The Grundy Woman’s Club was first organized in 1947 with the object of promoting good citizenship, public welfare and uniting all loyal and progressive citizens in an intelligent effort to develop an increase in civic interest, and installing a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and nation; and inaugurating, encouraging and promoting philanthropic, benevolent, altruistic, literary and education movements for the benefit of the community, state and nation.
That year, the Grundy Woman’s Club joined the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Virginia and the national organization, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the following year in 1948.
|General Federation of Women’s Clubs – GFWC’s motto is Unity in Diversity. It was first used in a speech given by New York clubwoman Ella Dietz Clymer at a banquet for Sorosis, one of the founding clubs of GFWC, on March 20, 1889. Ella’s words, “unity in diversity,” expressed her hope that the women of Sorosis would “form a lasting union of the women’s clubs throughout the United States and possibly throughout the world. We do not feel that sectional differences will separate us; on the contrary, we hope that these very differences will form a bond of sympathy.”|
|GFWC Southeastern Region – The GFWC is divided into eight regions across the U.S., including: GFWC Great Lakes Region, GFWC Middle Atlantic Region, GFWC Mississippi Valley Region, GFWC New England Region, GFWC South Central Region, GFWC Southeastern Region, GFWC Southern Region, and GFWC Western States Region. The GFWC Southeastern Region (or SER) is comprised of the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Each region holds an annual conference in the fall, separate from the GFWC Annual Convention.|
|GFWC Virginia – The purpose of this organization is to bring into closer unity the GFWC women’s clubs of Virginia through their common interest, the cultural, educational and environmental welfare of the state. A diverse offering of programs and projects enable clubs to address the quality of life within their respective communities. The GFWC Grundy Woman’s Club is part of the Southwestern District in Virginia.|
|GFWC Virginia Southwestern District – GFWC Virginia is divided into eight territorial districts, including Alice Kyle, Blue Ridge, Lee, Northern, Shenandoah, Southside, Southwestern and Tidewater. The Grundy Woman’s Club is one of twelve clubs within the Southwestern District. Some other clubs in our region include clubs in Abingdon, Bluefield, Giles, Grundy, Hillsville, Jonesville, Narrows, Pearisburg, Pembroke, Pennington Gap, Pocahontas, Richlands and Wytheville.|
At each monthly meeting of the GFWC Grundy Woman’s Club, club members recite the Clubwoman Collect, below. This extraordinary work acts as a reminder, focusing us for the tasks at hand and helping us to appreciate the differences in us that make us a mighty force when united.
Keep us, Oh God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault finding
and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense
and meet each other face to face,
without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment
and always generous.
Let us take time for all things;
make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses,
straight-forward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize it is
the little things that create differences,
that in the big things of life we are at one.
And may we strive to touch and to know
the great common human heart of us all,
and, Oh Lord God, let us forget not to be kind.
~ Mary Stewart ~
Today, we continue to carry on the tradition of public service that formed the GFWC over 125 years ago. But our members are as diverse as our projects. From our members’ daughters, who attend and participate in meetings and events, to our senior members, who have been around since our local club was created – we range in ages, interests, and personalities. But, as Mary Stewart so eloquently pointed out, ‘we strive to touch and to know the great common human heart of us all.’ To that end, we work together to accomplish things that are far greater than ourselves, changing our community for the better and making a difference that will last a lifetime.