Hats Off To The Women’s Club of Clarke County

We often hear it said that things were simpler a hundred years ago. In some ways, that’s true. Parents didn’t spend time each day driving kids to soccer and dance and extracurricular activities. Households didn’t spend upwards of $400 a month for cable, cell phones, internet, and other connectivity. And the list goes on.

On the other hand, if you got an infection there was no access to antibiotics; if the breadwinner in the family — usually the dad — died, there was no social safety net. There were no income and few service programs to assist the elderly in their final years, for which most people didn’t live long enough to qualify for anyway.
Yes, life was simpler because everyone knew the hand they’d been dealt, then lived with it.
A lot has changed over a century.
One constant has been the Women’s Club of Clarke County. The club may have changed over the years to adapt to the needs and cultural changes of the times, but their motto and purpose has remained consistent: “Not what we give, but what we share.”
Like many effective civic organizations, it combines elements of a social group with a commitment to service, like the scholarship fund started in 1931 which continues today.
In these odd political times, we hear talk of American Exceptionalism — the idea that the United States is somehow different than all other nations of the world. The conversation typically focuses on individualism, manifest destiny, and other concepts that, in fact, we share with many cultures worldwide.
What often gets overlooked is how social and service organizations are woven into the fabric of life in America. History shows us we didn’t invent these organizations, but we adopted them and innovated them to an extent that now nonprofit groups and social organizations from around the world look to the U.S. for ideas on how small groups of concerned citizens play such special roles in our daily lives. As life has become more complex, their role has become even more essential.
The Women’s Club of Clarke County is a treasured example. The group celebrates its hundredth birthday November 1.
We’d like to say Happy Birthday and thanks to the club. And while we’re at it, thanks to everyone who stays involved in community life with the group of their choice. Giving of ourselves, learning about the world around us, and sharing with others — that’s something we can all truly be proud of.