Thursday, December 26, 2013

NJSFWC Day of Service A Success!

The NJSFWC Day of Service Chairman Ora Kokol reported:
The generosity our members displayed throughout the State by your support of “Day of Service Day of
Sharing” was incredible!! Thank you seems like such a small expression for the caring and giving you showed by the
donations you and your Clubs gave to Family Promise and the Domestic Violence Shelters. Special thanks to all who
packed, gave, and delivered all the contributions to the Family Promise facilities, and the Domestic Violence Shelters.

The facilities were overjoyed and over whelmed by all the donations. Our members not only supplied the items
requested by each facility but a bounty of additional donations.

Are you ready for the results: Family Promise received: 1,072 household bucket/baskets, which included the
kitchen, bathroom and cleaning kits; 54 tool kits; 620 Goodnight bags, including pajamas; 532 Activity kits and 30
Emergency Kits as well as boundless of our favorite Miscellaneous which included, toiletries, school supplies, slippers,
sweatshirts, paper goods, books, etc. The total monetary value is $35,375.00.

The Domestic Violence Shelters were not neglected; they received boxes of school supplies, toiletries, and clothing,
including many pairs of pajamas, DVD’s, Welcome Home kits, and numerous activity kits. The value is $8,175.00.

The total given by our members to both facilities is $43,550.00. This truly was a wonderful “Day of Service Day of
Sharing” all because of your caring for others; you all deserve a BIG GROUP HUG

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Woman’s Club members driving force behind Douglass College

Mabel Smith Douglass (1877-1933) was president of the Woman’s Club in Jersey City when she began lobbying and raising funds to establish a women’s college. So it is not surprising that, as the founding mother of Douglass College, she is revered by Federation members everywhere.

According to New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC) history, on May 17, 1912, at a district meeting Douglass was prevailed upon to chair a committee to work toward the founding of a college for women.

The stress of three years of campaigning for money, approval and support, coupled with her own poor health and personal tragedies, circumscribed Douglass’ participation over the next three years. So the Federation stepped in and issued a challenge to the federated women to cease whatever other club activity they might be engaged in and turn all their efforts toward carrying on the work started by Douglass.

The women rose to the challenge and at the 1915 convention adopted the issue with the slogan "Wanted: A State College for Women." The necessary funds were laboriously raised, and the New Jersey College for Women, adjacent to the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, opened in September 1918, with a class of 54 and with Douglass as the first dean.

"From the beginning, it was a true college for women, offering a traditional liberal arts program. Now it is the largest women’s college in the nation," said Ann Quinn, past president of the state federation.

Appropriations were finally allocated from the state Legislature for the operation of the college a year after it opened, and in 1956 the name was changed to Douglass College as a tribute to Dean Douglass.

The Federation continued to support the college. Club women raised $25,000 to build a science hall, which was dedicated in June 1922. Their next gift, on the 10th anniversary of the college, was $100,000 for a music studio. Another project, building a student center, was completed during the 1953-56 administration, and within the next six years assisted by the Evening Membership Department and Education Department, a fireplace and furnishings for a library study center were realized.

"The realization of Douglass College, and the importance of our role in its inception, is one of the proudest achievements of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs," Quinn said.

The state federation’s headquarters is located on a corner of the Douglass campus and was built with the money from the sale of S&H Green Stamps. It opened May 1, 1966.

"Three-fourths of the money came from women who sold the Green Stamps that were popular at the time. I think each book was the equivalent of about $2," Quinn said.

Their support of the college continues. In 1972, the clubs contributed $100,000 to the arts center, and between 1978-80, the clubs raised $126,000 for the Douglass Developmental Disability Center to provide education for autistic children, while offering practical field work to 100 college students annually.

From the beginning club members have supported the Federation scholarships given annually to Douglass students.

Douglass Women Today

Although now called Douglass Residential College, women go above and beyond. As a specialized women’s educational community devoted to students’ success, Douglass aims to advance achievement, career preparation and leadership skills. In addition to a strong focus on women in the sciences and on global education, the unique community and programs at Douglass prepare students to excel in college, in their future careers, and as life - long learners.

