NORCAL-L Archives

Archiver > NORCAL > 2002-07 > 1025664961

From: Elaine Sturdevant <>
Subject: City and County Federation of Women's Clubs, 1918-1920, San Francisco,cont.
Date: Tue, 02 Jul 2002 19:56:01 -0700

Club descriptions, cont.


Miss Katherine Felton, Executive Secretary and Federation Representative
Federated 1919

The Associated Charities is the one general non-sectarian relief
organization of San Francisco. It has been established for many years,
and its work is well known in the poorer districts of the city and among
those who come in contact with the sick and destitute - the hospitals,
the board of health, the police department, etc. - so that hundreds of
families in need are brought to its attention every year.

The society visits any urgent case of want or illness as soon as it is
reported, and gives relief at once whenever anyone is found cold, hungry
or ill. But the administering of immediate relief is only a small part
of the task the society undertakes. What it is really trying to do in
each case is to help some family which is in trouble to overcome its
difficulties and, if possible, to establish itself on a basis of

Besides the extensive and complicated work of the administration of
relief and general social service work, much of the energy of the
Associated Charities is devoted to its children's work. In 1907 the
society initiated the policy of boarding neglected and dependent
children in foster homes, giving to each child not only the special care
adapted to its needs, but above all the natural setting that is every
little child's due - a home of which it is the center. Far out in the
Mission, on the slopes of Twin Peaks, on sunny little streets on Bernal
Heights, out near the ocean beach, these foster homes are found and here
the foster mothers may be seen, radiating pride in the happy looking
youngsters committed to their care. Many a sick and hopeless baby has
found a haven in one of these homes, and been changed into a rosy
cheeked merry little child. These foster mothers, caring for the little
ones at a price that barely covers the food, are rendering to the city
an inestimable service in the rearing of fine future citizens out of
beginnings that augured only for hopeless future.

As a corrollary and completion to the foster home work, the Associated
Charities has this year instituted a new branch of work for the
children, by opening a Recreation House at 1948 Pacific Avenue. With
children who have so bad a start as many of those who come to the
Agency, extra care and special thought must be given in order that they
may "break even." The tender love of the foster mothers for the tiny
tots is sometimes subjected to a severe strain when these children reach
the trying age of adolescence. At this age a friend on the outside must
be found who will supplement with a certain spiritual influence the
physical care the child is receiving in the home. For this purpose, a
house on Pacific Avenue has been secured, charmingly furnished by
interested friends and equipped with a good library and here the
children come, in small groups and clubs. A close, confidential relation
has been established between the children and the director of the
Recreation House, whose work is made more valuable by her coming to know
well the foster mothers as well as the children.

There is a great deal of help that could be given to the Associated
Charities by the City Federation by means of volunteer service. Many of
the club women have already done numerous fine pieces of work in this
way, and through its membership in the City Federation the society hopes
that many more women may become interested to offer their cooperation.
The Associated Charities always keeps down its overhead expenses to the
lowest possible point, employing a staff that is constantly and
persistently overworked, so that volunteer workers are tremendously
needed and will be most heartily welcomed.


Mr. Selah Chamberlain, President
Mr. S. I. Wormser, Vice-President
Mrs. Charles A. Murdock, Vice-President
Miss Anna Beaver, Secretary

Transcribed by Elaine Sturdevant

This thread: