Are the Women’s Institutes just Old Ladies Groups? If I have heard this question many times than I am sure that every other WI member has also heard it. I think it is time to set the record straight and address this statement that we have all heard at one time or another.
This comment raises several questions. The first is what is wrong with quilting or knitting or rug making or sewing or any craft and homemaking in general? The second is what type of person practices these skills? I think people that are creative, that are eager to try different things, that enjoy working with other people are hardworking and innovative people. Aren’t those the type of people that any one would want in an organization?
WI members value creative skills, from arts to gardening, to canning and preparing food. These skills were invaluable to the earlier women in this country and they are still invaluable. Magazines are full of how to do articles from quilting to canning for the modern women. The plus of being a WI member is that many of the skills that we have we use for the good of our communities. We do knitted caps for newborns, make blankets, sew pillowcases, donate quilts and send them to whatever hospital or organization that needs them. We make, raffle and sell these items so that we can raise money to buy equipment or other items needed by many different organizations throughout the province for the betterment of all of us. We use our skills to help make our country a better place to be.
Yes there are many older women in WI and some have been members for many years. They have seen the results of WI and what a group of people can do when they work together. They are still valuable and productive members. There are also younger women in WI attracted to the very things that drew the first members. That is to have the opportunity to meet other women and to be involved in their communities and country.
The problem is that we as members know these things, but others do not. We need to change how we are seen, to change what people’s perspective of WI is. So how do we do this? We can no longer sit on our past achievements of what we have once done, we must show what we are doing now. We are as active and as vital as we have ever been. Lets Get the Word Out!!
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