What Is Rainbow?
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (called IORG, or Rainbow) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, fraternal youth service organization open to all girls between the ages of 11-20. Rainbow provides an environment where girls gain self-confidence and self-respect. Rainbow teaches leadership skills, service to the community, and respect for all. Girls have a chance to achieve and excel, fostering self-esteem in fun and exciting ways.
Rainbow Girls have many fun activities and opportunities to make lifelong friendships. Rainbow gives girls a wide variety of opportunities and experiences. Members earn awards for their activities they participate in, and scholarships may be available for those seeking higher education.
Members of Rainbow are active in their schools, communities and churches. They raise money for various charities and they extend themselves in service to their communities and their sponsoring organizations. Many girls go on to become leaders in all fields of employment.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls is affiliated only with the Masonic Lodges, Order of the Eastern Star Chapters, and Courts of Amaranth. It is not a religion, cult or secret order. While many groups and organizations use "rainbow" in their title or organizational name, IORG is NOT connected with any other group.
IORG has an active membership of 275,000 girls worldwide with over one million majority members. It is represented in 45 states and in nine foreign countries. Girls from Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Aruba, Japan, the Philippine Islands, Canada and Germany enjoy the same privileges of the Order as the girls in the United States.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls was established in McAlester, Oklahoma in 1922. The guidelines governing our organization and the Ritual, were the work of W. Mark Sexson, a 33-degree Mason from McAlester, Oklahoma.
Organization and Structure
All Rainbow jurisdictions are members of the Supreme Assembly, whose headquarters are located in McAlester, Oklahoma. Each State is a jurisdiction within itself under the leadership of a Supreme Officer. In Nevada, Mrs. Heidi Haartz is the Supreme Deputy. Each Rainbow Assembly is organized and governed by a uniform code of by-laws set forth by the Supreme Assembly.
The leadership of Rainbow begins with the local Assembly and extends to the State and International Assemblies. Each local Assembly is made up of elected officers (Rainbow Girls who lead the Assembly under the direction of a Mother Advisor, Advisory Board, and Grand Deputy) and appointed officers. The adult governing body of each Rainbow Assembly is known as the Advisory Board and is comprised of seven to fifteen adults.
At the age of 20, Rainbow Girls receive their majority certificate. That means they are no longer active, voting members of their assembly, but now hold a lifetime membership in the Order.
Why Is It Called Rainbow?
In the book of Genesis, after the flood, God made a covenant with people that He would never again destroy the earth, and placed a Rainbow in the heavens as a symbol of that covenant. The Rev. Sexson believed that this symbol of God's love was an appropriate symbol for the Order, so the Rainbow and its colors provided the inspiration for both the International Order of The Rainbow for Girls and for the lessons that are taught in the ceremonies of the Order.