Douglass women may be enrolled in any of the Rutgers–New Brunswick undergraduate schools and pursue any major of interest. Regardless of major or affiliation with the degree-granting schools, Douglass women benefit from our unique curriculum designed to help them achieve success while at Rutgers and beyond.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

GFWC Women’s History and Resource Center

The mission of the GFWC Women’s History and Resource Center is to collect, preserve, interpret and promote the history of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and women volunteers.
One of the greatest accomplishments of the clubs throughout our nation is the founding of libraries. GFWC members have worked tirelessly to ensure that communities of all sizes have access to books.
The rapid urbanization of the late 19th Century brought an increasing number
of libraries into cities, but far fewer in small towns and rural areas. The first library initiatives were started by clubs in small towns. As more GFWC State Federations were formed, the enthusiasm for establishing public libraries increased. State
Federations and clubs sought ways to reach communities that lacked access to written works.
They established traveling libraries consisting of books packed into trunks with built-in shelving.
The trunks were usually transported by car or train between communities. By 1904 there were 4,655 traveling libraries of which 1,016 were owned and controlled by GFWC
State Federations and clubs in 34 states.
Traveling libraries stopped in mining camps, ranches and mountain villages.
Transportation and borrowing costs varied from state to state with most railroads and stages offering free services. By this time 18 states had established library commissions, and 474 free public libraries had been founded by GFWC clubs.

The American Library Association credited 75% of all libraries as being established by GFWC clubs.

Monday, October 21, 2013

GFWC Advocates for Children Week

Sunday, October 20 - Saturday, October 26, 2013

To raise awareness for GFWC’s child advocacy efforts, GFWC has declared the fourth week in October as GFWC Advocates for Children Week. All GFWC clubs are invited to participate by planning events related to children. Try a new project or plan a previously successful one. It’s up to you! Consider your club’s interests and community needs.

From the Director of Junior Clubs

Fellow Clubwomen,

I am excited to invite all GFWC club members to participate in the 2013 GFWC Advocates for Children Week, October 20- 26. This year, with the help and creative insight of GFWC Juniors’ Special Project Chairman Penny Peterson, GFWC is initiating an Advocates for Children feature project called the GFWC Pillowcase Project. The purpose of this project is to provide children with a special pillowcase that they can keep and call their own. The pillowcase can provide comfort, a sense of ownership, as well as brighten a child’s day and bring a smile to their face. Club members may make the pillowcases using bright colors and kid friendly prints, or they can embellish store-bought pillowcases with ribbon or other decorations. They may also purchase pillowcases that already have colorful prints. Clubs can fill the pillowcases with toiletries, socks, pajamas, etc. which can be used as emergency first night kits for children. Members are asked to work with any organization that services children, such as domestic violence shelters, family emergency shelters, juvenile detention centers, daycares, homeless shelters, and others.

The GFWC Sock Project brought clubs together to work on one project and was a huge success for the GFWC Signature Project: Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention. I believe that we might be able to generate the same type of awareness in the area of Advocates for Children with the GFWC Pillowcase Project. GFWC clubwomen spend countless hours advocating for children. Now is the time to combine our efforts on all three membership levels to improve and enrich the lives of children everywhere. GFWC International President Mary Ellen Laister and I encourage you to join your fellow clubwomen in advocating for children during GFWC Advocates for Children Week, as we all live each day trying to accomplish something, not merely to exist.


Director of Junior Clubs

Thursday, September 26, 2013

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) is a national leader in the fight to
end domestic violence by raising awareness about this social issue. By supporting
existing activities, working with various established programs,
and initiating educational opportunities for club members and
local citizens, the goal of the GFWC Signature Project: Domestic
Violence Awareness and Prevention is to increase awareness
and prevention of the widespread occurrence of domestic abuse
in communities across the nation.

The GFWC Signature Project:
Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention also works to
combat child abuse, teen dating violence, and elder abuse.

NJSFWC Clubwomen have organized many projects and fundraisers to increase awareness and
support to local domestic violence centers.

