What Rainbow Is
What is Rainbow and Who are They?
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is a nonprofit service organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20. Rev. W. Mark Sexson founded our order in McAlester, Oklahoma in April of 1922. He sought to develop an organization where young women could build self confidence and leadership skills, all while serving their community. The organization promotes community service, as well as love and service to their schools, their homes and to each other.
Our order prepares the girls of today to be the leaders of tomorrow. The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, called Rainbow for short, teaches leadership skills and public speaking. It builds self-respect, confidence, poise, patriotism, fidelity, integrity and character, all while providing a fun and safe environment for girls to meet other girls their age and to build friendships that will last a lifetime.
Rainbow also teaches girls to be a part of a team, to successfully communicate with each other and to trust members. We want our girls to have positive role models and mentors, so that younger girls can continue to influence the new members of the assembly, as they grow older.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has an active membership across the world. Our organization has 275,000 members in 45 states and in 9 foreign countries: Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Aruba, Japan, the Philippines, Canada and Germany. Since our order began in 1922, more than one million girls have been initiated into our order and we have more than one million majority members (girls over the age of 20 who are no longer considered active members) have gone through our order and still participate as adults.
Former members of the order include: Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Former Miss California and Actress Lee Meriwether, Actress Lily Tomlin and Actress Dawn Wells. Maine’s Senator Olympia Snowe had this to say about the order:
“I am proud to be a Rainbow Girl. This group instilled in me the values of service, honesty, and leadership, among others. I have carried these ideals with me throughout the years. Being a member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls reflects well on a young women's character and integrity and will benefit today's Rainbow Girls throughout their lifetime”