The Inner Wheel Story
Inner Wheel is the story of a women’s movement, which began in the simplest possible way, through the help given by wives to husbands in their efforts towards the public good.
During the war years in England, the Rotary men were overburdened with service needs so they asked the wives to help. Women joined together, formed a bond and found they enjoyed meeting other wives of Rotarians – women they probably would never have known. When the pressure of war times was over, they realized they did not want to disband—so the first idea of forming a club began.
On January 12, 1924, Mrs. Oliver Golding, became the first President of an Inner Wheel Club in Manchester, England. The idea of Inner Wheel spread quickly and many clubs were soon formed. The Manchester Club became the model upon which the movement is based. Due to the leadership, inspiration and vision of Mrs. Golding and a Mrs. Nixon the Clubs were grouped into Districts. Together the Districts formed the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.
International Inner Wheel began in July 1967.
Today, the structure of Inner Wheel is:
- International Inner Wheel
- Associations & Councils
- Districts (4 clubs form a District)
- Non Districted Clubs
- Clubs (10 members for a Club)
One hundred thousand members make up Inner Wheel Clubs today in over 100 countries. Inner Wheel has become one of the largest women’s organizations in the world.
The Objectives of Inner Wheel are:
- To Promote True Friendship
- To Promote the Ideals of Personal Service
- To Foster International Understanding
In Brief…FRIENDSHIP AND SERVICE
Any woman who shares the three central objectives of International Inner Wheel can join the organization. Members achieve these aims through club events, which combine personal service, fund-raising, fellowship and fun, united by friendship and a common aim to serve the local community.
Inner Wheel Membership in the United States
The Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in the United States was established in 1987 and is known as Inner Wheel USA. Presently there are 35 clubs in the United States. Lead by a National Governing Body, Inner Wheel clubs focus on friendship, personal service and international understanding. Clubs choose their own charities with an emphasis on women and children. On a National level, members and clubs donate to the IWUSA Foundation, which provides myoelectric limbs for children in the United States. (More details available about the IWUSA Foundation on this website at the Home Page, by clicking on Foundation.)
Generally speaking, Inner Wheel clubs meet once a month from September until May or June of each year, though each Club designs their own calendar. Attendance is encouraged but is not required at meetings. Each club and district has an ISO (International Service Organizer) who corresponds with other clubs and districts around the world, often sharing newsletters and pictures. When traveling, many international Inner Wheel members visit clubs near their vacation destination, sharing information about their own clubs.
Joining Inner Wheel
Inner Wheel membership is open to all women who are committed to making a difference in their communities, this country and the world while embracing the Objectives of Inner Wheel.
If you are already a member and know somebody who is interested in joining Inner Wheel USA, tell the Club President/Secretary or District Extension Officer. They should meet that person to discuss the possibility of them either joining an existing Club or starting a new Club.
As soon as those new members join, they become full active members and can vote and hold office and participate in all aspects of the Club. A welcoming committee should explain the Objectives of Inner Wheel and how it works.
Established Clubs can grow their membership by inviting relatives of Rotarians/former Rotarians or Inner Wheel members, or women with no connection to Inner Wheel or Rotary. A simple majority of existing Club members should agree to this.
Starting a New Club
A new Club can be established by women related to Rotarians/former Rotarians, women related to Inner Wheel members/former Inner Wheel members and for the first time, by women who have been invited to join the organization. It takes 10 women to form a new club.
For more information about clubs in your area, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Benefits of Membership
There are lots of reasons why women from across the globe choose to become part of International Inner Wheel.
When you join Inner Wheel, you’ll become part of a network of friendships embracing 104 countries. You’ll develop leadership, teamwork and communication skills and will become part of a community based on friendship, support and love.
Existing members say they have received many benefits from their membership. A few are:
“We make a difference to people’s lives and share our talents.”
“We learn from each other, interacting with people from around the globe and we receive local and international recognition.”
“Inner Wheel gives you guidance and care and the opportunity to work at grassroots levels.”
When new members join us, they never look back!