When Cindy Rasmussen volunteered to make cotton candy at an art fair to help out a friend, she had no idea it would lead to her eventually becoming the president of the GFWC Salem Woman’s Service Club in Oregon. Nonetheless, after being introduced to the club and invited to a meeting by her friend, she quickly decided to join and has been an active member for more than two decades.
“I am really glad that I joined. It has provided enduring friendships and it has brought me a lot of connections with the community,” she said. “That is the part I really like. I am enjoying these friendships, but I am also making a difference in my community.”
Cindy said joining the woman’s club has given her a method of being involved in a positive way and has helped her learn where the need for support actually exists.
“I am more aware of what the needs are in our community and also of so many of the resources that are available in our community. I learned things that I never would have known about if it hadn’t been for the club,” she said.
Part of Cindy’s reason for joining the club was to work with a group of likeminded women to make a difference for others.
“I don’t want to just be so involved in my own life that I don’t know what’s happening outside of that, and I think by volunteering I know what’s going on and I can make a difference and find a way to contribute in some small way where there are needs that I might not have been aware of. And I like volunteering with likeminded people. That makes it fun and rewarding,” she said.
Cindy said it can be hard for one person to think of everything that has to be done when it comes to developing a volunteer project, but when people come together with their own ideas, it is incredible what can be accomplished.
One of the club’s biggest undertakings has been working with public health nurses to provide family and infant bags that the nurses can take on their home visits that include various household, personal care, and baby items, Cindy said. She noted this project began in 2006 and is ongoing.
While Cindy was club president in 2021, she also served as president in the years ago, and she said it has been interesting to see how the club and the clubwomen have changed throughout since that time.
“I like watching how each club member brings their own ideas and talents into the club and it’s just amazing to see how things get accomplished,” she said.
Cindy added that each club project is truly a blending of ideas and abilities.
“I just get excited about that and how everyone contributes their own piece and it all comes together,” she said.
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 Polk County Service Club
GFWC Polk County Service Club (Oregon) served as the coordinators for the Polk County Fair Talent Contest. There were two divisions (Youth from age 3-12 and Young Adult from 13-19) with 17 contestants. Laurel Jones, Vice President of GFWC Polk County Service Club, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Parents, grandparents, and friends all came out to fill the audience and it was very well attended. One of the Judges was GFWC Oregon State President, Pam Briggs.