Frances Willson Thompson Library
Genesee Historical Collections Center
Name of the collection: Junior League of Flint
Inclusive years: 1929-1987
Quantity: 7 linear ft. and 8 outsized vols.
Acquisition: This record group (donor no. 095) was deposited with the Genesee Historical Collections Center in June 1985.
Access: There are no restrictions.
Photographs: Photographs were removed from the collection with the intention of cataloging them separately.
Processed by: Darwin C. Matthews, September 1985.
The Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements was founded in New York City in 1901 by Mary Harriman. In the following years similar organizations were formed in various American cities by young women who recognized society's needs. They realized that as young women they could play an active role in service to their communities through volunteer work.
In 1927 the Wednesday Club of Flint applied for membership in the Association of Junior Leagues of America. The Junior League of Flint, Inc., was officially accepted by the national organization in March of 1928. One of the requirements for membership was the successful operation of a project beneficial to the community. The charter members decided there was a need in Flint for a home for dependent girls aged 12 to 17. Over $1,000 was raised, and the Junior League House was established on Church Street on January 3, 1928. Mrs. Loretta Norris was the matron and Blanche Dubruill the housekeeper. The League supported the house until 1932. In that year cases were taken over by the State of Michigan's Children's Aid.
The League's philosophy is to design projects which will benefit the total community as well as serve as an educational and training experience for its members. The projects accepted and supported by the League do not focus on one area of the community. A diversified slate of projects is presented to League members each year so that the League can gain a complete picture of the community's needs. In keeping with the philosophy of the League, support given to these projects is primarily through volunteer service rather than financial assistance.
In addition to the home for teenage dependent girls, in the late 1920s
and 1930s the League established the circulating library at Hurley Hospital
(1928-1940); the Children's Theatre program (1929-1969); puppet shows by
League members for schoolchildren (1930-1942); a handicraft
exchange, which gave financial assistance to needy women who were able to sew (1938-1941); the Child Benefit Fund, which provided hot lunches and clothing, as well as libraries with books for elementary grades (1938-1944); and the Children's Hospital Work Program, which gave aid to crippled children and made funds available to hire a part-time therapist (1939-1945).
In the early 1940s, League activities were focused on the Red Cross, the U.S.O., and other activities which supported the war effort. Of the 5,000 hours League members spent in volunteer work in 1941-1942, over 2,500 were spent working for national defense. By 1943, 42 League members served on community boards, including the Genesee County Price and Rationing Board, the Office of Civil Defense, and the Red Cross Blood Bank.
Programs established after the war centered on the arts and the Cerebral Palsy Nursery School. The Cerebral Palsy Nursery School began in 1949 with financial assistance from the League and a matching grant from C. S. Mott. In 1955, the school was firmly established, and the administration of the school was turned over to the Flint Board of Education.
In the 1940s the bylaws of the League were amended so that professional women living in Flint could join the organization. Certain requirements, such as attendance at a minimum of six meetings, were omitted for these professional members.
Following the 1953 tornado, which devastated Flint and Beecher, the Junior League of Flint was appointed by the Red Cross to organize volunteer services. League members worked two 9½-hour shifts each day for nine weeks. The disaster center was housed in the St. Francis of Assisi School.
Other programs in the 1950s included the Children's Theatre, puppet shows, radio series for WFBE and WFDF, and working on community committees investigating fluoridation, mental health and international tensions, the problems of senior citizens, and lurid literature in the community.
The Children's Theatre program remained a community favorite throughout
the 1960s with over 57,000 elementary school children attending nine different
plays. Volunteer services were given to 22 different community agencies
or organizations, including the Community Planning Committee for Senior
Citizens, the Flint Institute of Arts, Hurley Hospital, and the Whaley
Memorial Foundation. Major financial contributions during the 1960s were
health programs, Community Planning Committee for Senior Citizens, the Council of Social Agencies, the Day Care Center, and the Volunteer Bureau.
Moneys raised by the League's Town Hall Lecture Series and the annual charity balls in the 1960s were put into a community trust fund account. This fund supports projects that benefit the community, such as the Mental Health Clinic, the Flint Institute of Arts, the Children's Theatre program, and the puppet theatre.
