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.
When it comes to membership presentations, GFWC Missouri State Membership Chairman Lisa Cook isn’t afraid to don an apron to present an unforgettable “recipe for membership” skit.
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.
The Rochester Junior Women's Club
The Rochester Junior Women’s Club (Michigan) was established in 1956 with 16 members, and today has over 70 members that always come together to support one another. The club chooses three or four major charities to support and several smaller ones, donating approximately $30,000 each year. In total since its inception, the club has provided more than 1 million hours of community service, and raised more than $928,000 to support their community!