NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC), which is based in the Hub City, will be celebrating its 125th birthday on Saturday with a day of service.
Clubs across the state will collect and sort school supplies and necessities for college students who have aged out of the foster care system. The items will be donated to Embrella (formerly Foster and Adoptive Family Services) for distribution.
Originally founded in 1894, the NJSFWC at one time had more than 40,000 members. There are about 6,500 current members, with 184 clubs statewide.
“The purpose, as it says in our mission statement, is to provide opportunities for education, leadership training and community service through participation in local clubs, enabling members to make a difference in the lives of others one project at a time," said Mary Wolfe, NJSFWC state president.
"What distinguishes NJSFWC from other volunteer organizations is that we do not have a single focus. Our member clubs across New Jersey select projects that are relevant to their members and address the needs of their communities. At the same time, NJSFWC offers clubs structure and support in their pursuit of community service. Clubs have the opportunity to join together with other federated clubs to make their impact on a project even more significant.”
Wolfe said that one way member clubs work together is to support the designated state project. Currently, membership clubs can coordinate efforts raise public awareness for Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Jersey. She said that this month, clubs have been collecting craft items, such as coloring books and crayons, which will be given to the children in foster care an activity to do while their CASA volunteer and other adults are in discussions.
Since the beginning of NJSFWC, clubs have worked tirelessly in support of legislation that is of significant importance to their mission. Just recently, club members were asked to contact their legislator on the same day (Sept. 23) to urge support for Miranda’s Law, or the Miranda Vargas School Bus Driver Red Flag Act. This was done in conjunction with our international organization, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, which is headquartered in Washington, DC.
The President of GFWC Mary Ellen Brock is from New Jersey and is a member of the North Jersey Woman’s Club.
NJSFWC is a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs.
Wolfe said that the Shining Future Endowment Campaign was started to enable NJSFWC to continue its work well into the future. Since the beginning of NJSFWC, most of its successes have been self-funded. But now it is looking to outside organizations for donations.
Its website (www.njsfwcshiningfuture.org) was established to educate potential donors and provide a means to donate. With the funds, NJSFWC hope to increase scholarships, work with organizations dedicated to helping survivors of sexual abuse and human trafficking, conduct a Membership Awareness Campaign and invest funds to ensure the Federation will continue its important work for the next 125 years.
Wolfe said new members are welcome. To learn more about what the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, log on to www.njsfwc.org.