– One in three teenagers report knowing a
friend or peer who has been hit, punched,
kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by
his or her partner.
– Each year approximately one in four
adolescents reports verbal, physical,
emotional or sexual abuse.
– About one in 11 teens report being a victim
of physical dating abuse each year.
– More than one in four teenage girls in a
relationship (26%) report enduring repeated
verbal abuse.
– Almost 70% of young women who have
been raped knew their rapist either as a
boyfriend, friend, or casual acquaintance.
– The majority of teen dating abuse occurs in
the home of one of the partners.
– Nearly one in five teenage girls who have
been in a relationship said a boyfriend
had threatened violence or self-harm if
presented with a break-up.
– One in four teens who have been in a serious
relationship say their boyfriend or girlfriend
has tried to prevent them from spending
time with friends or family; the same number
have been pressured to only spend time with
their partner.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


The NJSFWC has developed a Day of Service, to be celebrated by all clubs on Make A Difference Day. This year the national event is on Saturday, October 26th.

This year the clubs have been asked to collect a variety of items for Family Promise, the 2012-14 Special State project. Because the Family Promise facilities are small and have limited storage, our overage will be shared with other non profits, such as the Domestic Violence Shelters. Thus the name of our Day of Service will be called: Day of Service - Day of Sharing.

Suggested items for clubs and individuals to collect are as follows:

Welcome Home Buckets or Buckets: containers filled with kitchen supplies, such as pot holders, tea towels, measuring spoons & cups, cooking utensils.

Tool Kits:
supplies such as hammer, screwdrivers, picture hooks, package of nails, flashlight, battery operated lantern, tape measure.

Activity Bags: canvas bag/tote bag filled with construction paper, colored pencils, crayons, card games, washable markers, glue sticks, DVD's.

Goodnight Bags: pajama's, children's book, pajama bottoms for older children.

If you would like to make a donation to this effort, please visit the NJSFWC website, click on 'clubs' and find a woman's club near you to contact.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Douglass College founded by The New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs

Douglass Residential college at Rutgers University was founded by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1918.

At the start of the 20th century’s second decade, the State of New Jersey offered limited higher education for women. That changed when the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, active in the women’s rights movement at that time, asked Mabel Smith Douglass to head a committee that would establish a women’s college as part of Rutgers University.

Douglass was appointed Dean of the New Jersey College for Women when it opened in 1918 with just 54 students and some 16 faculty members. Students had the choice of liberal arts or home economic curriculum. With her commitment to providing women a four-year college education and outstanding leadership, Douglass spent the next 14 years shaping the college and was instrumental in helping students rise to success.

Douglass was an extraordinarily energetic woman, which played a major role in her accomplishments and success as the founding dean of NJC. Her advocacy with state legislators helped pave the path for the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs to open the doors for women, even though resources were very limited. It was the largest public women's college in the United States and continued to grant degrees into the 21st century.

In 1955, the college was renamed Douglass College in her honor.

In 2007 the Douglass Residential College was formed, a residential college within Rutgers University, as the result of a compromise between those who wanted a complete merger and those who wanted the college to remain as a separate, degree-granting institution

Sunday, June 16, 2013

NJSFWC & GFWC Support International causes

The NJSFWC supports many International program and encourages clubs to research and pick what projects interest them.

Some projects include:

Heifer International

For more than 65 years, Heifer International has provided gifts of livestock and environmentally-sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Since 1944, Heifer has helped 15 million families in more than 125 countries through training in livestock development and livestock gifts that multiply.

Operation Smile

Operation Smile is an international children’s medical charity focused on restoring children’s smiles through performing surgery on facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate. They are dedicated to raising awareness of this life-threatening issue and providing lasting solutions that will allow children to be healed, regardless of financial standing, well into the future. Operation Smile’s free surgeries and medical missions are made possible by the thousands of volunteers and donors, throughout the world, who generously contribute time, talent and resources.

