Study Club Ushers in New Generation of Service
Arriving at the Collinsville Study Club meeting on a recent Thursday night, I had no idea what to expect. I had never heard of a study club before, and I was very unsure of what the club did. I was pleasantly surprised to find a group of women who put service to others above themselves.
The Study Club was established in 1929 for a charitable purpose. “We are community oriented. Our focuses include education, art, conservation, public issues and international outreach,” explained Martha Barksdale, one of the women involved in the organization.
A member of the Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Study Club serves to promote community volunteerism and civic interest. The club helps out with many fundraisers in town. The Study Club actually founded the Collinsville Public Library in 1933, and they still support it to this day.
At the last meeting of the year, members of the club gathered together for a painting class and dinner. This meeting was a time for fellowship among members, as well as the installation of new officers for the club.
While we painted our floral arrangements, I took the opportunity to learn more about the mission of the club. Jennifer Wilkins, the newly initiated secretary, informed me of some of their latest volunteer efforts.
Recently, the club has been raising money to help with a backpack program for local school children. The backpacks are filled with food for kids in need to take home with them on the weekends. The organization also recently raised money to buy Jack’s gift cards for emergency service members and others who serve our community.
The Study Club also makes an effort to reach out beyond the Collinsville community. They have collected items to send to Free the Girls, an organization that helps provide economic opportunity and independence for those freed from human trafficking.
“We try to reach out to all people of all races and generations,” Wilkins noted.
The Collinsville Study Club is also hoping to reach out to younger generations in order to expand the organization. Wilkins said she believes that more younger members will be interested in joining to carry on the good work of the group. The club is considering shortening the meetings in order to make them more feasible for young Collinsville residents to attend.
Many young people, such as Mrs. Barksdale’s granddaughter, have expressed interest in the group. She was present at this week’s meeting and was able to hear about the mission and purpose of the club.
Overall, the organization hopes to continue their mission of serving those in Collinsville as well as those all over the world. With the help of new members, the club is confident that they can continue to make a positive impact in their community.