Salem Woman's Service Club

Proud member of the GFWC ~ General Federation of Women's Clubs
and the OFWC ~ Oregon Federation of W​omen's Clubs
Serving Salem, Oregon since 1934

Our Projects ~ What We Do

For over eight decades, we have been actively engaged in our community.  Through our own projects and in partnership with other organizations and groups in the Salem area, we serve our community primarily by serving families and individuals in need.  As you'll see in our project list below, need comes in various forms.  Sometimes it is a practical and financial need.  Other times it is the need for emotional support.  

All of our philanthropic projects are part of SWSC Community Projects, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organiztion operating by the GFWC Salem Woman's Service Club.  

Here is a brief overview of some of our key projects and areas of particular interest and support.  We always need and appreciate help from community members.

  • Saidie's Cupboard
​Saidie's Cupbard is named in honor of Saidie Orr Dunbar, who was a leader in the field of Public Health during the 1930s.  She was instrumental in the development and funding of Public Health Nurses and related legislation in Oregon.  Mrs. Dunbar was an active member of the Oregon Federation of Women's Clubs and served as the International President of the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1936.

Saidies's Cupboard works in partnership with the Salem Woman's Service Club and the Marion County Health Department to provide emergency Family Bags and Infant Bags, containing basic necessities for low-income families and families with newborns who receive services from the Public Health nurses.  Educational toys, books, and other items are also provided for families in need.

Saidie's Cupboard has had such a positive impact in Salem that our national body, the General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) has posted an entry to their blog:  GFWC Blog Page

Family Bags
Family Bags contain basic household and personal care items, including:
Bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors, feminine hygiene produts, deodorant, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial tissue, toilet paper, laundry detergent, liquid dish soap.

Infant Bags
Infant Bags contain items for the care of a newborn, inclucding:
Diapers, baby wipes, diaper rash cream, digital thermometer, baby shampoo, receiving blanket, fleece blanket, 2-3 outfits, infant rattles, infant books, and books for pre-schoolers. 

  •  ​Comfort Pillows
​Who could imagine how a small 8x12 inch handmade pillow with a soft, cheery flannel cover could provide such comfort?  

​Breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis.  The next steps of additional testing and treatment can be overwhelming.  The gift of a small Comfort Pillow provides patients undergoing surgery a way to comfortably support and protect the incision area.  But more than that, it provides emotional comfort and support.  

About 350 comfort pillows are made each year by the Salem Woman's Service Club and are distributed throughout the year through the Salem Cancer Institute.  In addition to the pillows, disposable ice pack covers made from a soft jersey material are needed for patients undergoing treatments or surgical procedures.  

Our members began making comfort pillows in 2006, as a one-time project.  The pillows were met with incredible gratitude and appreciation from the recipients.  The response was so amazing that the club memnbers and staff at the Salem Cancer Institute wanted to make sure that each of the 350-400 patients needing pillows each year were able to receive one.  

Notes from Comfort Pillow recipients... 
"Thank you to the ladies that lovingly made the little pillow that was given to me during a recent surgical biopsy I had at Salem Hospital.  It gave me so much comfort and I am still holding it next to me at night to protect the incision area that is healing.  My heartfelt thanks!

""Thank you so very much for the little pillow that was given to me.  That was such a scary day for me and to think someone cared enough to make that really touched my heart!  I have used that pillow so much.  It just fits!  Again, thank you for taking the time to show you care!"

"That cheerful little pillow boosted my spirits every time I looked at it and was a key part of keeping me comfortable  on surgery day and during recovery.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness and efforts in providing those.
  • Domestic Violence Awareness and Support​
We provide First Night Bags containing necessities for personal care and hygiene to women fleeing abuse.  We provide these bags of critically needed items to women seeking safety and shelter at Simonka Place for Women and Children and the Center for Hope and Safety.

During the holiday season, we also provide the following items to Simonka Place:
Warm socks, womens underwear (no bikini please), hats, gloves, twin size blankets, bath towels, wash cloths. 

  • Community Service Programs and Special Programs
In conjuction with GFWC, we focus on major issues that affect our communities daily such as supporting womens health, preserving natural resources, promoting literacy and equality, encouraging citizen advocacy, and facilitating volunteer service.

The GFWC programs we support through these efforts are:
Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention
Arts in the Community
Home Life
International Outreach
Public Issues

  • Community Outreach
As active members in our community, we are in frequent contact with other groups and agencies and so we are able to step up and help when needs arise.  For example, the club partners as needed with other groups to provide food items at Thanksgiving and Christmas; clothing, towels, and bedding to Simonka Place; and in other areas as we become aware of them.