The General Federation of Women's Clubs is an international women's organization dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. From women's health and equality to global poverty and international rights of women and children, GFWC members' talents and interests are used to enhance the lives of their neighbors and friends.
GFWC's roots can be traced back to 1868 when Jane Cunningham Croly (1829-1901), a professional New York journalist who wrote under the pen name of Jennie June, attempted to attend a dinner at an all-male press club honoring British novelist Charles Dickens. Croly was denied admittance based upon her gender and, in response, she formed a club for women. She chose the name Sorosis, a Greek word meaning "an aggregation; a sweet flavor of many fruits".
Jane Croly, founder of Sorosis, extended an invitation to women's clubs throughout the United States to attend a ratification convention in New York City. Sixty-three clubs attended on April 23-25 and took action to form the General Federation of Women's Clubs.
GFWC is a community service organization with many levels of membership. Specificaly, GFWC is comprised of six membership levels: national, regional, state, county, district and local.
The first level of GFWC membership is national. The Executive Committee and Board of Directors are considered members on a national scale. GFWC members involved with these directorial committees are chosen by the GFWC International President at the beginning of her two year administration. During her administration, the GFWC International President lives at GFWC International Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Following the national level is the regional level. GFWC consists of eight Regions:
- Great Lakes Region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin)
- Middle Atlantic Region (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania)
- Mississippi Valley Region (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota)
- New England Region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)
- South Central Region (Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)
- Southeastern Region (Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia)
- Southern Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina)
- Western States Region (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)
The next organizational level is state. GFWC has members in each of the 50 states.
County and district levels follow the state level. These two Federation categories vary from state to state; some states choose not to have county and district levels, whereas other states contain multiple counties and districts.
The sixth organizational level of GFWC is local. GFWC is comprised of thousands of local clubs; each club elects officers and works independently on various projects in their community. It is the local level which most embodies the GFWC motto "Unity in Diversity". GREEN VALLEY WOMAN'S CLUB is one of the local clubs in the state of Nevada.
GFWC's emblem depicts a circular band signifying eternity. In the center of the circular band, the crusader's shield emerges from a darkened world (represented by the field of darkness), which represents enlightenment. The enameled colors - red, white, and blue - are the colors of the United States of America. The red implies courage, the white equals purity and the blue stands for constancy.
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For more information about GFWC, please go to the below website: