GFWC West Virginia



About Us
Junior Department
Our Work
State Project

         GFWC West Virginia, came into being April 22, 1904. The headline of the newspaper in Wheeling, WV read: “Women’s Clubs Formed State Federation!” The article stated, “Today, the West Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs becomes a reality when the clubs of this city, and all other cities of any importance in the state, will be banded together in a state organization on an equal footing as it should be with any other state.”

Thus began of the West Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs and more than 100 years of volunteerism to the state of West Virginia.  To quote our first President, Mrs. Guy R. C. Allen (Annie Glass),  “There are women everywhere hungry for art, for books, for music, and for better conditions in life; let us gather them in and help them to meet these needs”.  With this said, membership in the state federation began to increase.

Under the umbrella of the national organization, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, GFWC West Virginia has been serving the communities of the state for over 100 years. Founded in 1890, the General Federation of Women's Clubs is one of the world's oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational women's volunteer service organizations. GFWC headquarters in Washington, DC, a National Historic Landmark, houses the Women's History and Resource Center, a collection of books, periodicals and records devoted to women's history and women in volunteerism. GFWC traces its roots back to Jane Cunningham Croly, an accomplished New York newspaperwoman, who wrote under the pen name of Jenni June. Indignant that she and other women were denied admittance to a banquet honoring Charles Dickens at the all-male New York Press Club simply because they were women, she determined to organize a club for women only. The Federation’s goal continues today to encourage women to improve their skills, expand their rights, and apply their abilities and special sensitivity to the problems of their communities and the nation. Although clubs were originally founded as a means of self-education and development for women, gradually the emphasis changed to community service.

The aim of GFWC West Virginia is that there may be in every community an organized and informed group of women who are actively engaged in promoting projects for the betterment of life in relation to the civic, cultural, and educational advancement of its members, their families, communities, and nation. Working in department areas of arts, conservation, education, home life, international affairs, and public affairs, GFWC West Virginia has established a solid history of volunteerism all across the state.

GFWC West Virginia works to meet the needs of women from all walks of life, in all areas of the state, with General clubs, Junior clubs for young women ages 18 to 45, and Juniorette clubs for teenage girls.  Today, GFWC West Virginia has 3471 members in 103 clubs throughout the state. There are 3310 members in 93 General clubs; 129 members in 7 Junior clubs; and 32 members in 3 Juniorette clubs. The permanent location for the State Federation’s Historical Records is in the West Virginia Archives and History Section of the State Capitol’s Cultural Center.                                                                           

        GFWC West Virginia is part of the GFWC Southeastern Region in the United States and has eight districts within the state itself. The state colors are orchid and green. The aim of GFWC West Virginia is that there may be in every community an organized and informed group of women who are actively engaged in promoting projects for the betterment of life in relation to the home, community and nation, and for civic, cultural, and educational advancement. Some accomplishments of GFWC West Virginia through the years include:

        * GFWC West Virginia Scholarship Fund to assist college students.
        * Restoration of the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace in Hillsboro, WV
        * Educational Seeds for Physicians (ESP) Trust Fund for the education of family physicians
        * GFWC West Virginia Endowment at West Virginia University to support students in special
           education preparatory programs
        * Establishment of the GFWC West Virginia Endowment Fund to build for the future of the
        * West Virginia Arbor Day Observance
        * Millions of hours of service to the youth and elderly in West Virginia
        * Over $30,000 donated for Canine Companions for Independence
        * Restoration of the Anna Jarvis Birthplace (the creator of Mother's Day) in Webster, WV
        * Donation of 62,000 Books for Beginners to first graders
        * Memorial Forest established at Blackwater Falls State Park
        * Promotion of patriotism, get-out-to-vote campaigns, libraries, literacy, as well as highway
           and home safety, women’s health, conservation of natural resources, and artistic talent and


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What's New on the Web Site: Last Modified on May 21, 2013.

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Security Policy:  GFWC West Virginia does not release the names or contact information for its clubs or members through this website. Requests for such information will be forwarded to the appropriate officer/personnel for response, or you will be directed to a location in the Club Manual/President's Directory where the contact information may be located.