of women's clubs to pursue the cause of federation. That conference was held in New York City on March 20, 1889, with the goal of preparing a constitution for ratification the following year. Clubs that had already applied for membership in the new General Federation of Women's Clubs were invited to the ratification convention, which was held at the Scottish Rite Hall in New York City, April 23-25, 1890. Sixty-three delegates from 17 states attended. After some discussion and amendments, the constitution was ratified on April 24, which GFWC members continue to celebrate as Federation Day.
"UNITY IN DIVERSITY" MOTTO: Ella Dietz Clymer gained a particular place of honor in Federation history as the author of the GFWC motto, "Unity in Diversity." Speaking to the delegates at the first Federation conference in 1889, she said, "We look for unity, but unity in diversity. We hope that you will enrich us by your varied experiences... " The aptness of the motto is evident in the diverse interests and talents of GFWC members, who have implemented a broad range of programs and projects tailored to meet the needs of their communities. Adopted as the official motto in 1957, "Unity in Diversity" set the tone for the flexibility that has enabled GFWC to grow and adapt to the changing lifestyles and concerns of women throughout more than a century of volunteer work.
HISTORY OF THE EMBLEM: At the first GFWC Convention in 1892, Dr. Leila G. Bedell of the Chicago Woman's Club (Ill.) recommended that the Federation design a "simple little badge pin" for GFWC members to purchase and wear for identification. In May 1893, GFWC President Charlotte Emerson Brown and Jane Cunningham Croly reported that a light blue, signifying constancy, was chosen as the official Federation Color. The pin design featured a Federation blue background behind a rising sun, with the motto "Unity in Diversity" inscribed on a terracotta banner beneath. In 1920, GFWC President Alice Ames Winter felt the rising sun symbol was no longer appropriate, that after 30 years of progress, GFWC could acknowledge that "the sun had risen." She recommended that the Federation create a new design that more accurately represented a mature organization. Within the year, GFWC approved Douglas Donaldson's new design, whose central feature is a crusader's shield, signifying enlightenment, emerging from a black center, representing a darkened world. The white band encircling the shield signifies eternity and is inscribed with the letters "GFWC" and the motto "Unity in Diversity."
FLAG: The official GFWC flag consists of an embroidered GFWC emblem on a Federation blue background, which was unfurled for the first time at the Golden Jubilee celebration in Atlantic City, N.J., on May 19, 1941.
FEDERATION FLOWER: The red rose was officially adopted at the Council Meeting in Milwaukee, Wis., in May 1940. It was selected from suggestions sent in by various clubs.
SONG: In 1922, Katherine Lee Bates' "America, The Beautiful'' was chosen as the official Federation song because it "is a song of dignity and beauty, easily sung, and reflecting the true spirit of America and the ideals of this Federation."
Why GFWC, Federation & Me?
GFWC opens the door to worthwhile service and action that benefits home, community, state, nation and the world. Each club has access to free program and project ideas, complete with resources and action plans waiting to be implemented in your community. There is also the added professional assistance from Federation staff who serve as a resource for questions.
GFWC offers diversified areas of interests through civic, cultural, educational programs, and community development and awareness of our responsibility for a better world. Contribution hours and monies are added from across the nation and these figures are used to approach major corporations for funding for programs of the Federation, and in some cases even cash awards.
GFWC affords opportunities for stimulation and growth; meetings, conventions, etc., are offered where top speakers and educators are gathered to stimulate enthusiasm, educate listeners and inspire members of all ages. National, regional, state and district meetings offer the network through which the local clubs can access information and learn more from speakers and workshops. GFWC is a name that generates respect and recognition, and affiliation can afford clubs access to locations, resources, and speakers that might otherwise not be available.
GFWC feeds the freedom, for personal development and to be yourself as you explore the avenues of departmental interest. Through the programs of the various departments, members can change and refocus their area of interest every year or as the needs of the community dictate. They are kept up-to-date on national trends and international areas of need.
GFWC trains leadership. Officers share knowledge and experience with other members. Self-confidence is promoted through the experience of working on community, district, state and national levels. This is often transferred to job resumes. Through the leadership development at the various levels of Federation work, members can participate in leadership development workshops and seminars and put these newfound skills into action. They can learn from the experiences of other Federation members and often are pegged for other civic and community leadership roles because of the knowledge gained through their Federation experiences.
GFWC offers broader contacts and viewpoints with fact sheets, materials, and suggestions for sources of information, secured from GFWC. As part of the North Carolina dues, each club woman gets four issues of the North Carolina CLUBWOMAN Magazine and each club gets free six issues a year of the national GFWC Club woman. These relay the latest techniques in fundraising, membership, leadership and much more. Web sites with resource information, contacts and highlighted dates of importance are maintained.
GFWC helps to mold public opinion. The resolutions and policies adopted by Federation reflect the majority action and thinking of its great membership. The combined force of over millions of members working for a common cause demonstrates that in union there is strength. Legislative updates and alerts are networked to clubs in a timely manner from our Federation representative on the hill and a wonderful resource for issues of national and international importance, the GFWC Public Policy Manual, is available. Through support of the Federation Resolutions changes in hundreds of areas over the Federation’s esteemed history have been and continue to be affected.
GFWC provides a network of support and encouragement from women with mutual interests and concerns worldwide. At every level of Federation service there is a fellowship that exist that fosters a family like atmosphere and support system that can last a lifetime. A membership transfer program is in place that allows for a member to move into a new community and have an instant foundation for fellowship and friendship.
GFWC promotes friendship and understanding. Women from all parts of the United States and 20 countries of the world experience fellowship. Membership affords the opportunity to network and gather ideas from other parts of the country and world, as well as to explore other cultures. A member and their club gain the support and clout of affiliation. Able to learn from the experiences of others, we do not have to reinvent the wheel with every undertaking.
GFWC evokes pride in our country and accomplishments of our organization, which have worldwide effects. In many instances’ members participate in reaffirming activities, like the pledge to the flag, that are no longer everyday occurrences. In working together for common goals, a sisterhood is felt that binds the membership. Often, in times of crisis within an area of the state, the country or the world, this kinship unites members in efforts of assistance that literally can make a world of difference.
GFWC Affiliate Organizations Webinars Click below to view