With a background in nursing, hospital administration, and leadership training, Phyllis Sippel has always been dedicated to helping others. When she learned that a woman’s club was going to be organized in her community, she knew it would be a good fit for her.
Although she had never heard of GFWC before, Phyllis became a charter member of the GFWC Woman’s League of the Lowcountry, in South Carolina.
“It was exactly what I was looking for,” she said. “Spending those years caring for people [as a registered nurse], I always wanted to reach out and help. I think it is part of my nature, and once I retired, I felt like I really wanted to contribute.”
Phyllis added that along with helping her local community, she is honored to be part of GFWC due to its broad reach and work with Affiliate Organizations throughout the world.
When Phyllis first joined the woman’s club, she did not aspire to become club president. However, when she was approached about taking the position, she decided to go on the ballot because she was proud of the hard work of the club members and believed there were members she could choose to be on committees who would come up with great community service project ideas.
“I think we are a very vibrant club and have a lot of very dedicated members,” she said.
Of the many projects Phyllis has been glad to be a part of, one that stands out is Serving in September, a month-long event to raise money for Doors to Freedom, a licensed residential facility which provides a safe place for minor survivors of sex trafficking to experience a new life. The facility provides services including academic education, vocational training, life skills, and personal growth.
During this fundraiser, individual clubwomen organized events, such as games, luncheons, and other activities at a location of their choosing. Each activity was signed up as part of the fundraiser, and participants made a $20 donation per person. In 2021, the event raised $8,900 for Doors to Freedom.
Phyllis explained this project was a great way for clubwomen and the community to be involved in a project while still staying safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are very proud of this project,” she said. “We are committed to volunteering, so we think very creatively about how we can do it, in any way we can.” Phyllis also noted she is always excited to see members coming up with and participating in projects that make such an impact on people in need.
Along with the joy that giving back brings her, Phyllis said interacting with other inspiring clubwomen is a big part of why she enjoys being a member of GFWC.
“I am amazed on a daily basis by how much of a commitment the women have to volunteering and the things they do in the community,” she said.
Annie Williams started her GFWC journey in 2011 and she immediately fell in love with her club and the women working alongside 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.
GFWC Lawrence Classics Club
The GFWC Lawrence Classics Club (Kansas) has 19 members, and it’s an incredible mixture: one charter member has been involved since 1997; one member has been part of GFWC since 1960; there are a mother and daughter pair who are 2nd and 3rd generation clubwomen; four members are Boosters; and their youngest member only graduated from college last year. This assorted group shares the same values about volunteerism and puts them into action.