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