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Women’s Volunteer Federation Adds 3,000+ New Members as Community Service Takes National Spotlight

Washington, D.C. – February 24, 2009 – The General Federation of Women’s Clubs is pleased to welcome the 3,018 new members who helped make the 2008 ACT in OCT membership drive the most successful yet! The fifth year of the annual campaign saw membership gains in 47 states and in 414 clubs. The successful recruiting campaign helps underscore the national attention focused on community service throughout the U.S., as promoted by President Barack Obama, a former community organizer himself.

GFWC created the ACT in OCT campaign in 2003 as an annual nationwide membership recruiting challenge. GFWC encourages clubs to organize recruiting activities in their communities to help attract diverse, energetic, and dedicated new members. By promoting the projects and activities they are already engaged in, clubs can identify women in their communities with similar interests and experiences.

“GFWC is thrilled to have these new members as part of our Federation family,” said GFWC International President Rose M. Ditto, Ph.D. “Sharing and growing our GFWC membership is vital to continuing our work, and GFWC has so much to offer women who are seeking personal enrichment.”

Volunteering and community service have been in the national spotlight over the last year, thanks to the increasing focus of leaders like President Obama. During a February 15 message, President Obama noted that “in this time of so much need in our communities and across our country, we are blessed with endless ways to restore hope and opportunity in places that yearn for both.” Increasing opportunities for community service and advancing funding for those who commit to serving are key elements of the President’s agenda. Many states have already created cabinet-level positions to help lead volunteer service efforts, and there are calls for a national cabinet position as well.

“Community service has taken on increased importance,” notes GFWC Membership Services Director Debbe Gladstone. “There are a lot of people looking for ways to contribute, and GFWC has 119 years of experience helping women make a positive difference in their communities.”

GFWC’s 3,018 newest members are already joining their fellow clubwomen in promoting arts, conservation, health, and education in their local communities. And in October 2009, they will help recruit additional new members to continue contributing to local communities as part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

For more on President Obama’s community service agenda, see www.WhiteHouse.gov/Agenda/Service/.

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