Editors’ Note: This continues our Celebrate Community series on Santa Rosa County nonprofit organizations that enhance our quality of life.
GULF BREEZE — The Santa Rosa Woman’s Club in Gulf Breeze donates time and money to local and international projects.
The group particularly emphasizes helping children, according to club President Sally Stanford.
“We feel if we give children a good start, perhaps we’ll sow seeds that will sprout into better lives for them,” Stanford said.
The Santa Rosa Woman’s Club is a chapter of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the largest volunteer organization of women in the world, according to Stanford.
The Santa Rosa Woman's Club formed in 1961 to welcome new residents to Santa Rosa Shores, a Gulf Breeze community. In 1965, the club became federated with the Florida Federation of Woman's clubs and its purpose changed to include philanthropy.
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs formed in 1890 with roots tracing back to 1868.
Jane Cunningham Croly, a professional journalist, attempted to attend a dinner at an all-male press club honoring British novelist Charles Dickens. The club denied Croly admittance based on her gender, and in response, she formed a woman’s club called Sorosis. More women’s clubs formed over the years.
The Santa Rosa Woman’s Club year runs from September to May, according to Stanford. Every month, club members take part in community service programs where they hear speakers, donate money, and volunteer time to support the local area.
The programs cover topics like education, international outreach, conservation, socializing, home life, the arts and public issues.
For international outreach in October, the club heard from a speaker with the charity Hope Worldwide; members donated enough money to build a home for six youths and a housemother in Nicaragua to further their education.
In Northwest Florida, the Santa Rosa Woman’s Club brought home top honors from the General Federation of Women’s Clubs late-February District 1 Arts and Crafts competition in Crestview. The Gulf Breeze club won the silver platter for the most blue ribbons and Patty Manhire’s hand-blown emerald glass bowl received the Best of Show award.
In March, when the Santa Rosa Woman’s Club learned about the United Service Organizations, the members created care packages of snacks, bottled water and canned pasta for deployed service members.
The group has many more projects ahead of them.
Visit the Santa Rosa Woman’s Club at https://www.facebook.com/santarosawomansclub/ for more information on the organization.