When Elaine Oppenheimer first moved to Massachusetts, she decided she wanted to find a way to meet new people and get involved. When she heard about the GFWC Needham Women’s Club, she decided it would be the right fit.
“It was a great way for me as a person who was new to the neighborhood to meet others who like to do the kinds of things I like to do, which is community service and activities that help our neighborhoods,” she said.
Elaine said she has been active with the club since joining in 2015.
“I fell in love with the group and loved what they did and kind of jumped right in,” she said.
With a background in working for nonprofit organizations, Elaine explained community service has always been a priority for her.
“It’s always been important to me, and when I was a child I did fundraising too,” she said. “It was something I did when I was younger, then it became my career, and now it’s my retirement plan. I think it’s just in my blood.”
While serving as club president in 2020, Elaine said they had to make some changes to their annual fundraising events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although they usually host a holiday house tour, it was changed to an outdoor house tour involving the local fire and police departments.
“It really helped lift the community spirit,” Elaine said, adding that the event resulted in several new members joining the club.
From helping at local homeless shelters to supporting women’s domestic violence shelters, Elaine said the GFWC Needham Women’s Club tries to give back in a wide variety of ways.
“We do so many wonderful little projects and we’re very supportive of our local charities,” she said. “…I love the creativity of the women and the ideas they come up with of how to help. We’re really good about building relationships with the nonprofits and organizations that need an extra hand and we have so many eager, engaging, creative women. It’s amazing how we come up with ideas and make things happen.”
During her time as club president, Elaine said she enjoyed being hands-on with the planning of the club projects.
“I love kind of stepping in and being the organizer, but it’s also just having these wonderful women to work with and building on their strengths,” she said. “For me, it’s just about bringing people together and recognizing their talent.”
Elaine added she is glad to be part of the entire GFWC community, and hopes to see women continue to join clubs to make a difference no matter where they live.
“It’s a great way to network in your community and it’s a way to meet other women. It lets you do good in your community,” she said. “GFCW is an amazing network of fabulous women who are all really passionate and empowered.”
When Wanda Taylor retired, she was excited to be able to get back into the activities and hobbies she loved. After joining a local gardening club, she soon met another woman with the group who introduced her to GFWC Ossoli Circle, in Tennessee, and she knew GFWC would be the right fit for her.
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!