Jane Marshall Carver
Jane Marshall Carver has an impressive background of leadership positions that proves she isn’t afraid to take charge. Her experiences with GFWC and with her professional life allow her to continually find new ways to make a difference in her community.
You are a founding member of the Andrews Junior Woman’s Club. Why did you want to form a club and what was that experience like?
I was a young working mother living in my husband’s hometown. Although I was working at the hospital, I had little opportunity to make friends with other women in the small community. When I read in the weekly paper that a club was being formed, I thought this might be a way to get to know women in similar circumstances. I agreed to be the first secretary when nobody else wanted the job. The organizing president moved within the first year and I was asked to fill this position. This began my “on the job training” for leadership. To accept the charter for our new club, I had to take days off from work, leave my children with their father and grandparents, travel 250 miles to the North Carolina state convention, and spend two nights in a hotel. I LOVED IT! I never regretted my impulse to get involved because I knew at once that this was the group for me.
How did your career as a Registered Nurse/Certified Emergency Nurse influence your volunteerism?
Long before it became a recognized worldwide problem, I noticed the number of women we would see in the emergency department or admitted to our hospital who were victims of abuse by their husbands, boyfriends, or even their fathers. A call went out from the commissioners of our rural county to form a Family Violence Council. A social worker called me to see if I would be interested in being a part of making a difference for these women. I doubted that much would be done, but wanted to see if a small group could help. We were successful in creating a three-county women’s shelter, REACH, Inc. It provides emotional support, education, in-house living, and financial and legal support. I served on the board of this group for many years and continue to encourage not only my woman’s club, but other clubs and organizations to be involved.
What has been the most rewarding part of becoming a clubwoman?
Little did I realize when I attended my first club meeting that it would lead me on a path to travel all over my state and the country, and even to attend the United Nations NGO Conference for Women in Beijing, China. Who would have thought that through membership in this organization that I would be appointed to serve on state-wide commissions? I served as the chairman of the North Carolina Council for Women for eight years. This 25 member board advises the North Carolina legislature and governor on issues pertaining to women and families. I later served as vice chair of the North Carolina Commission on Volunteering and Community Service. I am so grateful that serving as the GFWC North Carolina President, GFWC Southeastern Region President, and on the GFWC Board of Directors for many years has allowed me to make friends not just in my state, but in my region and across the whole country.
What have you learned from your experience in GFWC leadership positions?
I learned that no two groups are completely alike; that each group and member has their own personality. I was a member of the first group of mediators (then called mentors) and we received extensive training on how to handle both individual and club situations. By watching these situations, I was inspired to study parliamentary procedure and to become a registered parliamentarian. I use this knowledge not only in my local club, but have served several times as North Carolina parliamentarian, parliamentarian to several other groups, and advisor to the bylaws committee in my church. Just knowing the rules does not make one a great leader. Knowing ways to handle, guide, and support individuals and groups; knowing when to be kind; and knowing when to give credit to others goes a long way to being a successful leader.
Justine, whose husband Paul is a Vietnam Army veteran, has been an active clubwoman for 17 years. If there’s a club office, she’s held it.
Success For Survivors Scholarship
Each year, GFWC awards scholarships to help intimate partner abuse survivors obtain a post-secondary education that offers a chance to reshape their future by securing employment and gaining personal independence.
GFWC High Springs New Century Woman's Club
Members from the GFWC High Springs New Century Woman’s Club of District 5 in Florida visited Partnership for Strong Families to present them with 24 “Birthday Bags.”