In the 1970s, the League focused on cultural activities, civic responsibilities, and social problems. The League was instrumental in organizing Leadership Flint, a program designed to recruit potential leaders in the Flint area. This program introduces people to the work and actions sponsored by governmental agencies, corporations, and private foundations in Flint.
The League confronted social problems such as child abuse and neglect with a Child Advocacy program. An Everywoman's Center of Flint was established to counsel women with various problems, and a Youth Listening Post program served as a listening outlet for local young people.
The League sponsored the Young People's Concert series (1969-1971) and worked with the Affiliate Artist Program of New York City to arrange for ballet master Milenko Banovitch to appear in Flint for two years. League members also served as docents at the Flint Institute of Arts and the Sloan Museum.
The programs initiated in the early 1980s were designed to assist the elderly, the handicapped, immigrants, women, and the poor. Along with these social awareness programs, the League continued to support programs which encouraged community involvement and development, such as Leadership Flint and the education and training component of the Voluntary Action Center.
In 1984-1985 the Junior League of Flint had 159 active members, 41 provisional
members, three non-resident active members, 235 sustaining members, and
18 non-resident sustaining members. Just as the original members of the
Junior League of Flint recognized their responsibilities to the community,
today's members are taking leadership roles in the community. As a result
of the Junior League's volunteer services, Flint's cultural activities
and social problems facing the community are being addressed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE RECORDS
Whenever possible, the records of the Junior League of Flint have been retained in their original order. There are five major subgroups of files: Historical Files, 1928-1960; Administrative Files, 1936-1991; Financial Records, 1928-1960; Committee and Activity Files, 1929-1985; and Publications and Articles Files, 1955-1988.
The Historical Files consist of manuscripts relating to the organization of the Junior League of Flint. These papers include materials on the organizational meeting of the Junior League of Flint, the bylaws, minutes of the first meetings, and the Articles of Association (1929) with Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation (1960).
The Administrative Files contain several separate series of records.
The annual reports and yearbooks (1936 and 1953/1954-1990/1991) also include
the administrative structure of the organization, the history of national
and local Leagues, the articles and bylaws, standing rules, and policies
and procedures. Minutes contain the records of the Board of Directors,
annual meetings, general meetings, special board meetings, and executive
meetings. The Board
of Directors files consist of correspondence (1977-1979) and manuals issued to Board members. Other series of records include administrative budgets (1978-1982), administrative and President's annual reports (1979/1980 and 1980/1981), bylaws standing rule revisions, correspondence (1958-1969),
and membership lists (1975-1983).
The Financial Records consist of reports of examination (1959-1976), declaration of trust (1974), and non-profit corporation annual reports (1930 and 1933-1936).
The Committee and Activity Files contain papers which reflect the League's
varied community programs. Of these papers, several series of records thoroughly
document these activities: the Advisory Planning Committee, the Children's
Theatre Committee, the Committee on Aging-Aging Interest
Group, the Drug Interest Group, and the Leadership Flint program.
The Publications and Articles Files consist of the League's monthly publications, the Gazette (1954-1982) and League Connections (1982-1988). Other papers include monthly publications from various Junior Leagues throughout the United States and Canada, National Junior League Outlines and Planning Guides, the program from the League's 1980 Decorator Showhouse, and miscellaneous newspaper articles.
There are eight outsized scrapbooks in the collection (1953-1973). These focus on publicity for programs established by the League, such as the Children's Theatre program, the Town Hall series, and the Junior League Follies.
