Did You Know?
Did you know that the GFWC Federation's color is blue.
What is the GFWC flower you ask? Why the Federation's flower is the red rose. It was officially adopted at the Council Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisc., May 1940.
Does GFWC have a flag and where did it originate you ask?
Yes, GFWC does have an organizational flag. It was first used at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of GFWC in Atlantic City, N.J., on Pioneer Night, May 19, 1941. The flag has a blue background with an embroidered GFWC emblem in color.
Did you know that the official song of GFWC is "America, The Beautiful" written by Katherine Lee Bates. GFWC selected the song in 1922, as it "…is a song of dignity and beauty, easily sung, and reflecting the true spirit of America and the ideals of this Federation."
Do you use the "A Collect for Clubwomen" at your club meetings? What is "A Collect for Clubwomen"?
Mary Stewart, a Colorado school principal, wrote the words to the Collect in 1904 as a personal daily prayer. Mary titled her poem "A Collect for Club Women" when it was first published because she felt it might have special appeal to clubwomen. According to Mary, "The first women's organization to hear or use the Collect or to print it in its year books and biennial reports was the General Federation of Women's Clubs." Prior to her death in 1943, Mary Stewart's own account of the history of the Collect was recorded. During GFWC President Dorothy Houghton's administration (1950-1952), the American Home Department published Mary's history along with an interpretation of the text and suggestions for using it in GFWC programs.
The words for the Collect are as follows:
A COLLECT FOR CLUBWOMEN
Keep us, oh God, from pettiness; let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.
Let us take time for all things; make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences, that in the big things of life we are at one.
And may we strive to touch and to know the great, common human heart of us all, and oh Lord God, let us forget
not to be kind!
In 1916, Helen Cheney Kimberly wrote the Junior Pledge:
I pledge my loyalty to the Junior Club Woman
By doing better than ever before what work I have to do,
By being prompt, honest, courteous,
By living each day, trying to accomplish something,
Not merely to exist.
The Junior Invocation:
O Lord, under Thy guidance
May the Juniors of this Federation
Seek knowledge courageously
And live nobly in Thy service.
A little GFWC history ....the "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 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 methods of GFWC members, who have implemented a broad range of programs and projects tailored to meet the needs of their communties Adopted as the official motto in 1957, it set the tone for the flexibility that has allowed GFWC to grow and adapt to the changing and diverse lifestyles and concerns of women throughout moret han a century of volunteer work. (GFWC Club Manual)
Did you Know … Many modern safety measures were early GFWC programs. The Women’s Crusade for Seatbelts program, sponsored by GFWC in 1960, helped to advocate automobile safety and resulted in more than one million car seat belts installed in the course of one year.