Save the Children Austin Chapter Records
An Inventory of the Collection
The Save the Children Federation was established in the United States in 1932 with the immediate goal to assist the impoverished children of Appalachia struggling because of the Great Depression. Save the Children is now providing families and communities with the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty in 50 countries.
The Save the Children program that allowed individual child sponsorship began in 1940. The Save the Children Austin Chapter began in 1948 when a small group of women agreed to sponsor one child in need of help. The group was organized by Mrs. Dorothy Porter Griffin, and with the help of Mrs. Charles Hardwicke and Mrs. Marvin Hall they expanded their goal to aid many needy children in Appalachia. The women held bridge benefits and musicals in their homes.
In 1954 the Austin chapter began the tradition of holding an annual style show to raise money to support the children they sponsored. The first style show was held on Valentine's Day in the American Bank headquarters and the tradition continued until the late 1990s. While the organization sponsored children outside of Texas by sending money to the national headquarters for distribution they also kept some of the money raised local by making regular donations to the Austin-Travis County Emergency Shelter for Infants and Children, Inc. (later known as the Austin Children's Shelter).
In 1991 the board recommended to disband the Austin chapter of Save the Children because they couldn't find a new president and the lack of attendance at meetings. At the general meeting on April 20, 2001 the entire membership voted to disband.
The majority of the collection consists of administrative records for the Austin chapter of Save the Children. Although the organization first formed in 1948 the earliest administrative materials in the collection are the annually submitted Report of the President beginning in 1961. Starting in the 1980s more substantial binders of administrative materials were assembled. It appears that some of the binders were compiled annually by the sitting president while others seem to be a combination of various years of materials. The administrative records include meeting minutes, financial reports, meeting notices, correspondence, invitation lists, membership lists, public relations and marketing materials from the national office and all of the planning materials for the annual fundraiser. Also included is a binder titled "Save the Children Committee Chairman Direction and Forms." It appears this binder was passed along year to year to the hostess chairman and includes form letter templates, tax exemption information, instructions and checklists that detail hostess details as well as historical information about past events and meetings. Materials were removed from the binders and foldered in the original order. Printed materials such as newsletters and programs were the only items removed and foldered separately.
There are also four scrapbooks that document the activities of the organization from 1979 through 1993. The scrapbooks contain a mixture of photographs, yearbooks, public relations materials, annual reports, correspondence, programs, newspaper clippings, membership lists and newsletters from both the local chapter and the national headquarters. The photographs document the annual fashion show fundraiser as well as board meetings and the regular "coffee" meetings held by the group. The majority of the photographs are well captioned with the event name and the name of the people in the photographs. In addition to the administrative records and the scrapbooks there are loose programs for the annual fundraiser (1977-1999), yearbooks (1977-2001), newsletters (1996-2001) and a few newspaper clippings. There is also a guest book with names of attendees at meetings from 1985 through 1996.
Also of note is an account of the early years of the Save the Children organization in Texas written in 1984 by one of the original founders of the organization Dorothy Porter Griffin. In the mid-1940s Griffin was the Save the Children Federation regional director for Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. In 1947 the regional headquarters was established in Dallas, Texas but one year later Griffin requested that the office be moved to Austin, Texas. The account provides insight into the regional office as well as the volunteer chapter of Save the Children that was established alongside the regional office.
Restrictions on Use
The collection was donated by one of the past presidents of the organization.
Save the Children Austin Chapter Records (AR.2007.023). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2007/092
Donation Date: 2007
Materials were removed from 3-rings binders and plastic sleeves and foldered in the original order.
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults/2010
Detailed Description of the Collection