Organizational meeting with bylaws and minutes, 1928-1929
Articles of association with certificate of amendment to the articles of incorporation, 1929 and 1960
Administrative budgets, 1978-1982
Administrative vice president's annual report, 1979/1980 and 1980/1981
Annual reports and yearbooks
Board of Directors
General membership meetings
Board of Directors
Outline for planning: New Board members orientation
Parliamentary procedures and guidelines
Bylaws standing rule revisions, 1969-open
Michigan Corporation and Securities Commission, 1958-1959
Michigan Department of Treasury Corporation Division, 1969
Status changes, 1975-1982
Reports of examination (3 folders), 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967,1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976
Declaration of trust, 1954
Non-profit corporation annual reports, 1930 and 1933-1936
U.S. Savings Bonds receipts, 1965
COMMITTEE AND ACTIVITY FILES
AM-PM Committee, 1979
Acronyms of the Junior League of Flint
Admissions and sponsor kits
Advisory Planning Committee
Goals and objectives, 1977-1981
50th anniversary (2 folders)
Arts Interest Group – Committee, 1972-1985
Affiliate artist program, Milenko Banovitch
Correspondence and notes
Carnival reports, 1950-1952
Charity Ball, 1966
Children's Theatre Committee, 1929-1969
American Educational Theatre Association, 1967
American Junior League Association, 1962-1965
Bower Theatre, 1964-1969
Children's Theatre Bureau of Flint, 1956
Committee reports, 1962-1968
"Let Children Create": project sponsored by the University of Michigan, Flint Public Schools, and the Mott Foundation, 1951 (?)
Plays presented by Junior League of Flint
Chronological list, 1929-1969
Beauty and the Beast
The Bremen Town Musicians
Carnival of the Animals
Christmas Eve in the Used Car Lot and Pancho
Danny the Dark Green Dinosaur
Dr. Gray Matter's Dilemma
The Ghost Story
Hansel and Gretel
The Land of the Alligator
Niccolo and Niccollette of the Puppet Prince
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Princess and the Swineherd
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Three Bears and the Three Little Pigs
Tina and the Three Billy Goats Gruff
Willie Williams Goes to Mars
The Wizard of Oz
Puppets (2 folders)
Committee on Aging – Aging Interest Group, 1964-1970
Council of Social Agencies of Flint and Genesee
County. Community Planning Committee for Senior Citizens
Board of Directors – Minutes, 1964-1970 (2 folders)
Steering Committee – Minutes, 1965-1967 (2 folders)
Annual inventory of programs and services for older adults of Flint and Genesee County, 1967
Committee on Study of Nursing Professional Needs, 1966
Institute on Working With Older People, 1965
Reports and notes of the Committee for Senior Citizens
Subcommittee to Explore Needed Action to Deal with the Problems of Medically Indigent Senior Citizens, 1964-1966
Community Research Committee, 1967-1970
Crossroads Village Interest Group – Buzzell House, 1975-1976
Drug Interest Group, 1970-1973
Correspondence (3 folders)
Drug counselor – Carl S. Wilson
Genesee County Regional Drug Abuse Commission
Minutes and reports of Board meetings
Ecology Interest Group, 1965-1973
Financial Committee, 1971
Five-Year Survey on Transferring and Changes – Flint League, 1956-1961
Flint Community Schools – Bucket Brigade Program, 1973
Grantsmanship Interest Group, 1971-1975
Homemaker Service (Joint project between the Junior League of Flint and the Family Service Agency), 1968
Human Relations Interest Group, 1971-1972
Interest Group orientation, 1972
Junior League Welfare Conference, Milwaukee, 1937
League Restructuring Task Force, 1971
Leadership Flint, 1973-1975
Leadership Interest Group minutes
Minutes and reports (3 folders)
Learning Disabilities Interest Group, 1973-1975
Placement skits, 1954
Professional Group meeting minutes, 1969-1974
Project research reports, 1962-1963
Proposal for change, 1970
Proposed placement guidelines, 1981-1982
Public Affairs Committee, 1970
Public Relations Committee, 1968-1971
Publications Committee, 1969-1970
Report of Region IV Regional Conference, Association of the Junior Leagues of America, 1961
State Board meeting minutes, Michigan Junior Leagues, 1977
Study and development report, 1970
Surveys and questionnaires
Evaluation of the community, 1968-1969
Annual questionnaire, 1977/1978
Organizational Self-Assessment program, 1981
Volunteer career development workshop, 1978-1979
Wednesday Club, 1956-1967
Young people's concerts, 1969-1971 (2 folders)
Youth Listening Post, 1970
Youth volunteer program, 1977
PUBLICATIONS AND ARTICLES FILES
1981-1982 and undated
Editorial notes, 1978-1980
Junior League monthly publications from various cities
National Junior League outlines and planning guides
Marketing planning outline
S.T.O.P. Violence planning guide
Decorator Showhouse Flint, 1980