Who We Are
The General Federation of Women's Clubs Pennsylvania (GFWC Pennsylvania) is part of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) - one of the world's largest and oldest women's volunteer service organizations. Members include business owners, teachers, homemakers, elected officials, corporate executives, college students, high school students and retirees. Although there is considerable diversity in the ages, interests and experiences of GFWC members, all are united by a dedication to community improvement through volunteer service.
We represent six geographical districts, 27 counties (including 6 County Federations), and 80 clubs with an approximate membership of 2500.
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. The objective of the Federation is to unite the influence and interest of Pennsylvania women to promote legislative, civic, educational, moral and social measures.
GFWC Pennsylvania was organized on October 29, 1895, at the New Century Club in Philadelphia, and was admitted the same year to the General Federation of Women's Clubs, which was organized in 1890.
Our State Federation with approximately 2, 500 members in 78 clubs has been the greatest force among women in the Commonwealth to create differences. GFWC has thousands of clubs in communities large and small across the United States and internationally.
WHY BELONG TO GFWC PENNSYLVANIA?
Membership in GFWC Pennsylvania is an excellent choice for any woman seeking to be involved in the volunteer movement. GFWC Pennsylvania has an outstanding history of service in numerous areas providing many advantages to members, such as:
- Opportunities for friendship
- Change to: enrich our neighborhoods.
- Diversified interests
- Avenues for worthwhile service
- Leadership training
- Opportunities to mold public opinion
As in individual club, you are established in your community as a volunteer organization that has accomplished much but being a part of an international organization helps you have a greater impact, a broader scope and the ability to accomplish much more.
HOW DO WE WORK?
Individual clubs within their own communities accomplish most of the important achievements, with GFWC fulfilling its purpose of providing information, inspiration and leadership.
- Creative Arts & Arts in the Community
- Resource Conservation & Beautification
- Education, Libraries & Literacy
- Helping Hands / Children at Risk
- Habitat for Humanity
- Women’s Health & Financial Issues
- Food Banks
- International Understanding
- Operation Smile & Heifer International
- Domestic Violence Awareness
- Citizenship / Veterans / Our Troops
- Safety Issues for All Americans
- Substance Abuse Prevention
- Invasive Plant Species
Through Special Projects and Committees we have worked successfully in areas such as: Leadership, Legislation / Public Policy, Domestic Violence Awareness & Prevention, Fundraising and Women’s History.
What We've Achieved
- Founded 75% of all libraries and provide continuing support.
- Donated over $100,000 to the Women's Medical College.
- Contributed over $50,000 in the 1950's for the restoration of the first floor of Independence Hall.
- In the 1990's, raised another $40,000 that helped remove the Independence Hall complex from the endangered list of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- Purchased 160 acres of prime forestland, now a part of the Allegheny National Forest.
- Created an exhibit on women's volunteer history at the State Museum, "Celebrate Women - 100 Years of Service"
- Through CARE, financed construction of four schools in Central and South America.
- In the 1980's, the U.S. Olympics received $50,000 to train and prepare hopeful athletes.
- Raised funds for childhood cancer research and education, the American Heart Association, learning disabilities and literacy.
- Donated over $30,000 to educate women to better care for themselves, both mentally and physically.
- Contributed $35,000 for Pennsylvania forest preservation.
- Through a cooperative effort of the Arts and International Affairs Departments, Operation Smile received 654 quilts at the 2001 State Convention and 1500 quilts at the 2004 State Convention.
- Conducted a tissue and organ donor public awareness program entitled "The Power of One".
- Supported Habitat for Humanity throughout Pennsylvania and made contributions to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
- Supported 2006-08 State President’s Project, “HUGS & KISSES”, which benefited children at risk.
- Supported GFWC President’s Project, “Domestic Violence”, including donating of money and needed items to Domestic Violence shelters.
- "Dangerous Invasions” educated members in controlling invading plant species.
- Assisted food banks throughout Pennsylvania with financial support as well as providing needed items
- Supported GFWC Pennsylvania State President’s Project, “Libraries: The Building Blocks of Tomorrow”, donating thousands of dollars to local libraries.
- “Enrich, Educate, Empower – Every Child Every Day”