I remember my wife Kaitzer returning from a meeting and saying that she had become a member of the Juniors. I thought! Did she join a softball team? I assumed that the Juniors were either a softball or bowling team. It’s a women’s club! I was surprised to learn that the California Federation of Women’s Clubs (CFWC), organized in 1900 has over 500 general clubs with a membership of about 40,000. The Junior membership of the (CFWC) began in Redlands, in 1913. Today the Juniors have 2,000 members with approximately 140 service clubs state wide. The La Canada chapter is an integral part of that consortium.
I have since learned that “Strength United is Stronger”. The Juniors’ motto is more than a cliché! It’s a calling to serve others. Collective efforts do enhance an organization’s ability to affect change; because we are all a significant part of a communal vortex of life. Aristotle implied more than two thousand years ago that, “Humanity’s social nature is acutely defined prompting us to contribute to the greater good.” Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “Our greatness as a people is an aspect of our collective character manifesting itself through good works.” Yes…by helping others the Juniors enhance life in the community. You set out to save the world, and by doing so, you save yourself.
The La Canada Junior Women’s Club with over 80 members is rich in the tradition of service. They pledge to…“Live each day trying to accomplish something and not merely exist.” This is not mere rhetoric or self-reporting platitudes. The altruism of the members is deeply imbedded in service to the community and making a difference. Their uniqueness lies in the diversity of services as their philanthropy represents the passions, and will of its members. The Juniors purchase pines for the forest; they care for a bear, Ms. Montana, at the Way Station; they promote literacy; they support libraries; they provide trauma bears for frightened children; they sponsor an orphanage; and work with local nursing homes and hospitals. These are a few of the projects that their members initiate and champion. It’s an investment…in the future…and the greater society will collect the dividends. Are we not part of the problem, if were not part of the solution?
Service makes us better people; it gives a perspective to life; it helps us teach the next generation the value of giving. A child, watching their parents give to others is a great teacher of values and character. Emerson said, “What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a word you are saying.”
Often, we sit idly by and let others carry the torch to make a better community. John Kennedy said, “God’s work must truly be our own.” We can talk a great deal of what we would do if we were ‘king of the world.’ But…if we don’t do it, it ‘ain’t gonna’ get done. The poetic lyrics of Simon and Garfunkle remind us: “Don’t talk of love, I’ve heard these words before; they’re sleeping in my memory.”