Dayton Catholic Women’s Club: Finding & Filling a Need
by Susie Bergman
For nearly a century, a large group of Dayton-area Catholic women have been united under one mission: to find a need within their community and fill it. The Dayton Catholic Women’s Club is a diverse, philanthropic organization with nearly 400 members who enthusiastically respond to a variety of charitable needs. Originally formed in January 1923 under the banner of “Our Lady of
Good Counsel,” the club was organized for the purpose of uniting all Catholic women of Dayton and surrounding vicinity in religious, educational, social, cultural, humanitarian and benevolent
Over the past year, the club has filled many major charitable needs. In April they received a request to provide Easter baskets to homeless children. The members responded generously with candy, toys and religious gifts that were assembled in a volunteer workshop, which resulted in 100 beautifully filled baskets for area children.
Rallying in Times of Need
Shortly after, their services were called upon when a tornado struck the Dayton area. Members rallied once again supplying carloads of “female necessities” for area women who had lost everything. Gently used purses, hairbrushes and other feminine products were packaged into kits and distributed to the homeless and those living in temporary housing.
“Our members are amazing,” said former club president and current marketing representative, Ruth Gaylon. “Whenever we call on them, they respond with quick generosity, big hearts and willing hands.”
Gaylon has been a member of the club for over 30 years and passionately donates her home, as well as her heart, to the mission. “My husband passed away a few years back and now I have all this space to myself. I love that it can be used to hold donations and conduct workshops.”
Continuing Their Work
Aside from individual donations and volunteerism, the club also conducts formal fundraising events. Memberships are $15 per year or $150 for a lifetime. These funds, along with those raised during their Annual Spring Celebration Luncheon and St. Patrick’s Day Card Party, are used to provide community scholarships and grants. Over the past five years, they have awarded a combined $100,000 to college-bound, Catholic females and area charitable organizations.
Spirituality is at the center of everything the club does. Members are engaged with various social and networking opportunities throughout the year that include a monthly board meeting, a day of recollection and a Christmas party. Gaylon and the Board of Directors hope more area Catholic women are inspired to join.
“We currently have members living in Indiana and Kentucky. So any woman, from any parish, who is seeking spiritual fulfillment while serving others is encouraged to inquire about our mission” added Gaylon. “If there is enough interest, we are prepared to entertain charters for those living in the rural areas of the archdiocese as a way to eliminate any logistical barriers and include more members.”
For more information visit daytoncatholicwomensclub.org.