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.
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.
What We Have Achieved
Dollars donated to Women's Medical College
Dollars donated in 1950's to restore first floor of Independence Hall
Monies raised in 1990's that helped remove Independence Hall complex from the endangered list of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Acres of prime forestland purchased, now a part of the Allegheny National Forest.
Dollars donated to educate women to better care for themselves, both mentally and physically
Dollars contributed for Pennsylvania forest preservation
Dollars donated In the 1980's U.S. Olympics to train and prepare hopeful athletes.
Quilts provided to Operation Smile through a cooperative effort of the Arts and International Affairs Departments
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.
Raised funds for childhood cancer research and education, the American Heart Association, learning disabilities and literacy.
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.
- “Enrich, Educate, Empower – Every Child Every Day”
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.
Why Belong to GFWC PA?
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.
Avenues for worthwhile service
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.
Through five Community Service Programs – Arts & Culture, Civic Engagement & Outreach, Education & Libraries, Environment, Health & Wellness and – we have worked successfully in such areas as:
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
Operation Smile & Heifer International
Domestic Violence Awareness
Citizenship / Veterans / Our Troops
Safety Issues for All Americans
Substance Abuse Prevention
Invasive Plant Species
GFWC Pennsylvania Officers
Heide joined GFWC in 1991. On the club and county levels, she has been a project chairman, board member, and held most all the offices. Read more..
Sara Ruppel is a member of the Federated Women’s Club of Hershey. A Lancaster County native, her teachers selected her to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) seminar in 1998 as an ambassador. Read more...
Karen joined GFWC West Side Woman’s Club in 1988 and has been a GFWC clubwoman for thirty-four years. She has held numerous board positions, beginning in 1993 as Club Federation Day chairman. Read more...
Donna has been an active member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs for 32 years. She joined the GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club in 1990. Read more...
JoAnn Propcheck is a 10-year member of the GFWC Hollidaysburg Area Women’s Club. She has served as her club’s President and Treasurer. She has served as chair and co-chair on many committees. Read more...
It’s a volunteer thing!®