GFWC COLLECT FOR WOMEN
Keep us, oh God from pettiness. Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault finding 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 be generous.
Let us take time for all things--make us to grow calm, serene - gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses straight forward 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.
I pledge my loyalty to the Junior Clubwoman
By doing better than ever before
What work I have to do;
By being prompt, honest, courteous;
By living each day trying to accomplish something,
Not merely to exist.
" Living The Volunteer Spirit "
Mary Stewart, a Colorado school principal, wrote the words to the Collect in 1904 as a personal daily prayer. Mary titled her poem "A Collect for Club Women" when it was first published because she felt it might have special appeal to clubwomen. According to Mary, "The first women's organization to hear or use the Collect or to print it in its year books and biennial reports was the General Federation of Women's Clubs." Prior to her death in 1943, Mary Stewart's own account of the history of the Collect was recorded. During GFWC President Dorothy Houghton's administration (1950-1952), the American Home Department published Mary's history along with an interpretation of the text and suggestions for using it in GFWC programs.