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