GFWC-IL Coal City Junior Woman's Club
"Building Our Community, Leadership & Friendships"
GFWC-IL Junior Organization
We are the GFWC-IL Coal City Junior Woman's Club, located in Coal City, Illinois.
We are a nonprofit community service corporation, 1951 to Present, working hard to make
a difference in our community.
We are also part of an international women's organization with multiple levels:
Woman's Clubs - great reasons to volunteer
- International: General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC)
- State: GFWC-Illinois
- District: District 12 of GFWC-Illinois
- Local: GFWC-IL Coal City Junior Woman's Club
- Make a difference where you live - select projects and programs that are
needed where you live.
- Personal growth through leadership training and development.
- Women network toward common goals and mutual interests.
- Volunteer programs cover all areas of the lives of our members, their families, and communities.
- GFWC International and its members annually raise an average of $30 million on behalf of more
than 100,000 projects and volunteer more than 5 million hours.
General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC)
What We Have Accomplished - 1868 to 2009
General Federation of Women's Clubs
Who We Are
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. GFWC has
more than 100,000 members in affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries.
GFWC members work in their own communities to support the arts, preserve natural resources,
advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, encourage civic involvement, and work toward
world peace and understanding.
GFWC members are community leaders who work locally to create global change, with its members
raising an average of $47 million through 136,000 projects and volunteering more than 5.5 million
What We Do
GFWC members understand that there is no single issue and no single solution. GFWC is distinguished
from other nonprofit organizations in that clubs have the freedom to shape programs and projects
that benefit local communities and interests, while benefitting from the expertise and support at
district, state, regional, and national levels.
Whether aiming for the passage of a Congressional bill to prevent violence against women or
mentoring at-risk girls at a local elementary school, we are proactive, determined, visionary
volunteers with a national voice and a local passion.
Average Annual Contributions
Members are of diverse ages, backgrounds, ideals, and beliefs.
- $47 million donated
- 5.5 million hours volunteered
- 136,000 projects completed
Members clubs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and more than a dozen
countries around the world.
- 104,000 members
- ages 12 to 102
Our Motto: Unity in Diversity
Our motto emphasizes our ability to use the diversity of our backgrounds to work toward a unified
vision and purpose of enhancing our lives and the lives of those around us. Our members hold a
wealth of resources in terms of interest, knowledge, and experience. Our programs provide
projects, ideas, and opportunities spanning a wide range of issues. Our impact is local and our
reach is global. GFWC's motto sets the tone for the flexibility that has enabled us to grow and
adapt to the changing lifestyles and concerns of women through more than a century of volunteer work.
- 3,200 clubs
- located in cities, suburbs, and rural communities
For more information, contact:
GFWC International Headquarters Office
1734 N Street NW
Washington DC 20036-2990
toll free phone (800) 443-4392
phone (202) 347-3168
fax (202) 835-0246
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GFWC Illinois is a philanthropic organization dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of
its member clubs' service to local and international communities; community improvement;
and enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service.
GFWC Illinois at a glance
A Century of Accomplishments Working in Illinois Communities
- Motto: Unity in Diversity
- Organized - October 1894
- Admitted GFWC International - October 1895
- Founded 80% of State's Public Libraries
- Adopted Prevention of Child Abuse as State Project - Our Promise ... A Safe Place for
Every Child - 2002
- Adopted Domestic Violence Awareness as International Project - 2008
- More than 7,000 members in cities, suburbs and rural communities around the State
- Members are women ages 12 to 100+
- GFWC Illinois Art School
- Isabella Candee Foundation (Endowment Fund)
- Brain Research Foundation
- Children's Research Foundation
- Domestic Violence Shelters
- Domestic Violence Hotline
- Illinois Fire Safety Alliance
- Prevent Child Abuse Illinois
- Shawnee National Forest
- Veterans' Medical Centers
Club Types ... a Perfect Fit for Women of All Ages
- American Indian Center
- Domestic Violence Prevention
- Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Camp I Am Me
- Operation Smile
- Prevention of Child Abuse
- Winnings Wheels (non-profit facility dedicated to restoring disabled young adults
to their fullest achievable potential).
For information about GFWC Illinois clubs in your area, contact
- General Clubs, members range in age from 18 to 100+
- Junior Clubs, members range in age from 18 to 100+, accomodates work schedules
- Juniorette Clubs, members are students in Middle School/Junior High School/High School and
sponsored by General or Junior Women's Clubs
GFWC Illinois Headquarters Office
81 N Chicago St, Ste 406
Joliet IL 60432-4395
phone (815) 724-0195
fax (815) 724-0196
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What We Have Accomplished - 1868 to 2009
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Professional journalist Jane Cunningham Croly is denied entrance to an all-male
press club event and responds by organizing a woman's club. Jennie June, as she is known,
names the club Sorosis, a Greek word meaning "an aggregation; a sweet flavor of many fruits."
The Sorosis Club of New York City convenes 61 women's clubs from around the country
to organize a federation. Sorosis President Ella Dietz Clymer articulates the goal,
"We look for unity, but unity in diversity," which appears on the first GFWC pin in l892.
On April 24, at the Scottish Rite Hall in New York City, 63 delegates from 17 states
ratify the constitution of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. Clubwoman Julia Ward Howe
(Mass.) is one of the constitution's authors.
The first GWFC council meets in West Orange, N.J. After a luncheon hosted by his wife Mina,
inventor Thomas A. Edison invites delegates to his lab for a demonstration of the kinetoscope,
an early motion picture projector.
Chicago clubwoman and social reformer Jane Addams heads GFWC's Child Labor Committee
to advocate for legislation restricting child labor.
