Our community is host to numerous organizations with missions dedicated to empowering women and girls. We will highlight a different organization every day for Women’s History Month on our social media, and let you know how to get involved! Most of the photos featured are from previous years of events and service projects. Check out all 31 organizations on this list below!
Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition
The mission of the Alachua County Perinatal Mental Health Coalition (ACPMHC) is to improve awareness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) in our community and expand resources, education and support systems for those at risk for PMAD. They are a group of community stakeholders who are passionate about being champions for the mental health of families during what is known as the perinatal (surrounding pregnancy and after delivery) period. You can get involved with their community initiatives such as their Mom Prom and A.B.C. Diaper Bank by e-mailing ACPMHC@gmail.com.
Alachua County Victims Services
The Alachua County Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center provides services to survivors of interpersonal violence, sexual violence and personal injury crimes. Established in the Gainesville/Alachua County community for more than 36 years, the program is available to support and assist anyone who is a victim or survivor of violence. They are only a phone call away at (352) 264-6760; 24 hours a day. Their program has two volunteer tracks to pursue – serve as a Helpline Counselor, answering their 24/7 rape crisis helpline, or as a Community Ambassador, promoting awareness at community events. For Helpline Counselors, contact Jessie Lazarchik at (352) 264-6767 or email@example.com. For Community Ambassadors, contact Cassie Moore at (352) 264-6712 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alachua Women Build
Alachua Women Build is an all-women volunteer program of Habitat for Humanity that raises the funds for and builds houses in partnership with hard-working families often headed by women in need of safe, affordable homes. Alachua Women Build was founded in the mid-1990’s by a group of women who recognized both the need for good, affordable housing in our community and the potential for women to take an active role in meeting this need. The first house was built in 1996, and since then eleven more have been completed. Women empower women: volunteers and the homeowner gain new skills, self-reliance, and a boost in self-confidence. To volunteer with Alachua Women Build, e-mail email@example.com.
Arbor House provides affordable transitional housing in a communal setting to working mothers with children. Each family works with a case manager to design a plan to move to self-sufficiency. Low-income families who cannot afford market rent benefit from this set-up since they work as a community to achieve similar goals. The extended time families can stay at Arbor House, combined with their case manager partnership, has allowed mothers to pursue education and skills, and thus, increase their incomes. Arbor House was acquired by St. Francis House in 2013. To find out about volunteer opportunities, visit their website.
Blossoming Butterfly is a non-profit/charitable organization that has a mission to provide spiritual, mental, physical, educational, and financial help to breast cancer patients through yoga, meditation, nutrition, self-care, and monetary assistance. Their vision is to be the hub of uplifting and offering support to breast cancer patients through affirming beauty, vibrancy, encouragement, education, preparation for the battle ahead, healthy living, and financial resources. Fighting breast cancer is tough enough, Blossoming Butterfly, Inc. aims to reduce the added stress that finances can bring, allowing Gainesville breast cancer fighters to focus on their recovery. To learn more, visit their website.
Days for Girls
Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. Alachua County’s chapter of Days for Girls was started by Girl Scout Troop 733 in Alachua, Florida in 2013. The local chapter has been instrumental in starting Days for Girls Enterprises in Kenya, Malawi, India, Peru, and Cuba. Kits we’ve made have been to at least 30 different countries so far. We are excited to now be helping local women save money, reduce trash, and be more comfortable managing both menstruation and incontinence with our hand-made shields and liners. There are several ways to volunteer with Days for Girls at their sewing center and from home! To sign up or learn more, contact Radha Selvester at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Displaced Homemaker program at Santa Fe College assists the community by offering empowerment and educational assistance to homemakers who are seeking employment. The program offers free classes and workshops throughout the year. To be eligible for the program, candidates must be 30+ years of age, have mostly been homemakers during their adult life, be unemployed or not adequately employed, and have been dependent upon a family member for support which is no longer available or have been dependent upon public assistance. Since 1984, DHP has assisted over 4500 women in Alachua and Bradford counties, resulting in tremendous impact to our local communities through increased wages and buying power, and the reduced need for social services. Check out their upcoming classes and workshops.
Dream on Purpose
Dream on Purpose (DOP) is an empowerment movement specifically designed for young girls. DOP organizes forums for mentorship, incorporates discussions about safe and healthy choices, serves as a conduit for higher education and scholarship opportunities, strengthens parent-daughter relationship by facilitating open dialogue and forms alliances with like-minded organizations. Dream on Purpose empowers every young girl to actualize their dreams by connecting them with local resources through interactive workshops and promoting positive socialization through structured forums. To volunteer, email email@example.com.
