In great things, Unity;
In small things, Liberty;
In all things, Charity.
Federation Song: Suwannee River
Organized February 21, 1895
Admitted to the General Federation of Women’s Clubs January 25, 1898
GFWC is one of the world’s largest and oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational, women’s volunteer service organizations.
GFWC Florida Federation Headquarters is located in Lakeland, FL. After being located on Lakeland’s Lake Mirror for 33 years, the new headquarters was built in 1990 on a small business cul-de-sac. The office is a repository of the organization’s archives dating back to its inception in 1895. Furnishings and art objects have been donated by clubs, members and businesses.
With over 100 years of service to the communities of Florida, GFWC Florida
holds a cherished position in the history of the state. See our full history
on our History page. Women of Florida have cared for the sick; hugged the
lonely; fed the hungry; read to the children; built playgrounds; saved beaches;
cleaned up landscapes; planted trees; built libraries; dressed up in costumes;
made bears; informed the public of WHALE; learned of health issues; encouraged
one another all the while having a great time and feeling good about being
Don't let anyone fool you that members "bake cookies and gossip!" Members really do have fun while achieving an amazing amount of work. Florida communities, like communities throughout the world, are better for the work of women.
4444 Florida National Dr, Lakeland FL 33813
phone: (863) 647-2642 fax: (863) 648-1010 email: GFWCFlorida@aol.com
Office hours: Monday- closed, Tuesday 8:00 - 3:00, Wednesday 8:00-3:00, Thursday 8:00 - 2:00, Friday - closed
Keep us, oh God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with faultfinding 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,
Straightforward 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!
The collect was written as a personal prayer by Mary Stewart in 1904.
She was just out of college and was entering her first job as a high school
The first printing was in an obscure paragraph in Delineator magazine. A local printer in Longmont, Colorado later made copies for a local federated club. Mary Stewart wrote the Collect while in Longmont.
The first organization to use the Collect or to print it in its yearbook was the General Federation of Women's Clubs. It has since been reprinted in many forms, in many lands. The Collect has also been set to music.
Mary Stewart said she offered the prayer for publication as a club woman's Collect because she felt "women working together for large ends was something new,"
The Collect was not intended to be a creed. Every line of it is a petition, a prayer that is, a Collect.
A detailed history of Mary Stewart and the Collect is available from the General Federation of Women's Clubs Headquarters, 1734 N Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.