This is the first in a series of four blog posts showcasing the incredible work of Shot@Life’s partner organizations.
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, founded in 1890, is an international organization and valuable Shot@Life partner, with 185 trained champions. GFWC’s nearly 80,000 members belong to clubs around the world and are dedicated to improving their communities through volunteer service.
While the year 1890 marked the official start of the organization, GFWC’s roots stretch back even earlier. In 1868, journalist Jane Cunningham Croly was denied admittance to dinner at an all-male press club honoring Charles Dickens solely because she was female. In response, Cunningham Croly created Sorosis, a woman’s club. On the anniversary of that event in 1889, Croly invited women’s clubs throughout the United States to pursue the cause of federation by attending a convention in New York City. On April 24, 1890, those clubs created the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and ratified the GFWC constitution.
The organization’s website explains that to achieve their goal of improving communities, members take a “grassroots approach that often thinks locally but impacts globally.” This mission rings true in GFWC’s advocacy work with the Shot@Life campaign. GFWC members are pros at letting their federal lawmakers know that every child deserves a shot at life, as evidenced by their strong showing at the annual Champion Summit and at local events, including phone banks and fundraisers. In fact, GWFC is a key fundraising partner for Shot@Life, having raised more for the campaign than any other non-corporate organization.
Shot@Life’s National Grassroots Strategy Manager Rebecca Maxie reinforced this point when she said, “What’s awesome is that these GFWC members are women who are longtime volunteers in their communities, working on local, national, and international issues. They are people from all across the political spectrum who care about getting involved in issues that affect their communities, large and small.”
Maxie added, “What’s great about our partnership is that Shot@Life is GFWC’s first big foray into advocacy, and it’s been awesome to give members the tools to use their voices for the issues they’re already working on. You see them go from never having done advocacy to speaking with their members of Congress, so emboldened and prepared.”
In addition to the organization’s longstanding partnership with Shot@Life, GFWC also supports a wide variety of local and global organizations, including UNICEF, March of Dimes, Operation Smile, and Prevent Child Abuse America.