Gainesville Area National Organization for Women
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is dedicated to its multi-issue and multi-strategy approach to women’s rights, and is the largest organization of feminist grassroots activists in the United States. Since their founding in 1966, NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life. To learn more about Gainesville Area NOW, visit their Facebook page.
Gainesville Girls Rock Camp
Gainesville Girls Rock Camp is a non-profit that uses music and performance to uplift marginalized voices and encourage self-esteem, community, and self-expression in girls and gender-expansive youth. GGRC usually functions as a week-long summer day camp that accepts regional youth aged 10-17 years old. Campers are taught to play an instrument and are placed into bands. With the encouragement of their camp counselors, each band writes a song which they ultimately perform at a live music venue downtown at a public showcase following camp for their friends and families. To get involved, visit their website.
Gainesville Woman’s Club
The Gainesville Woman’s Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Members are brought together through a common interest to address all aspects for improving our community through service and charitable commitments. While the club’s mission is one of community service, it also provides members the opportunity for socializing and leadership development. For more information, visit their website.
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council is our local chapter of the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. As a volunteer, you can introduce girls to awesome new experiences that change their perspectives and broaden their worlds. Be a mentor, a guiding star, and a friend. Show them all that they’re capable of, and unleash your inner leader in the process. To learn more, visit their website.
Girls on the Run of Alachua County
Girls on the Run (GOTR) of Alachua County inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. GOTR envisions a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Teams of volunteer coaches facilitate the GOTR curriculum with small groups of girls over the course of 8 weeks. Amidst the conversation, laughter, hugs and energy awards, you will witness transformational change in the girls and don’t be surprised if you realize that you are positively changing as well! To get involved, visit their website.
Over 30 years of serving girls in Alachua County, Girls Place has evolved into a passageway from childhood to womanhood for many girls in the Gainesville community. Girls Place empowers girls to grow courageous, strong and self-sufficient. They inspire girls to celebrate themselves—their minds, their hearts, and their physical well-being. Girls Place girls become independent women who embrace diversity, express their ideas, rise above obstacles, enhance their communities, and lead those around them. Girls Place has a wide array of volunteer positions including homework helpers and athletic coaches. To get started, visit their website.
Healthy Start of North Central Florida
The goal of Healthy Start is to reduce infant mortality, reduce the number of low birth weight babies and improve health and developmental outcomes. Created in 1991 by Florida legislation, Healthy Start calls for the screening of all Florida’s pregnant women and infants to identify those at risk for poor birth, health and developmental outcomes. All pregnant women regardless of their marital, economic or immigration status are eligible to participate in the Healthy Start program if they are at risk for a poor pregnancy outcome. This includes post-partum women and their infants up to age 3. Healthy Start of North Central Florida Coalition, one of 32 Healthy Start coalitions throughout the state, administers the Healthy Start program for 12 counties. You can get involved by becoming a volunteer advocate. To get started, visit their website.
Junior League of Gainesville
The Junior League of Gainesville, Florida, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. or over 80 years, our 450+ volunteers have continued to positively impact the Gainesville community. From serving underprivileged children and families during holidays at Miracle on Main Street, to encouraging healthy eating habits in children through Kids in the Kitchen, the Junior League of Gainesville is invested in developing long term initiatives and programs that meet the ever-changing needs of our community. Each year, the Junior League of Gainesville trains groups of new members to be effective volunteers and leaders in our community. To learn more, visit their website.
Latina Women’s League
Founded in 2005, the Latina Women’s League is an all women non-profit organization dedicated to contributing to the Latino/Hispanic culture and art in Gainesville. The Latina Women’s League was created as a forum for the discussion of the experiences of Latina women living in the United States. Their mission is accomplished through networking, social activities, mentoring, advocacy, community service projects including free English language and citizenship preparation classes, and the annual Gainesville Latino Film Festival. To get involved, visit their website.
League of Women Voters of Alachua County
The League of Women Voters of Alachua County is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. While maintaining strict nonpartisanship regarding candidates and parties, the League may and does support or oppose issues after a process of study and consensus. Local committees identify issues of interest to the community, conduct an investigation and evaluate the results, both pro and con. Following vetting, and with approval, the League promotes its position to voters through education and advocacy. To get involved, visit their website.
MAMA’s Club stands for Music, Arts, Movement, Action! MAMA’s Club is the brainchild of Gainesville social justice activist and community organizer Faye Williams. For many years, she ran a feminist bookstore and meeting space in Washington, DC. MAMA’s Club is a community space for performing arts and activism, and they are currently hosting virtual events on their Facebook page.