Clubwoman Alice Lakey (N.J.) initiates a letter-writing campaign to advocate for pure
food legislation. Taking up Lakey's passion, GFWC promotes a nationwide outreach that leads to
the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.
GFWC's Art Committee assembles its first traveling art gallery of original works by
American artists. Loaned to GFWC clubs nationwide for only the cost of postage, the exhibits
expand the appreciation and collection of American art.
U.S, President William H. Taft sends GFWC President Eva Perry Moore (1908-1912) to the Panama
Canal Zone to organize women's clubs to improve the quality of life for workers and their families.
President Taft appoints Chicago clubwoman Julia Lathrop as chief of the new Children's Bureau.
GFWC works with the bureau to promote public healthcare for mothers and infants, resulting in the
Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921.
Mary Belle King Sherman (Colo.), chair of GFWC's Conservation Department (1914-1920) helps
create the National Park Service and six new national parks. In 1918, as the sole woman
on the National War Gardens Commission, she establishes National Garden Week.
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The Council of National Defense appoints GFWC President Ione V. H. Cowles (1916-1920) to its
newly-created Woman's Committee and GFWC establishes war service and editorial offices in Washington,
D.C. Collaborating with the YMCA, GFWC creates the Overseas Service Unit of about 100 young women to
assist with the war effort.
GFWC creates the Indian Welfare Committee, reflecting a long history of advocacy for Native
American rights, including promoting improved education and health care on reservations and the
preservation of Native American culture.
The Federation purchases 1734 N Street NW in Washington, D.C. for their Headquarters. A Junior
Membership Committee is established at the 1922 Biennial in Chautauqua, N.Y.
GFWC members lead a nationwide survey on household technology in American homes and produce a
five-part Home Equipment Primer to educate families on using available utilities to maximize labor-saving.
As a result of this campaign, "homemaker" is included as an identified occupation for the first time
in the 1930 United States census.
The GFWC Board meets with President Herbert C. Hoover to express support for the peace
initiatives of the London Naval Conference. GFWC establishes the Penny Art Fund to support American
artists and art programs during the Great Depression.
The first national meeting of the honorary educational society Epsilon Sigma Omicron is held
at the GFWC convention in Seattle. Founded in 1928 by the Indiana Federation of Clubs, ESO promotes
self-improvement through a planned reading program.
The American Library Association credits GFWC clubs with establishing 75% of u.S. public libraries.
GFWC's Committee on Public Health creates the Women's Field Army in partnership with the American
Society for the Control of Cancer (now the American Cancer Society). Hugely successful, the initiative
raised public awareness and funding to promote cancer prevention and early detection. GFWC begins a
10 year study to review the question of the Equal Rights Amendment, which results in a resolution
supporting the ERA in 1944.
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GFWC converts the formal dining and drawing rooms at Headquarters into war service offices.
During the war, GFWC members, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, donate wedding gowns to
British service women; GFWC's "Buy a Bomber" campaign generates funds to purchase 431 planes.
GFWC is invited by U.S. Secretary of State Edward R. Stetmus to participate as a consultant
to the U.S. delegation at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, one of only five
woman's organizations so honored. GFWC representatives witness the signing of the U.N. Charter
in San Francisco on June 26.
GFWC begins a partnership with the Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE), jointly
distributing relief shipments to Korea in support of local families.
GFWC members undertake a fundraising and education campaign to promote American history,
culminating in 1954 with the donation of more than $200,000 to the National Park Service for restoration
of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
GFWC establishes the Community Achievement Program, later called the Community Improvement Contest,
which encourages and rewards clubs for completing improvement projects that meet the unique needs of
GFWC partners with the Automotive Safety Foundation in the "Women's Crusade for Seat Belts" campaign,
which results in the installation of one million seat belts during the year.
GFWC Juniors are the first national group to support the work of Project Hope. Members raise
funds and provide supplies for the peacetime hospital ship S.S. Hope, which provides medical assistance
and training to developing nations.
The United States Post Office awards GFWC a stamp in honor of the Federation's 75th anniversary.
GFWC members adopt the goal to "Build with Youth for a Better World; "Juniorettes, a special
membership category for young women between 14 and 18 years old, debuts in March 1968.
GFWC receives a major grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration of the U.S.
Department of Justice to activate "Hands Up," a national program to promote awareness of the citizen's
role in preventing and combating crime.
GFWC establishes a Trust Fund for the Arts in partnership with Affiliate Artists, Inc. The program
supports nationwide young artists-in-residence programs.
GFWC members participate in International Women's Year programs meetings on women's issues, and
the National Conference for Women held in Houston, Texas.
In partnership with Owens-Coming, GFWC develops a nationwide "Home Energy Check" program to
encourage energy conservation.
Opening in May, the Women's History and Resource Center serves as a compelling venue for research,
interactive workshops, lectures, and events highlighting the role of volunteers in the history of the
United States and the place of GFWC members in women's history.
GFWC International President Jeri Winger (1984-1986) is an official delegate for the United States
to the U.N. Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Good Housekeeping magazine donates an archive of
related collections to the WHRC in 1986.
GFWC members renew their commitment to conservation through special programs to preserve and protect
The United States Secretary of the Interior designates GFWC Headquarters a National Historic Landmark.
Jane Cunningham Croly is inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, N.Y.
Jennie June is noted for her pioneering work as a woman journalist and for mobilizing the "previously untapped
and unorganized sisterhood of capable American women that would reshape American society."
GFWC members contribute $180,000 to purchase a fully equipped ambulance for the New York City Fire
Department, replacing equipment lost during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 200l.
GFWC advocates for the bipartisan pay equality bill based on the discrimination case of clubwoman
Lilly Ledbetter (Ala.). President Barack Obama signs The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009.
GFWC celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Women's History and Resource Center. New exhibits and an
online catalog showcase GFWC collections.
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