United Nations Foundation, Shot@Life

Shot@Life, a United Nations Foundation’s campaign, seeks to educate, connect, and empower Americans to champion vaccines in order to save children in developing countries. Every 20 seconds, a child dies of a vaccine-preventable disease like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles, and polio. You can help save a child’s life by encouraging, learning about, advocating for, and donating vaccines

U.S. Fund for UNICEF

For more than six decades, GFWC has supported UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, in its efforts to ensure the world’s most vulnerable children have access to health, and immunization, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency and disaster relief, and more

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

GCI scheduled June 10-13th at Douglas Residential College

Girls’ Career Institute (GCI) , founded in 1947 is a program offered by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC (NJSFWC) for girls who will complete their junior year in high school.

Delegates are sponsored and the cost is underwritten by a local NJSFWC club. Delegates are selected on the basis of interest, community service and participation in school activities. The Club may be involved in the selection of the Delegate and the Alternate; if the high school should submit the names of students for consideration. The Club may interview and select the Delegate and the Alternate, if they choose.

GCI offers a “mini college experience.” Delegates will experience a sample of college life by living in a dorm, eating in a cafeteria, attending lectures and workshops. They will learn about career choices and how to network with other delegates from all over the state of New Jersey. Many establish lasting friendships with one another.

Clubwomen volunteer their time to act as housemothers for each wing. A nurse is on duty at all times. Delegates must be in their wing by 11:00 pm with lights out at 12:00 midnight.

Each NJSFWC District holds a GCI Reception prior to the June 10-13th event. The candidates and their families are invited to attend this orientation.

Many clubs invite the delegates back to their clubs after the GCI experience to share their experiences.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

GFWC Federation Day - April 24

GFWC Federation Day commemorates the official birthday of the Federation. On April 24, 1890, members of 63 women's clubs from throughout the United States came together to form the General Federation of Women's Clubs at a ratification convention in New York City.

Each year, GFWC clubs celebrate this important day in their local communities, states, and across the nation. Projects and activities focus on publicizing GFWC clubs and the work that members do in their communities; recruiting new members by raising awareness about the benefits of belonging to GFWC; supporting volunteer activities with collaborating organizations; and fulfilling GFWC's mission to enhance the lives of others through volunteer service.

In recent years, Federation Day has fallen within Volunteers in Action Week, and GFWC encourages members and clubs to extend their celebration activities to include an entire week of outreach and service.

History of Federation Day
In celebration of its twenty-first anniversary in 1889, the Sorosis Club of New York City (founded by “Jennie June” Croly) 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; sixty-one clubs attended.

Sorosis President Ella Dietz Clymer closed her address at the March conference with the words, “We look for unity, but unity in diversity.”

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 seventeen states attended. After some discussion and amendments, the constitution was ratified on April 24, 1890, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs was born

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Women and Historic Preservation: More regarding Women’s History Month

Preservation efforts undertaken by women’s clubs have not been limited exclusively to historic properties or the built environment.

The New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC) was a key player in the fight to save the Palisades, the towering rocky cliff formation bordering the Hudson River in northern New Jersey that was, and, in fact, still is threatened by the ravages of quarrying and inevitable development.

In 1899 the NJSFWC secured passage of a bill that authorized the creation of a commission to study how the Palisades could be saved. They joined the successful fight to limit development in the Palisades and supported development of Palisades Interstate Park. The NJSFWC was also instrumental in helping to preserve the c. 1750 Blackledge- Kearney house in Alpine Borough which served as the headquarters of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission until 1928.

It was subsequently restored by the NJSFWC and opened as a museum in 1933. A two-story stone tower stands in Federation Park, Alpine Borough, erected as a memorial to the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs and their efforts to preserve the natural beauty and integrity of the Palisades

TAKE ACTION TODAY: Help Protect the Palisades!

LG Electronics, the giant overseas maker of TVs and other products, is planning to build an enormous 143-foot office tower on the Hudson River Palisades that would rise high above the ridgeline and spoil the dramatic natural beauty of this iconic American landmark. See this New York Times article below for some background.

For additional information:

Monday, February 25, 2013

March is Women's History Month

March is Women's history Month and there are many notable women who were also clubwomen!

