When GFWC clubwoman and 2020 Jennie Award Winner Bridget Murphy first participated in a GFWC sewing contest in high school, she had no idea what a large role this organization and volunteerism overall would play in her life. Now, years later, Bridget has accomplished many great things during her time with her club and she has used volunteering to make her community a better place for everyone.
Originally from Ohio, Bridget moved to Kentucky for college in the 1980s and has lived in small, rural town in eastern Kentucky ever since. Although she sometimes misses the conveniences of bigger cities, Bridget said she enjoys the small town feel, and a lot of that has to do with the friendliness and giving spirit of her neighbors.
“I do like how it’s a close knit community and when someone just reaches out and needs help with something, everyone is there to pitch in,” she said.
When Bridget married her husband and first moved to Morgan County, Kentucky, she knew she wanted to be a part of this community-feel and decided to join the GFWC Morgan County Woman’s Club.
She added part of her inspiration to join came from her mother, who spent many years of her life volunteering after she retired.
“My mother was always giving to others. She was my role model in my life for a lot of reasons, not just her servant heart,” she said.
Bridget said her father also inspired her to stay active in her community, and instilled in her a desire to always be an active member of whatever she chose to be a part of.
“I have always been more than just a dues-paying member. My dad drilled that into my head in the beginning,” she said.
While Bridget has been involved in many projects with the Morgan County Woman’s Club throughout the years, she said one achievement stands out among the rest.
“Something that stands out is we had built a statue in honor of women veterans in a park in West Liberty and it is three life-sized bronze statues of women,” she said.
Bridget explained the club was able to commission a sculptor to design the piece featuring three women to represent the past, present, and future of the military. The monument also features a brick sidewalk with the engraved names of men and women veterans that people could purchase through donations.
“We’re really proud of that,” she said. “That’s probably one of the biggest projects our club has undertaken.”
Although Bridget has helped with many community service projects, she remains incredibly humble about her contributions through GFWC and being awarded the Jennie Award for her volunteerism.
“I was probably the person who thought I would win the least,” she said. “This is a huge, huge honor.”
As she continues to be a part of GFWC, Bridget said she believes everyone should volunteer if they are able.
“I think through volunteering you realize how fortunate and blessed you are, and volunteering gives you that opportunity to share your time and your talent,” she said.
Ashley Williams found an outlet for community service through joining the GFWC Ackerman Twentieth Century Club.
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!