Jane Cunningham Croly (1829-1901) was a pioneering journalist who, under the pen name Jennie June, contributed articles to newspapers such as The New York Tribune and The New York Sunday Times. She was one of the first women to write a syndicated column and the first to teach a college journalism course. She founded the Sorosis club for women in 1868 and the Women's Press Club of New York City in 1889.

Croly formed the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1890, to support clubs throughout the nation and further their efforts at providing education, improved working conditions, health care, scholarships and other reforms. Croly also founded the New York Women's Press Club in 1889.

Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1977)
became the first female governor when she was inaugurated in Wyoming in 1924. Following her two year term, Ross served as a Wyoming committeewoman and vice chairman to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In 1933, Ross became the first woman to be appointed Director of the United States Mint, and she remained in this position until 1952. Ross was also a past president of the Woman's Club of Cheyenne.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) was a first lady, social reformer, columnist, teacher, and political activist. She was a tireless advocate for the poor and disadvantaged and exercised her influence as a speaker and writer. She also served on the first U.S. delegation to the United Nations (UN) and drafted the Declaration of Human Rights while chairing the Human Rights Commission for the UN. She was an active member of the Chautauqua Women's Club in New York and maintained strong ties with the Federation throughout her years as First Lady. She spoke at several GFWC events and graciously entertained GFWC officers at the White House.

Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995) was an active member of GFWC in Skowhegan, Maine and became president of her local club at age 25. Smith held political office in Maine for a total of 33 years (1940-1973). She was first elected as State Representative and later became Senator. Smith was the first woman to ever be elected to both Houses of Congress, and in 1964, she became the first woman to campaign for the presidential nomination of a major political party.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Family Promise -NJSFWC -Special State Project

There are many opportunities for clubs to volunteer and support Family Promise.

Family Promise is dedicated to ending the crisis of homelessness faced by many families and partners with other organizations to provide shelter, case management and mentoring services leading to self-sufficiency.

You can help in a variety of ways.

Make Cozy kits for a Homeless Family:
Items to include:

Small blanket (purchased or homemade)
Small stuffed animal

These items are being collected thru March 15th.
Call Roberta at (908) 273-1100 x 18 with questions or for affiliate location.

You or your club may volunteer at the Day Center, hold specialized drives for items needed, such as gas cards and food stores
Connect us to a local non affiliated Congregation to increase our congregation partners.
Help secure sponsorships for our events
Tutor an adult or child

For more information call: (973) 998-0820

Monday, January 21, 2013

January District Council & Program Assistance Days

All the Districts in the state hold a District Council & Program Assistance Day.

There are a few speakers on a variety of topics, and one topic that is covered is the new site for our NJSFWC annual convention. The convention will be held May 6-8 in Atlantic City at the Golden Nugget.
Another part of the day allows each club to present 3 of their best programs that they have at their monthly meetings over the past year.
The day also allows club members to visit with members from other clubs in their District and of course, there is always food!

Pictured below are club members from the Woman's Club of Denville-Rockaway and sitting at the State Sales table is Nancy Levy, from the Denville-Rockaway club and to her right, Kathy Hunterdon, from the Sussex club and Barbara Mracek, from the Vernon Club, all in the Highlands District.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Margaret Yardley Fellowships available

The Margaret Yardley Fellowship Fund
was established in 1930 to provide fellowship grants to deserving women who are New Jersey residents pursuing post-graduate advanced studies at the school of their choice. The first contribution to the fund in 1930 was $5,000 given by Farnham Yardley in memory of his mother, the first NJSFWC President Margaret Yardley. NJSFWC has been able to award between six and eight $1,000 fellowship grants to deserving women annually. Information (including application forms) regarding this fellowship fund is forwarded to all New Jersey universities, state colleges and independent four-year colleges plus graduate departments at Harvard University and New York University.

Considerations used when judging applicants’ qualifications include scholastic achievement, career service potential and charitable endeavors. The grant is applied solely to tuition expenses. If you know of a young woman who is eligible for this grant, applications are available.

The deadline for all information must be received by the committee at Headquarters by March 1

Visit our website at for an application.